Monday, December 21, 2009

Memories (Part 2)

My father took me to my first Notre Dame game in 1962 versus Michigan State. I was 9 years old and didn't remember much about it except it was cold, rainy and there was not much to cheer about.
Michigan State pasted Notre Dame 31-7. It was Joe Kuharich's second to last year and back then, they couldn't give away tickets. They used to beg Catholic churches to bring busses of fans, which is how we got there.
We stayed for the whole game and enjoyed the band afterwards.
I was the oldest of 5 kids, ND tickets got tough to get when Parsegian arrived in 1964, and so we didn't get to another game until I bought us tickets for the Georgia Tech game in 1979.
I actually called Georgia Tech over the summer, faked an drawl and they sold me 4 tickets. So, it was me, Dad, Mom and my wife (7 months pregnant with our first). We piled in the car, went to the game and were quite surprised to find we were actually in the bleachers on the field down in the end zone, not 6 feet from the endline. Vagas Ferguson scored 3 times right in front of us and Notre Dame won 21-13. Dad and I were thrilled...Mom and Anne not so much.
It poured down rain at halftime. Dad and I didn't leave our seats while Mom and Anne spent most of the second half under the stadium where it was dry. Not a real good experience for my wife, especially whe we had to drive home with Mom & Dad smoking in the car and hardly able to roll down the windows because of the rain.
Remember, back then you had to either know someone or have the courage to drive all the way to South Bend and hope to buy from a scalper.
Most of our memories were of the big games on TV...Southern Cal, Michigan State, Purdue, the Cotton Bowl (70 & 71) and Sugar Bowl (73). Win or lose, my Dad enjoyed Notre Dame football...though he preferred winning. My last great memory of Dad was the 1988 Notre Dame - Miami game in South Bend.
More on that later.

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