The rest was all beery reverie, beginning with the post-game party for the Class of '55 in the athletic center. Amid the raucous back-clapping my classmate Dave Metz stood strangely mute, rolling his eyes and gesturing feebly as if senility were hard upon him. Cupping his hands around the Old Grad's ear, Metz said in a halting whisper, "I've...yelled...myself...hoarse." Don't worry, someone told him, Varrichione would stop by his motel room for the 10 p.m. bed check and teach him how to scream again.
Then, like refugees from Happy Days, the Old Grad and several classmates and their wives made the rounds of the tailgate and camper parties. Next came the alumni ball, and after many puffing two-step turns and racy dips, the party moved on to the Whistlestop restaurant.
Jim O'Shea, raising his fine Irish tenor to the rafters, almost literally broke up the joint with a rousing Macnamara's Band that had everyone in the restaurant beating on the crockery to make the drums go bang and the cymbals clang. At one point, somewhere between the first and 38th toast to the loyal sons of Notre Dame, the Old Grad pondered, if this isn't what homecomings are supposed to be all about, then why did he feel like a sophomore again?
At Mass in Sacred Heart Church the next morning, the sermon helped put everything into perspective. The theme was perseverance, hanging in there though the odds be great or small. To despair in the face of adversity, the priest said from the pulpit, was "like walking out before the fourth quarter was over." From the pew where the duly penitent Old Grad sat came a muttered "Amen."