Being born and raised on the south side of Chicago, I have been around overenthusiastic, proud, fighting Irish fans my entire life. I had heard of the USC-ND rivalry as a child, but I never knew how serious it was. Upon coming to USC, I soon realized the history and deep emotion involved with this rivalry and longed to go to the game in South Bend. In August, my friend from Notre Dame told me she had bought me a student section ticket for this coveted game and urged me to come. I was ecstatic and immediately bought my ticket. As the time passed from August to October, I counted down the days and fantasized about beating the Irish. I knew I would be the lone Trojan in the ND student section, but nothing could deter me from going to that game.
On October 18th, I flew back to Chicago before driving to South Bend with another friend the next day. When I arrived to Notre Dame, I have never seen so much green and gold spirit around. It was at that moment I knew I was one of a kind (especially since both of my friends were Fighting Irish fans). Game day at Notre Dame was very similar to game day at USC: alumni barbecues and tailgates all throughout campus, an exorbitant amount of school spirit, and tons of people. The three of us visited several friends and at each one, my cardinal and gold attire was questioned and shamed. In the end, however, I was welcomed and allowed to share in on the fun. There were, however, a few SC tailgates that welcomed me, giving me a much-needed slice of home.
Upon entering their stadium, I soon realized how small it was, which has its pros and cons. For example, there is a lot more camaraderie between students in the stands. On the other hand, there was no space to move. Or breath. At all. Despite these constraints, I still had an absolute blast! I cheered on the Trojan marching band and our Trojans much to the dismay of everyone else around me. No dirty looks or snide comments could prevent me from cheering on my team in the tundra of South Bend. Even though we lost, I can say I survived as the lone Trojan and could not have asked for a better weekend.