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On March 17, Luck of the Irish isn’t just for the Irish

March 19th, 2009

Every person has a favorite holiday. Some like Thanksgiving, some like Christmas. Others cannot wait for Easter or Passover.

Many college students would rank a certain holiday that we just celebrated as their favorite.

No, it’s not March 16, which is Everything You Do Is Right Day (a day Andrew Rafferty would love), or March 15, Everything You Do Is Wrong Day (which I especially love), but March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.

On this day, students across the country throw on their green clothes, paint their faces and wear hats that read, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.” Since the Indians, Cavs and Browns have yet to win a championship in our lifetimes, it is also one of the only acceptable days in downtown Cleveland people can loiter on city streets and cheer for the motorcades and floats going down Superior Avenue.

As someone who has a wee bit of Irish blood running through her veins, I also enjoy the day dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland. Corned beef, red potatoes, the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade and my Aunt Beth’s special “potato candy” are all reasons I love St. Patrick’s Day and being Irish.

But most importantly, being Irish means having the luck of the Irish. According to Edward O’Donnell, an associate professor of history at Holy Cross College, the phrase originated when many Irish immigrants and Irish Americans were among the first to successfully mine for gold and silver in the United States during the late 19th century. So the luck doesn’t come directly from the motherland. Does that mean it is any less powerful?

To me, the luck of the Irish truly exists and is just as powerful as if it came right from the Emerald Isle. Some get all the luck. A good example is Browns quarterback Brady Quinn.

Not only does he have Irish heritage, but he grew up in Dublin, Ohio, played football for the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks and then went on to lead the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2006 to its first BCS bowl game since its last Fiesta Bowl fiasco in 2001.

How much luck can one guy have?

Yes, the luck can run out – Quinn lost to Ohio State in his bowl appearance – but you get my point. The Irish are lucky people.

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish, and thus, everyone has all the luck.

I think St. Patrick would like that, especially since the man himself was of British descent. Although the holiday is over, it is never too early to start preparing for next year, or to start believing in the luck of the Irish.

I’m still hoping that Brady left a bit of his Irish luck somewhere in South Bend for Jimmy Clausen.