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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Notre Dame Stadium Crowd Noise

No dominate color, only the student section
Last week Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick visited both campus dining facilities and encouraged the students to cheer during the upcoming USC game this week.

“I need your passion,’ he said.  “traveling around with our Team, and our stadium is the quietest place we play.  I want you guys on that Saturday night at least once to make USC have a false start penalty.”
Obviously Swarbrick is aware of something that has been quite noticeable to anyone who attends a Notre Dame home football game.  Maybe he doesn‘t spend all his time in the ND luxury box with the Notre Dame beautiful people, movers and shakers, and invited guest and dignitaries.

Jack let me tell you the problem is not the students.  They can get plenty loud when needed and when the time is ripe for noise.  In fact, on the other hand, the Administration over the years has encouraged the ushers and security (using binoculars and plain clothes personnel) to spy on the student body and take care of what they consider rowdy individuals.  What constitutes rowdiness?  One year it was marsh mellow fights.  One year toilet paper throwing.  Another year tossing oranges around because the Team was going to the Orange Bowl.  The ushers and security need to leave the students alone.
The real problem is everyone else.  Well then actually who is everyone else?

First.  Attending a Notre Dame Football game for many is a once in a lifetime experience.  Something like attending a World Series Game or the Super Bowl.  An event to remember, an item on the “Bucket List”, something you have always wanted to do.  Been there, done it, seen it, type thing. 
I go to a home game almost every year, been doing it since 1986.  At the MSU game this year, two guys sat down next to me and were not wearing any Notre Dame or enemy apparel.  In fact, one guy wore a St. Louis Cardinal sweatshirt.  They left at half-time never to be seen again.  I heard them commenting that this being their first time on campus and attending a game.  I either run across them in the Stadium, tailgating, or in the Bookstore.  An awful lot of spectators are once in a life time types and they don’t cheer with the passion of the true fans.

Second.  There are a whole lot of “Blue Hairs” that attend games and don’t cheer or yell for the defense to rip someone’s face off and scare them with it.  Saw a ton of them at the Michigan game last year and I suspect they will be out in force at the USC game.  Many are perennial season ticket holders that save one game to attend and give/sell the rest to first time folks.  The Blue Hairs are the ones yelling ”down in front” as well.  (Man I hate that)  I wish they would just stay home and tend to their gardens or something.
Third.  This group are those that sell their season tickets for profit. There are a lot more in this category than Jack would like to admit.  Got my MSU tickets from my son who bought them off the internet.  On the front of the ticket in red letters, Faculty/Staff use only not for resale.  Duh, they get season ticket packages at a $100 discount and resell them at least double face value.  The USC tickets are probably going for three or four times that.  This is how a lot of the onetime only folks get into the Stadium.

Fourth.  These are my favorites, all the season ticket holders in the gold seats.  They are the ones that clap politely, the nice crowd folks.  They never yell “down in front” because none of them ever stand.
Besides the many spectators who are not true Irish fans and don’t cheer, two architectural issues stand in the way of crowd noise.

·         The Stadium does not hold sound.  It’s a bowl and the sound simply dissipates up and out.

·         There is no Jumbotron.  A Jumbotron encourages the crowd to yell or boo and make noise.  Go to a Michigan game and listen.  Also, I don’t mean what our lame attempt of a Stadium Scoreboard signals with “Make Noise” or DEEEEEFENSE, et al.  I just wish they would stop that crap.  No we do not need a Jumbotron either, just stating the facts.
So what else can Jack Swarbrick do to get the Blue Hairs, Gold Seaters, and one-time event fans to make noise along with the students?  Get them to be part of what is going on.
Kelly Green Notre Dame Fan

Some Easy Stuff:

**  Wear Kelly Green and have a Green Out like when PSU wears white and Alabama, Wisconsin, Nebraska wear red.
Penn State White-Out

**  Handout Kelly Green pomp-pomps, similar to what most of the SEC teams do.
Maize Out With Pomp Pomps

**  Handout Kelly Green towels.
**  Figure out how to make NBC happy without all the momentum killing TV timeouts.
**  Stop the constant “recognition “crap during every break in the action.  (Do it at half-time or before the game)
**  Double the size of the cheerleading squad and add a second Leprechaun. 
**  Get our Band to play the song Gary Owen every time our defense takes the field and when they force the opponent to punt.  (Gary Owen is a US Calvary tune, which is actually an Irish ballard.  Listen Here.
Noisy Closed, Red Alabama Studium

Some Tough Stuff:

**  Move the student body section to right behind the Team.  Talk about generating noise.
**  Conduct a 100% review and reissue all season tickets.  Anybody who has had them for ten years is out of luck.  Increase the alumni lottery.  All staff and faculty must show ID with their tickets.
**  Do away with reserved seating.  First come first seated.
**  Limit opposing team bands.

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Anonymous said...

Gee, the crowd sounds plenty loud on TV. Can't compare since it's been years when I've watched them in an away stadium. I just arranged for my BC tickets. Get a hold of a Monogram winner you were acquainted with; they always get extra tickets.

Grim Jack

Subway Alumni said...


I’m going to pass on BC. I jinx ND.

Last time was when ND was ranked #1just after beating FSU and BC upset them in the last seconds at home. I was sitting in the end zone where that BC kicker lucked out a field goal.

That sucked.

Cheer for me though. I will be in the Lazy boy holding my favorite brewski.

Subway Alumni

Anonymous said...

We all remember that season breaker. Poor Bobby Bowdin, all these years, let's vote him a championship before he passes on. That and Paulus was enough for Holtz and he packed it up.

For some dumb reason BC had us by the short hairs year after year. They're now back to normal.

Grim Jack

This USC game will enlighten everyone to where we are in this rock climb of rating.