I'm getting a little nervous.
I know our losses have been overwhelming. The first was unexpected and the second should not have happened - everything that could have gone wrong, did. I know we've had 10 turnovers in our first two games, but those two games also yielded 1,021 total yards of offense. That's the kind of up and down emotional roller coaster that leaves us more depleted than getting crushed.
We are 0-2 and preparing to face a team that is far better and ranked higher than our first two opponents. Merchandise tents are going up near Notre Dame Stadium and alumni are beginning to roam campus - sure signs of game day approaching. So, yeah, I'm feeling slightly anxious.
Frankly, I'm proud that I still have the ability to feel nervous. Everyone else seems to have lost it. ESPN's Tim Keown says now is the time to declare a moratorium on Notre Dame football and to stop expecting greatness
simply because it once existed in the past.
"It's the Zen approach: If there are no expectations, there can be no disappointment," he writes. "Only success."
Keown is not alone is his thinking. There is no shortage of people around me who are emotionally detaching themselves from Irish football.
"It hurts too much," they tell me. "Nothing surprises me anymore."
I'm sorry, but I don't want the Zen approach. Whoever watched football to be Zen? Yes, I'm going to devote countless hours of attention, thought and conversation to a game played by a group of young men I don't even know because that sounds Zen.
The nature of being a fan of football is passion and irrationality. That's just the way it is. Otherwise, everyone would be a fair-weather fan and change their team with the wind every year.
When I was in Ann Arbor last week, I saw a Michigan fan holding a sign that said: "Notre Dame - Returning To Glory Since 1993."
It's funny because it's true. No really, it is. But what if that's our strength, not our weakness? What other place is more determined, more headstrong, more irrationally passionate? Nowhere but Notre Dame.
We'll get there. Because we don't know where else to go.
- Lauren Chval ('13)