The bell rang and the weekend arrived. One of my few Catholic high school friends sanctimoniously clasped his hands as a gesture for me to pray. He laughed jeeringly, but all in good fun. I taunted him with a lame come back telling him his luck had run out because it wasn’t St. Patrick’s day.
We lived a few hours south of South Bend, Indiana and most my friends, Catholic or not, would be cheering for the Fighting Irish in the BYU vs. Notre Dame football game that Saturday of October 15, 1994. My friend in a more sportsmanlike gesture then wished me “good luck,” quickly followed by, “you’ll need it.” BYU would need it. Notre Dame had whooped us bad the previous two meetings in 1992 and 1993. I started thinking I didn’t want any part of this “Holy War.” Give me back my traditional rivalry game where we were 19-3 in the LaVell Edwards era going back to 1972.
Nonetheless, I had a sneaking suspicion my team would give The Green Machine more than they bargained for. Sure BYU was leaving me feeling blue in past meetings but they were looking good that particular year with a 5-1 record to start the season. Besides Notre Dame’s storied program surely had to have a down game, if not a down year, every once in a while.
As fate would have it BYU came to play with everything they had and finally did pull off the away victory by one touchdown, 21-14.
My friends couldn’t believe it. For them BYU was now on the map. I was happy I didn’t have to eat my words.