JIM PETERS: Chesterton grad Gorman now rolls with the Tide

2013-01-03T18:00:00Z 2013-01-04T00:33:05Z JIM PETERS: Chesterton grad Gorman now rolls with the TideJim Peters Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 03, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

If you watch ESPN even just a little bit, you've probably seen the commercial.

In a steam room, at a cemetery, on a traffic stop, during a wedding reception. In each setting, the conversation is capped with the phrase, 'Roll Tide.'

The TV ad would lead you to believe that's how everybody acknowledges each other in the state of Alabama outside of Auburn. Lindsay Gorman can vouch that it's not too far from the truth.

"There's a lot of 'Roll Tide,'" she said. "It's fun to go around and be able to do that."

Gorman is a 2012 graduate of Chesterton, where she excelled on the basketball court and in the classroom. Ranked third in her class, she took her academic talents to the Tuscaloosa campus, which she attends on a full tuition scholarship.

Gorman's brother Ryan, a chemical engineering major, goes to Alabama and Lindsay's visits to see him influenced her college choice.

"The campus is just beautiful," she said. "I always thought growing up, a lot of people around here went to IU or Purdue. I never had any allegiance. I wanted to do something different."

Not necessarily the biggest football fan around, Gorman learned fast to march in step at a place where Nick Saban is revered at a level close to the Holy Trinity.

"I'm more of a basketball person, but it's really fun," said Gorman, who attended most of the Crimson Tide's home games, within walking distance of Bryant-Denny Stadium from her dorm.

"(Game days are) ridiculous, all the traditions, tailgating on the quad. There are so many tents...so many people, you can barely walk. It's an experience."

The irony of it all, what with Alabama playing Notre Dame on Monday for the national championship, is that Gorman grew up an N.D. fan.

She attended basketball camp in South Bend two, three times. Her dad is 100 percent Irish and pretty much the whole family were Golden Domers. Notice the past-tense reference.

With Ryan and Lindsay now at Alabama, the family has changed their colors to crimson.

"Now they're all Alabama," Gorman said. "My parents are also into ('Roll Tide'), too. It's funny. A lot of our friends are still Notre Dame fans. Hopefully, we'll have bragging rights at the end."

Gorman came for holiday break Dec. 15 and wasn't the only traveler to get off the plane at Midway Airport wearing a 'Bama sweatshirt.

Fellow top 10 Chesterton classmates Sean Miller and Jon Vincent also go there. When they disembarked, they were quickly outnumbered by Fighting Irish garb.

"I didn't want to pick a fight," she said.

Gorman's parents don't have tickets for the championship game, but are headed to Miami just to be part of the festive atmosphere.

Lindsay is heading back to Alabama on Sunday and of course plans to watch the clash of No. 1 and No. 2 Monday night. Classes don't start until Wednesday, so students will have a day to regroup, win or lose.

"Last year, they did the same thing. I think they built that into the schedule," Gorman said. "It'll be fun. I'm really excited."

As her grades would attest, Gorman's no dummy. Living less than an hour from Notre Dame, she wouldn't budge on repeated requests for a detailed prediction.

"It'll be a good game," she said, "but I think Alabama's a little bit better."

Roll Tide.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at jim.peters@nwi.com

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