End of an Era: ND super-fan missed only 14 games since 1953

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 2:17 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Tailgating and football go hand in hand for many Fighting Irish fans, but this year things will look a lot different. And for Chuck Sausman, it’s the end of an era.

He’s only missed 14 home games since 1953. Sausman missed seeing those games in person while serving all over in the military.

“Armed Forces Radio carried all the Notre Dame games,” Sausman said. “We were in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on a submarine on the helicopter deck, listening to the Notre Dame game.”

This would have been Sausman’s 49th year as a season ticket holder but this year, like so many of us, he’ll be watching from a different seat.

“Football and tailgating are a big part of my life,” Sausman said. “To sit at home and watch on tv, with no fans, I can’t get into it.”

If there’s one thing Sausman is known for, it’s his tailgate. “We have multiple tents, grills, a menu every week, you just come and enjoy yourself,” Sausman said.

While this season will look different, Sausman says he’s just grateful to be cheering on his blue and gold.

“It is what it is,” Sausman said. “We’ll move forward, hopefully we’ll have it in the stands next year for my last year. I’ll be a 50 year ticket holder and turning 75.”

As he gets ready to hang up his tailgating apron and sacred ball cap, he thinks about what the university means to him and what he means to the university.

“My legacy will be, Chuck, Notre Dame.”

Copyright 2020 WNDU. All rights reserved.

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