” It’s a boy, Mrs. Dog! It’s boy!”
Mrs. Dog smiled and drifted off. Drifted off into dreams of the boy wearing colors of blue and gold. It was pre-ordained.
The boy grew, gathered with his leprechaun family, around the radio every autumn Saturday, and listened to the exploits of Lamonica, Hanratty and Theismann.
Mr. Dog Sr. was a coach, and the boy was a naturally born athlete under his guidance. Oh, yes, he was a pretty darned good one. By his sophomore year, it was quite clear that he’d be playing at least one sport, maybe two, for his beloved college, the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame.
Indeed, the time did come when he received a letter from Notre Dame. They were very interested in the kid’s baseball skills. Now, Coach Dog and his son knew the Irish baseball program was pretty awful, back in those times, but it was Notre Dame just the same…A visit was arranged.
A few weeks prior to making the trip, Coach Dog received another communique from South Bend. This one from the the football office.
“Coach, seeing that your son is already coming for a visit, we would like to set away some time to visit with him, as well. Would that work for him?”
What a nightmare. West Virginia and Syracuse had no problem with it…Cornell got right…It’s a real easy one…In it’s shortened version there’s only 8 freakin’, total letters. The trip ended with the realization blue and gold, no matter how coveted, would most likely, not be worn by the young man.
A month later, a Coach by the name of Lou Holtz, and staff, managed to do something Ara Parsegian and his, could not. At NC State they called the kid by his right name, the whole time! As a bonus, the baseball program did not suck. Red and White would be an easy adjustment.
Ironically, now some 46 years later, the Red and White makes a visit to South Bend. They go there with very similar intentions as that teenager did back then. They travel to play on the big stage. Like the kid, the Pack looks to put it all on the line under the eyes of “Touchdown Jesus.”
The older version of the boy in this little story knows this from experience:
Should the Wolfpack, somehow, meet with disappointment on their own trip this Saturday,
there are, indeed, opportunities ahead.