After reading Rick Reilly’s article labeled “demote Notre Dame”, I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. He writes of how he WAS a Notre Dame football fan as a child and now he wants them to take a step back, blasphemy. I, Brian Dardis am a true Irish fan, not a fair weather fan like Reilly. Sorry Rick, that they haven’t won a national championship for you in 20 years; get over it. How many teams have won championships since 88, maybe 8-9? So should fans of every school without a national championship abandon ship too? Well I surely won’t. Every time a new season begins, true Irish fans get goosebumps and full of pride watching them beautiful blue and gold uniforms, with the gold flakes shining in the sun, as we have the privilege of viewing the perfectly manicured green grass of Notre Dame stadium, and the leaves turning colors around the stadium, while watching photos of the campus and Touchdown Jesus. It’s history we’re watching, tradition and pride. The players are held to a higher standard, they must get good grades and are true role models with big hearts; it’s the Catholics vs. the convicts. Irish fans sleep good at night knowing our players aren’t out in the public carrying guns or beating woman up. Guys like Joe Montana, Tim Brown, the Rocket Ismial and Brady Quinn are players that posses class and charisma. They prove that graduating from the University of Notre Dame is an honor; one which those of us whom never had that chance to achieve, can live vicariously through them, most can only dream about that honor. It’s not all about winning (Rick), look at Chicago cubs fans or even the lowly Philadelphia Eagles fans, it’s about loyalty to your team, whom your family gathers around the TV to watch every week and loyalty to yourself, not rooting for the front runners year to year. You keep bad mouthing the Irish Rick and i will keep wearing my number 3 jersey and watching Rudy, every time it comes on, knowing that there are Notre Dame fighting Irish fans, then there is everybody else. So in short Rick, once you’re a true Irish fan-wins and bowl victories are great-but not the most important thing. It’s the goosebumps we get Saturdays in the fall that no other school can experience. Watching the intro with Knute Rocknes’ locker room pep talks and little Lou Holtz in total control of 100 wild players chomping at the bit to make their school and families proud, the films of the four horseman; we have that and nobody else does or will ever have it-or anything like it. Tradition runs blood deep Mr. Reilly. That’s what Notre Dame football is all about and will forever be. And remember God loves Notre Dame and he loves you too.