Saturday, October 17, 2009
Strong Bodies Fight That Weak Bodies May Be Nourished
I watched My Fighting Irish keep step with the hated Trojans for 59 minutes and 59 seconds of regulation football time, only to see them run out of it in the last moments. They came up a touchdown short, and really it wasn't as close as the score makes it sound, but in the last quarter they sure cozied up to the possibility of an upset win. It was heartbreaking, in a way, but also a triumph. Going in the Trojans were top-five and the Irish were top-nothing.
But if beating USC is the only bright side to the University of Notre Dame, then it would be mighty dark indeed. In fact, if ND football were the only bright side, then it's fairly dim these days. So luckily there's still lots about Notre Dame to be proud of. One of the most fantastic stories out of Notre Dame are the Bengal Bouts. Intramural boxing in which all proceeds from the tournament go to a Holy Cross mission in Bangladesh. It's been going on since the middle of last century, and it is quite a tradition.
Walk around campus on any day and you'll see these determined young men wearing 'Notre Dame Boxing" sweatshirts. You'd think their feet don't touch the ground. These are serious, focused gentlemen who quietly go about their sememsters, probably keeping above-average GPAs to keep themselves on the teams, training intensely in the gym, learning the sweet science, usually for the first time. The Bengal Bouts are their only destination, and their hope is to advance each night to make it to the finals. Now I've seen some bad amateur boxing and this ain't it. In fact, the Bengal Bouts is a ferocious flurry of leather, for very little glory to the participants save the bruises and the sweatshirt. The beneficiaries are the weak bodies in Bangladesh.