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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Notre Dame’s White Field North

Subway Alumni Tailgating UM Game 2010

Unless you are a Notre Dame student, faculty member, big shot season ticket holder with a parking tag or a ‘beautiful ND person’, if you want to tailgate then it is the White Field North Parking lot for you. Those fortunate enough to possess one of the above titles or $$ can get pretty close to the stadium to park and participate in tailgating activities. Not only are they close to the action, they do not have to put up with moronic, obnoxious Skunkbear fans. (More later) In addition, it is a lot easier and closer to haul loot back from the Bookstore.

For the Subway Alumni Fan at the bottom basement price of $25, you can park your car/pickup and catch a free shuttle bus to the main campus from White Field. For $120, you can park your RV there but no over-nighters! Years ago, you could park your RV right in the JACC lot, but thanks to some fans dumping their ‘holding tanks’ that got nixed for good. We always suspected it was disgruntled Skunkbear fans back in the Lou Holtz Era.

For $40, you can park on the Burke golf course (weather permitting) but no shuttle service. It is a little closer to campus, especially the bookstore. If you get bored you can always practice your putting.

They start taking your $25 parking fee at 8:00 a.m. game day; we showed up about 8:30 and got two spots in the second row. These were great slots with the port-a-potties close and the first shuttle stop just one row up. They are pretty liberal with the spaces too, which allows for setting up camp and games. There is plenty of room to throw the pigskin around or play Corn Hole. Most of the paved lots on campus for the privileged are pretty stingy with real estate, of course it's location, location, location.

Here is what White Field looks like relatively empty. Note the RV’s way in the back.

Been to many Notre Dame Football games but this was my first tailgate experience. Was extremely blessed to have my two sons with me plus one of my boy’s old high school friends. We no sooner got the tent up and fired up the grill than it started to rain. A cold, constant rain, one that when you looked to the West where it was coming from and all you could see was gray. Therefore, it became a matter of sitting under the tent, talking football and drinking beer at 9:00 a.m.

Who sets up behind us but a vanload of rowdy Skunkbears. They pull out a noisy generator and commenced being loud and stupid. The women were ugly and the music they played sounded like something only Bo, Mo, Lloyd, or Rich would find entertaining. All we could do was consume more brats and drink additional beer. Down near the port-a-potties two more carloads of the enemy showed up and they pulled out a flat screen TV and started playing last years (2009) ND-UM Game. Damn them!  A good time to head to the Bookstore and see what new buildings were being thrown up on campus.

By the time we got back, it was still raining of course, White Field looked like this.  Please note ememy encampment.

The Field was beginning to reach rain saturation point as well. What do you want for $25 bucks? Thankfully Rudy, Touchdown Jesus, or the Weatherman thought we’d had enough because it stopped raining just before kickoff.

Ate more brats but backed off the beer, the port-a-potty lines were getting pretty long by then and we did not want to have to go to the restroom in the stadium until halftime. (Who can hold it for 4+ hours worth of NBC timeouts?)

Great game, we came up short of course. It was interesting that 80,000+ fans were trying to text or call and find out what happened to Dayne Crist. It became more frantic when Rees, then Montana threw picks. The circuits were completely overloaded.

When Kyle Rudolph caught that touchdown pass, we went crazy. I never hugged so many total strangers in my life. That soon ended when the IRISH defense could not stop Denard Robinson for the final score.

After the game, we trudged back to White Field, the heck with the shuttle.  The lines were long and nobody wanted to sit on a bus with stinky Skunkbears. The Notre Dame fans next to us had left and completely trashed their space with beer cans, liquor bottles and miscellaneous junk. The obnoxious Skunkbear fans with the flat screen TV and fight song were ringed by about half a dozen campus gendarmerie. I guess they were expecting trouble. The Skunkbears soon packed it up and went back to Ann Arbor. It was getting dark but we could still pick out the UM fans, they were the ones laying on there horns as they drove off. Talk about rubbing our noses in it.

We sat around, cried in our beer and commiserated about what could have been with a healthy Dayne Crist or if Kelly should have went for a field goal just before halftime (well it could have been some much needed Mo).

Despite the bitter loss, crappy weather, goofy UM fans, we had a simply grand time. We agreed to come back in 2011.

Good ole White Field.

Editors Note: Apparently 6-8 members of Subway Alumni Station will be attending the ND-MSU Game on September 17th. Tailgating of course.  More info to follow in September if you want to tailgate and meet some of the Staff.

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