Hate is hard work.  Love, I think,  is much easier.

“I love peanut butter ”,  “I love licking honey”, and the virtually always present, “I love my wife” ; expressions that  weave together a patchwork of experiences into an unfolding continuum of joy.

Hate, on the other hand, is an altogether different proposition.

Hate is a strong word, with  little wiggle room for interpretation.  Admittedly, I lazily employ the word  ‘hate’ to express some immense displeasure or discomfort.  Telemarketers and  lima beans come to mind, and I really hate it when sex doesn’t spontaneously break out  after I’ve mowed the grass without even being asked.   As valid and poignant as these feelings may be, there are better transitive verbs to use than ‘hate’.

There is one ‘thing’ I do hate.  In fact I love to hate it, and I know I am not alone on this.

I hate Notre Dame football.   When I Google “I Hate Notre Dame Football” I can find myself gleefully frolicking in 136,000 like-minded websites!  There are books, blogs and a bevy of sports beat writers that are right there with me.

It is inexplicable. On the surface it would appear I have all the traits of a classic “Domer” (nickname fo Notre Dame fans referring to the famed on campus golden domed chapel).  After all, I am a member of the CIA clan – Catholic, Irish, and Alcoholic.  Well, I was raised a Catholic, I’m of Irish descent , and I used to drink (a lot).  Yet, I just can’t stand Notre Dame Football!

Conversely, I really love Navy Football.  On the continuum of joy it rests somewhere beyond breaking 80 on the golf course (not often) and making out with my long time ‘celebrity exemption’ Kristen Scott Thomas (not yet).   Every year Navy plays Notre Dame in football. And every year since 1964, for 43 consecutive years, the Domers had won this gridiron match.  In 2007, however that changed.  I was at that game in South Bend for the emotional triple-overtime Navy victory.  Wikipedia even has its own page on the remarkable triumph (Navy Breaks Streak).  Personally, I wept with joy.

While the stunning victory was seemingly enough to make a perfect weekend for my first trip to South Bend, the great disappointment I experienced was everything else about the trip.  The stunningly beautiful campus on a perfect fall day felt  like the hallowed grounds at Gettysburg Battlefields or the Viet Nam Memorial.  Wherever I went I was treated with the utmost courtesy and respect; cab drivers, waitresses, and even the ushers at  Notre Dame Stadium.  The fans could not have been more congratulatory, and the players more respectful, during the singing of the Navy Blue and Gold at the end of the game.  Very classy: What a disappointment!  Notre Dame is really hard to hate when everything about the place is so spectacular.

I still hate Notre Dame football, it’s just harder now than it used to be.

Go Navy – Beat Notre Dame!

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