Like This Will Shock Anyone

Late Wednesday afternoon I ventured into the wilds of the suburbs for a skull-crushingly dull meeting.  Afterwards  I parked myself on a barstool because I find bourbon to be an excellent disinfection for the contamination of moronic thinking.

Midway though the A-section of the newspaper a couple of Domers sat next to me.

Domer – noun – a reference to University of Norte Dame students, alums, and fans; it can be alternately dismissive or flattering depending upon the speaker and inflection.  Common characteristics include a flexible adherence to biblical teachings (prolific fornicators that they are) and belief that College Football National Championships are a birthright (despite the fact that their last one came during the Reagan Administration.)

As is typical of any time two or more Domers are within audible range, it took half a heartbeat for conversation to turn to football.  Most of their ire was inwardly directed until they began discussing their last game, a loss to the Naval Academy.

Despite the volume of the Domers’ conversation, I largely ignored their general football ignorance.  After one too many exhortations of “I can’t believe we lost to Navy, fucking Navy,” “Navy sucks, how could we lose to them,” and finally “We couldn’t beat sorry ass Navy – they’ve got no tradition” I could no longer keep my powder dry.

“Hey, fellas, not for nothing, but Navy has a rich football history.  They were routinely in the chase for the national title, have a couple of Heisman winners, are functionally an Ivy League school, compete against and frequently beat the most talented football programs in the country, and when they’re done they go fight wars.  And, oh yeah, it’s Veteran’s Day, so maybe we could change the tone of the conversation.”

I had waded into another party’s conversation.  I shouldn’t have and I knew it.  I expected some backlash but instead one of the Domers just said “You’re right.”  He raised a glass and continued “To Veteran’s.”

The Domers moved to a table and I went back to my newspaper.  A few moments later the bartender put an unrequested bourbon in front of me.  Before I could say anything, she just said “my dad went to the Academy.”


13 Responses to Like This Will Shock Anyone

  1. Lisa says:

    I believe that’s the best shut up I’ve ever heard.

    Thank you.

  2. Jaime says:

    My sister is at the Air Force Academy, thanks for defending these amazing schools on such an important day.

    It was my pleasure, and I thank your sister for her service.

  3. Nicely done, sir.

    Thank you, ma’am

  4. kitty says:

    suburbs aren’t all bad.

    I know that they’re not all bad… just really bad for me.

  5. Gofahne says:

    Fantastic. Well defended witty remarks are often met with criticism (albeit immature critique most times), but sometimes you leave a mark. I would’ve bought you a bourbon too. Great blog.

    Thanks for your very kind words.

  6. Vie says:

    Well said. I’m glad they conceded the point.

    I am glad that no one’s ego (save my own) got involved.

  7. Kevin says:

    Bravo! I have a good friend whose entire family – all seven of them: Mom, dad, three brothers and a sister – spent at least four years in South Bend. In the words of my cousin, the child of a Domer herself, they all drank the Kool-Aid. Of course, all three of MB’s brothers joined the Navy when they graduated.

    Notre Dame has football tradition, but no game the Irish play can match the spirit of the Navy-Army game.

    I have seen many a football game, but nothing comes close to Army-Navy. Nothing.

  8. Great conversation stopper and I’m impressed they stopped and apologized.

    I was impressed that they stopped too. I painted a less than flattering picture of them, but they really were gentleman after that moment.

  9. Michelle says:

    Very nicely done RR!

    Thank you.

  10. Walter says:

    People are unknowingly arbitrary, they don’t even make an analysis of their beliefs. Maybe we should accept this fact of life. 🙂


  11. tickytalky says:

    I’m a little late on this, but you’ve got my utmost respect. My boyfriend is a firstie at USNA and every football game I’ve been to has been full of tradition and spirit from midshipmen, alumni, veterans and fans.

    Sometimes people need that outsider to step in and put everything back into perspective…and on Veteran’s Day no less. Unbelievable.

    Good for you for stepping in!

    Domers can easily loose their perspective when it comes to their football time, it is to their credit that they regained it so quickly.

  12. In college I played competitive croquet (stop laughing). And every tournament included, amongst other school, the Naval Academy. They were always the nicest, most respectful, and articulate of the bunch. Not that it’s hard to outshine a falling down drunk from Harvard.

    You did the right thing speaking up and oddly, they did the right thing by listening to your wise words.

    Seriously? Competitive Croquet? I had to read that a few times before accepting that you were not kidding about that. The opposite was true about the Harvard drunks line – it was immediately believable and too familiar.

  13. […] went against my usual find-away-to-confront-discomfort tendencies but my response wasn’t calculated… just the instinctual […]

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