Posted by Jason Diamond
I think that a persons choice in college football can be compared to a persons choice in favorite liquors: your personal choice is something you’ve cultivated a taste for, quality is of the essence, and nobody can really sway your opinion.
I’m an unabashed Big Ten fanatic. Make of that what you will.
While the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame aren’t my alma mater (nor are they a Big Ten team) if you grow up a Chicago Bears fan (like I did) and come from a long line of people who went to a school with a normally sub-par football program, Notre Dame becomes something like an uncle that while technically isn’t your uncle by blood, he’s still your uncle.
Tomorrow, Notre Dame take on the Michigan Wolverines — another team I have a weak spot for. As a youngster, I harbored dreams of playing college hockey in Ann Arbor, but sadly, had those dreams dashed when it was discovered that I wasn’t in fact good enough to play for one of the best hockey programs in collegiate sports. But still, all the University of Michigan hats my University of Illinois grandparents reluctantly bought me must have contributed to the minor crush I still have on the blue and maize.
Most people who are even casual NCAA football fans understand what Notre Dame vs. Michigan means: one of the greatest rivalries among football programs; one that has been taking place since the 19th century. It is the epitome of Midwestern college football no matter how terrible the two teams are, and is usually the marker for the changing of the seasons.
This year, neither Michigan or Notre Dame have a ranking next to their name, and both seem to be in the “rebuilding” phase of their respective programs. Both teams came off wins in their first games last week, and both have legitimate shots at making it to a bowl game in January. There is really no real storyline to this game, just tradition, and in college football, tradition trumps stats.
I’m a fan of Fall, and I pretty much rank watching this game among the smell of leaves burning, taking out my duck boots, and drinking apple cider among the best things about the season. I plan to plant myself in front of a television and cheer on both teams not because I’m a fair-weather fan, but a fan of what the game represents.
After I get done watching the Michigan/Notre Dame game, my attention turns to Lit Crawl NYC. A bunch of folks I like and respect, from Open City to Muumuu House, are involved with events, and if I’m not totally bombed from watching the above mentioned football game, I plan to go the distance and literally crawl to each and every one of these events if it’s the last thing I do.
See you in the pit.