Remedies for Notre Dame football
OK, so the Notre Dame football team is 0-2 and suddenly those long Saturday afternoons are looking like a splendid time to catch up on some homework for your classes next week.
Indeed, these can be trying times for a Notre Dame sports fan, especially at a University where we stake so much of our pride on the fate of our football squad. It gets even tougher if your favorite baseball team has already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and your football team is gazing at the Cincinnati Bengals' record with envy.
But don't despair, friends. You can still get your fix for competitive sports action without walking away mumbling to yourself about ridiculous play calls and questionable substitution patterns. Welcome to the world of "other Notre Dame sports."
They may not receive as much print or be as glamorous to watch as our boys in blue and gold, but attending (or participating in) these competitions can be just as worthwhile.
So without further adieu, here are some suggestions about how to pass the time until women's basketball season starts.
Attend a women's soccer game: Oh sure, in about a month when the team has compiled its customary 21-3 record, won the Big East Championship, and solidified its position as one of the top five teams in the nation, everyone will be on their bandwagon. But wouldn't it be nice to say you supported these girls from the beginning? After their victory over No. 3 Nebraska it might be a little tougher to say those exact words, but believe me, plenty of good seats will certainly be available for their remaining games. Throw in the fact that the cheerleaders give away a wide variety of shirts, mini-soccer balls, etc. at every game and you would be crazy not to go.
Attend a women's tennis match: In addition to being a perennial top 25 team, the women's tennis matches have a lot more scoring than is typically found in women's soccer games.
If that's the sort of thing that gets you going, you might want to invest some time in cheering on this team. Plus, it's much nicer to watch a match in the climate controller Eck Tennis Center than it is to sit through two hours in the chilling winds of the soccer field.
Exercise some of your own athletic skill: If your one of those purists who think that the only way that basketball should be played is on the blacktop, your time for action is now.
Ditto for you sand volleyball or ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts. The wrath of the South Bend winter is already knocking on our door and these may be our last few months to get a game at Stepan before the courts are turned into a slushy mess.
Sure, anyone can go to Rolfe's and practice their jumper, but when Bookstore Basketball rolls around next spring, you'll be glad you invested the time in outdoor practice this fall.
Turn Irish football into a National Championship contender: The particularly passionate fan might want to give this strategy a try. It's really a lot simpler than you think. Simply go to your local electronics retailer and pick up a copy of NCAA 2002 for your Sony Playstation or PS2 console.
Want to see Matt LoVecchio gun tight spirals to Javin Hunter 30 yards downfield? Bombs away.
Want to watch Rocky Boiman rack up double-digit sacks and send Eric Crouch out of the game on a stretcher?
Happy hunting. Want to insert Courtney Watson at running back and watch him tote the rock for 200-plus yards? Have fun.
Turn the settings on to "rookie" mode and have a blast, releasing all your pent up frustrations on unsuspecting Navy linemen.
But don't get too carried away. I hear that if you try to pass the ball on first down more than five times in a game with the Irish, the system's artificial intelligence gets confused and the game freezes up on you. Just be careful.
Well, there you have it. An annotated listing of sports and activities that you can support if you're tired of having your heart broken by the football team every week. Of course, I am by no means suggesting that you pawn off the remainder of your season tickets in order to pay off debts at the bookstore.
Cheer for the football team like it's the first week of the season. Give them the support they deserve. But give these other suggestions a chance as well. And by the way, if anyone wants to challenge me in a game of NCAA 2002, I'm always down for that.
TContact Colin Boylan at firstname.lastname@example.org opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Sports Stories for Thursday, September 27, 2001