I’m going to be completely honest: I have no idea what’s happening. Normally, under slightly less high circumstances, I slowly but surely drift in and out of the game. Seeing it, but not really paying attention until the guy beside me with the maize mohawk starts yelling, “GO BLUE!” But now … Look I don’t even really remember who’s who. So, the game. Look. We’re winning. It’s really light, which is disorienting because the sky is DARK. I also feel like now is as good a time as any to talk about how fast all the football players run. I mean, they are FAST. OK, look, we just scored 17 points and now it’s HALF TIME and BEYONCE JUST SAID SHE WISHES US LUCK what is this life tho. I mean, what’s the point, NOTHING CAN DEFEAT US. I feel slightly disoriented, but the marching band is killing it. I can tell because I’m singing along to “Countdown,” and they don’t miss a BEAT. Way to keep up with the drunk masses, guys! OK, we are back and the game starts off kind of tense. I’m lying because I feel goooood and I don’t really feel any tension except some sexual tension between maize mohawk and an innocent bag of popcorn. OH SHIT they just got like 10 points. They beat us in the last quarter but WE WON THE WAR. Victors valiant, holla back.



The last thing I remember was, “Meet in Section 30! Section 30 — don’t forget.” Too bad it seems like every other friend group has done the same thing — the line doubles around so that it faces away from the stadium. Bleary-eyed, I curse the ticket policy.

My heart is still pounding from before. Stepping beyond the ticket checkers, I thought I was safe — somehow convinced myself to sneak in a couple of shooters. But a policeman cordoned me off with an arm and looked at my pockets. “Whatcha got there?” he asked, pointing. I’d had a serious bout of paranoia, but was with it enough to pull out my water bottle and wallet. “They want you to buy water here,” he said, snatching it from my hand. “Oh, sorry, I understand, thanks so much!” I answered, moving along. Close shave.

“Dude — let’s just walk across the horseshoe.” Before I know it, my two friends are cutting the gap, and it’s get left with the squares or hop on board. Wordlessly, I slip away from my remaining friends to follow. We all sort of clot around a spot near the front. “Oh, hey, is that Kyle over there?” We stand. I feel eyes on my back, but maybe that’s the buzz. “Nevermind, that’s not Kyle. But now that we’re here…”

The game is a blur. We’re never losing, the touchdowns are raining, but all I can think is: Cottonmouth. Bathroom. Feet tired. Water … I could go for some water. Eventually I’m completely, and we’re shuffling back up the stairs, euphoric in our delirium. We won. Thank God.



The stadium smelled terrible. Everyone smelled like beer. Everyone smelled like sweat. Random joints were smoked. Which made everyone smell like weed. But that’s OK; it was Notre Dame. Nothing else mattered that day. It didn’t matter that my legs were about to collapse. All that mattered was 41-30. It didn’t matter that Gardner threw an interception touchdown after a split second series of horrible calls. All that mattered was that he returned it with another touchdown.

It didn’t matter that it was general admissions, and I was stuck in row 90. Or that I could never hear the band because everyone was screaming so loud. It didn’t matter that all my friends were slowly becoming miserable, hung-over zombies as the game progressed, and refused to sing anymore of the Victors because their heads hurt. Some were drunk and some were high and some were both. Their crazy dance moves didn’t matter. Their embarrassing decrees of how drunk they “really” were didn’t matter. They were drunk and there was no looking back. And, in retrospect, it didn’t even matter that the person in front of me was basically eight-feet tall. All that mattered was that it was Notre Dame. I was there. It was Under The Lights Part II. And we beat them.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *