The day I became a Fighting Irish Fan
October 21, 2016 my buddy and I took our kids to a Notre Dame hockey game against Penn State. My two year old son asked if we could go to a Blackhawks game and I thought it would be a little to late, loud and rowdy for a two year old. He has been to my men’s league games and thought they were fun, so I told him we could go see Notre Dame play. The games are earlier, it wouldn’t be as loud and not nearly as expensive if he lost interest. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made; He loved every second of the game. We sat in the front row behind the Irish bench and he watched the entire game.
My son is a huge fan of Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks. When I told him Dennis Gilbert was drafted by Chicago and was going to be a Blackhawk when he was done at Notre Dame, he had his favorite player. My son asked which hockey player he was, so I pointed him out before the game. He got excited every time Dennis jumped on the ice and tried to talk to him every time he was on the bench. At one point during a time out in the 3rd period, the assistant coach was talking to all the D-men. When the coach was done #6 Tory Dello, a freshman, looked right at my son and put his fist against the glass. My son got star struck and sat back. My son then asked if Tory would do it again, so I told him to put his fist on the glass. Tory looked again and did it back. Still to this day – four months later – my two year old asks me if I remember when the big hockey player pounded his fist. That made his night, made him a fan, and me too. Dello has no idea how happy he made this kid.
We took my son back on New Years Eve to watch the game against Alaska. He was so excited to show his mom and grandparents the arena and watch the “Notre Dame Hockey Game”. His favorite attire now is his gear he got at the both games; He carries his ND stick around the house every day. He started pre-school today and said he was going to school at Notre Dame to play hockey before he was on the Blackhawks. Whenever we ask him what he wants to do his reply is “Go to a Notre Dame Hockey Game”.
On October 21, 2016 not only did a two year old fall in love with Notre Dame Hockey, after seeing his excitement, so did his Thirty two year old dad.