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A (Jacobsen) House Divided

Jan 6, 2013, 2:55 PM EDT

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I’m sure there are thousands and thousands of families across the country that actually enjoy rooting for opposing teams. I’m told there are families where the sisters and brothers who graduated from rival institutions can commandeer opposite sides of the couch, make a lot of noise, and force the loser to take out the trash at the end of 40 minutes of basketball. I’ve heard there are cousins from neighboring states who engage in good-natured trash-talking in the week before their state flagship universities face off on the gridiron.

But my family is not one of them. My mom is a Connecticut grad and one heck of a dedicated fan. (By dedicated I mean she would try to use our dial-up connection to get radio broadcasts of basketball games back when we lived overseas.) We can start out watching Notre Dame-Connecticut games together, but we’ve yet to finish watching the game in the same room.

Which is why I thought it might have been just as well that a family outing went so far off track that we missed the game and learned the final score of yesterday’s 73-72 Notre Dame win on my phone.

But it turns out that her response was not tempered by the fact that we hadn’t actually watched the game.

“Your school is really starting to annoy me,” she said (The Huskies have lost five or their last six against the Irish, after all.) Then the kicker – “I might have to root for Alabama on Monday.”

(She was kidding. I think.)

While I’ll never think twice about cheering whole-heartedly for Notre Dame, I can’t pretend that it’s ever easy to cheer against my former-favorite team, now relegated to second place in my heart. I still root for the Huskies when they play any other team.

A rematch of these two powerhouses would make in the championship final would make for a great game and great TV. But for the sake of Jacobsen family harmony, another match-up might be safer.

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