A Brief History of the Fighting Irish Football Team by Tom Colton
Even before Tom Colton got accepted at the University of Notre Dame, he was already a huge fan of its college football team. He picked the University for his undergraduate degree (luckily, he got accepted) because he felt that it was the next best option since he wasn’t physically built to play college football. This year, he hopes to become a student assistant for the team. Tom Colton figures that it’s the closest thing to achieving his dream of becoming a part of the prestigious football team.
So how did Tom develop a huge liking for the team? First, he has been closely following the team for as long as he can remember. Secondly, he has been learning everything he could about it and what he has learned so far is enough to make anyone a fan. To simply say that the team is “great” or “awesome” wouldn’t be enough. But Tom Colton is afraid that whenever anyone asked him about why he likes the team so much, his reasons were generally limited to these two words, unless they have the time to listen to him boast about its proud history and achievements.
Did you know that the football team tanked the very first game they ever played? This happened way back in November 1887. In a game against the Michigan Wolverines, the Fighting Irish (then called the “Catholics”) played an embarrassing game, losing to the Wolverines with a score of 8-0. They, however, made a comeback when they won the game against Harvard Prep School by a score of 20-0. They finished their first ever football season (1888) with a record of 1-3, where they lost all three games to the Michigan Wolverines.
The very first touchdown pass caught in the school’s football history was by then football end Fay F. Wood in a game against the Franklin Grizzlies in 1908. From this point on, the Fighting Irish would show more power on the field. And in 1909, another landmark achievement made it to the school’s football history: their very first win over strong rival Michigan. This landmark achievement, in the opinion of Tom Colton, showed how much of a sore loser the Wolverines were as they refused to play against the Fighting Irish for the next33 years!
The Knute Rockne era (from the years 1981-1930) was the time when the team truly showed their opponents what they were madeof. During his time as team coach, he propelled the team to win three national championship titles, with two in consecutive seasons (1924, 1929, and 1930).
From that time on, the team would win several other national championship titles, adding up to a total of 11.
Today, the University of Notre Dame’s football program remains on top of the list of the best college football programs in the country. It has produced a total 495 players picked by the NFL.
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