The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Notre Dame Football is Killing Me

I now loathe Saturdays in the Fall.

As the week progresses my anxiety for the outcome of the pending Notre Dame game begins to eat away at my gut. Once in college I accidentally set my alarm for 8pm instead of 8am and overslept an exam. When I awoke and realized my mistake the feeling in my stomach was a combination of lurching and dry heaving. That is how I feel as every Notre Dame football game approaches.

It is a truly horrible feeling of helplessness and frustration.

I can't really bear to watch the games anymore. Every little mistake sets me off. A major mistake sends me into a litany of profanity that would make a sailor blush accompanied by immediately switching the channel. Since I'm usually watching with Mrs. Ian, who is much more forgiving and patient than I, this causes some internal hostility. This is why we now have a new television in the basement.

I also can't bear to not watch the games. If I try to skip a game I can't concentrate on anything but wondering about the state of the game. Inevitably, I check the score on my iPhone and get sucked in. I always end up regretting this as more often than not it turns out to be a mistake.

If the Irish lose I can't bear to use the internet for days, fearing I will stumble across articles and game recaps that will only cause the pain to be relived in my head over and over.

If the Irish win, this temporary internet hiatus is avoided, but the cycle of anxiety just begins anew the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

Making matters worse is the number of primetime games the Irish are playing this year. In years past the early kickoff times would at least allow me time to try to recover so I could go to bed with a clear (well, clearer) conscience. With games running until 9pm or later these past two weeks - and with more on the way - I'm unable to wind down. Which means I can't go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Which means when the kids get up at 6am on Sunday (and they always get up at 6am on Sunday if I've stayed up late) I'm a mess and Notre Dame has now successfully killed my entire weekend.

The sad thing is I'm not really exaggerating any of this. Just writing this post I can feel my stomach start to churn as I think about Michigan State this Saturday and the strong likelihood that Notre Dame, a team with BCS aspirations three weeks ago, will start the season 0-3.

I've tried to go into games with a positive attitude - trying to believe in the team, coaches, and players overcoming obstacles "what though the odds." But at this point almost 20 years of ineptitude have taken their toll on my psyche. I know they're going to screw up. And the worst part, a not insignificant part of my mind thinks that my watching the game adversely affects the outcome. Superstitious? Yes. Insane? Borderline. Pathetic? Absolutely.

I can't enjoy the games anymore. I can't enjoy not enjoying the games anymore. My only hope is that Notre Dame keeps sucking and drops to FCS. Then maybe I can reclaim my Saturday afternoons every Fall.


Teddy said...

Are you blaming your Biology grade on the alarm clock???

ian said...

No. Biology was because Aunt Joan called me against orders from Mom and Dad to tell me that Grandpa had a heart attack literally as I was walking out the door for my exam. This was Chemistry, and I was able to retake it in the professor's office and pull a B+.

Teddy said...

Yeah, I remember that. I had two final exam sessions interrupted by hospital trips while at ND.

Professors don't care. College is heartless!

Colin and Liz said...

this post could have been written by me. i didn't even watch the michigan game, i rented "your highness" instead. i knew there was no way i was going to sleep if we lost that game, so i was proactive and just didn't watch it, smart move. i honestly did not even know who we were playing this week until reading this post, i have put myself on a complete and total media blackout, it keeps me sane during the week. i have serious issues with nd football.

Kevin said...

I pulled an all-nighter for one exam and thought it was at 10am, when it was at 8am. I showed up at 9:30 to get a good seat and the prof let me finish the exam in his office.