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Swarbrick challenges student section

Oct 13, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Practice

With fall break approaching, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick took an interesting message to the dining halls Wednesday, where he addressed students a little over a week before the premiere home football game of the season.

Be louder.

It’s clear that while Brian Kelly and the Irish haven’t officially turned the page to USC yet, the school and student body, not to mention the rest of ND Nation, are ready for their annual date with the Trojans.

Douglas Farmer, Editor in Chief of The Observer, had this to say about Swarbrick’s message to students as the university prepares for Notre Dame Stadium’s first night game in over two decades:

“We have a really important football game the Saturday you return from fall break,” Swarbrick said to a full dining room in South Dining Hall, referring to the Oct. 22 game against USC. “I need two things from you to make that night successful.”

Swarbrick acknowledged a hotly contested sentiment among Irish fans, commented on the energetic atmosphere, or lack thereof, of Notre Dame Stadium and encouraged the Irish student body to take matters into its own hands.

“I need your passion,” he said. “I travel 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.”

Swarbrick’s plea to the students should also be echoed to the rest of the game day patrons that spend Saturday afternoons in Notre Dame Stadium. The nighttime atmosphere has the chance to be electric, but it’ll require fans that have gotten used to sitting and watching be ready to spend the majority of the evening on their feet cheering.

Of course, the second part of Swarbrick’s plea to the students was for responsible behavior leading up to the game. A 7:40 p.m. kickoff is plenty late, and gives students and tailgaters an extra four hours to enjoy the pregame festivities, as long as they do so responsibly. If Notre Dame wants to turn a night time kickoff into a near annual tradition, they’ll need to get through this test run without any major incidents.



  1. dickasman - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Its because ND fanbase has massive amounts of stuffy, STUBBORN, 1938 four focking horseman, geritol taking centrum silver crowd, much like the douches that posts on here. We need to get some focking youngbloods in there. I remember going to many games where the old geezers were complaining because we stood up and cheered and they just focking sat there…im talking 50 yard line 15 rows up where it should be the most raucous crowd. Instead, ND has these 89 year old season ticket holders that’s been passed on for 89 generations, steve bartman looking mf’ers w the ear muffs and listening to am radio on the headphones, complaining about the weather. Jack Swarbrick is one of them. Jack, if you’re listening, getting a jumbo tron would definitely help getting more rise out of the crowd. I am all for tradition but I am also for living up to today’s standards as well.

    • tedlinko - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      …And I am all for being passionate, (and largely agree with your points) but you could make them without all the faux profanity.

      • dickasman - Oct 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        Well Ted, consider me the “Tony Rice”, “Ricky Watters” or one of many 2011 ND freshman’s that only got 18 on the ACT if this makes you happy

      • nddomer2 - Oct 15, 2011 at 1:59 AM

        So does that mean you got a 14 on your act

    • hyde - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Yeah, I’ve been asked to sit down a few times. This is football not the orchestra. Swarbrick could also stop raising ticket prices year after year.

      • bernhtp - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        Ticket face prices are typically a fraction of the market price, so lowering the face price would just put more pockets into resellers and do nothing for the fan or university.

  2. dickasman - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I don’t get it…they want the crowd to be more raucous but like civil? You’re asking for near impossible. Holy sht, are you guys out of touch. A little racousness is to be expected at a focking college football game. Cmon, these are 18 19 year old college kids. If they are able to pass the classes, carry the GPA and stay in school at ND, who cares, let them have a little fun! Let’s give the ND students a little credit here. They’re probably a little bit more responsible than some of these other fans.

    Hey guys, be loud but don’t be loud ok?….talk about a focking OXYMORON! HELLO….That’s why I stopped going to ND football games. High school games are more fun than Saturday afternoons at South Bend. Live ND football Games are lame as $hit. Add the focking jumbotron already so I can actually think about going back.

    • paiten34 - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:05 AM

      Ok please tell me how a jumbotron will make those stuff shirt old timers any louder? People who sit on their hands at games will still sit on their hands no matter how many jumbotrons or how loud you play music at the games. The point that our AD Is making points out that the student section at ND stadium is no louder than the rest of the stadium. Yes, I’ve been told to sit down at ND games just as I’ve been told to sit down at games all over the country. Some people are just ass holes who think their comfort is all that matters.

      As for the message to have fun but remember to be civil is about the pre game parties and tailgating. I don’t think he’s directing his comments to the game crowd. I don’t think any school in the country want’s a repeat of what happened during the late80s and early90s between Notre Dame and Miami.

  3. 808raiderinparadise - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM


    • 808raiderinparadise - Oct 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM


  4. smurphdoggy29 - Oct 13, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    I hope the Students and Fans take heed Mr. Swarbrick !!

    It would be quite the complement to the emerging team we are seeing on the field to have their passionate fans just get crazy and loud !! The Colosseum in Los Angeles is usually loud, so I will be looking to see if the Student’s can live up to the challenge of one false start penalty !!!

    Come on fan base RISE UP, I say ya got ta RISE UP !!

  5. ndfanwabashman - Oct 13, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Nothing Swarbrick has said, or will say, is going to change the fact that Notre Dame is a quiet stadium. The fans don’t want people to stand and cheer. They scream at you to sit down, they cover their ears when you yell. This is not a new problem, and it is caused by several factors that others have noted.

    1.) The fan base is old. Old wealthy alumni come to games, sit on their hands, and complain about all the young wippersnappers.
    2.) As someone else noted, it is getting more and more expensive to go to a game. These days very few other than rich alumni can afford a single game ticket let alone season tickets. The geriatric crowd that can shell out $400 for four tickets seven times a season are not the same type that go nuts at a sporting event.
    3.) There is a push, and understandably so, to make the atmosphere more family friendly. They have 0 tolerance for drunks, swearing and general rowdy behavior. While I agree it makes it a more welcoming experience for the young ones, no one can deny this causes the stadium to have a subdued feel.
    4.) Recent history has caused fans to be more cautious then optimistic. When the Irish were pounding Michigan in the Big House, all of the Notre Dame fans around me shared my trepidation about the outcome. Michigan fans, however, were still feeding off every great play, still sensing that they could come back.

    The best I can hope for is that people really get excited about this night game. Before the “Bush Push” game in ’05, there was a guy in the bathroom before the game standing at the urinal yelling “If you do not stand up, and you do not cheer, I will punch you” over and over. While he was clearly intoxicated I was happy to see some fans are still willing to get the fanbase up off their seats and making some noise. If you are a fan that does want to stand up and cheer, I hope that next week you take the lead. Ignore the haters for one day and get people up and moving. Go Irish, be loud.

    • bernhtp - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      You’re right. I would add a small student body relative to the size of the stadium. The undergraduate population comprises less than 10% of the stadium capacity.

      With that said, I am in an “expensive” section (pretty low, 45 yd line, press box side) and it gets pretty loud. People stand and cheer the best they can, but nothing can replace the lungs of 20 year old kids.

    • 9irish - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

      I don’t know. Agree with almost every comment on here. It’s become like a polo match or something. Too much money in there. On the other hand, I don’t want it to become like an OSU game either, which are like leaving a bar at 2:30 am (and that is BEFORE the game starts!) All the students should have tickets, and should use them. I don’t know how to fix the rest of it.

      • notredamegrad - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:57 PM

        I agree that all of the students should have tickets, and I think one way to get that to happen is to reduce the price for them. Tickets to the five home games cost $210 for ND students, $300 for St. Mary’s and Holy Cross. Now, that may be pocket change for those undergrads with well-off parents willing to pay for them, but there are undergrads whose parents won’t do it, and who can’t afford it themselves, so they either go without or split a book amongst friends.

        More significantly, there are 8,400 undergrads at ND, 3,400 grad students, and another 1,500 enrolled in the Law and MBA programs. Those 4,900 grad and professional students do not have parents to pay for those tickets and cannot afford them while going into debt to pay for their post-undergrad education. See empty space in the student section? Missing grad students, law students, and MBA students. Where are they on Saturdays? Shouting at televisions in bars and houses across South Bend. Cut the prices for them (and the undergrads), and you’ll increase the student crowd dramatically.

      • bernhtp - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        Again, it’s all about numbers. U Texas has an undergraduate population almost 40% of the stadium capacity – that’s 4x that of Notre Dame. However, even with this enormous advantage, Jumbotron and all, I don’t find it louder than Notre Dame. OSU has numbers similar to U Texas. I also went to the USC Coliseum last year, and it was pretty damn quiet.

        Don’t bitch out the older alumni. Notre Dame has amazing fan loyalty and they should be commended. They do the best they can and frankly outdo their counterparts elsewhere. Again, it’s the numbers.

        Let’s look at some other numbers. I go to a couple of U Texas games a year and have gotten a first row, 50 yard-line ticket twice on the market for about $150. To get the same ticket at Notre Dame, I would first need to donate a dorm and then wait for at least twenty people to die; you just don’t see first row gold seats on Stubhub. Furthermore, U Texas has 4-5 times the student and alumni population, most of the alumni live close to Austin, Austin is a fun and temperate place to visit, etc. U Texas has everything in its favor and its numbers still don’t compare.

        We should all be very proud of Notre Dame and what they have achieved. People just don’t go to games; they make a pilgrimage. The love is palpable. Yes, Notre Dame has proportionately far fewer students to make a lot of noise, but it is what it is for a reason, and I wouldn’t change anything.

      • notredamegrad - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:43 PM

        Bernhtp, you’re right that some of it is sheer numbers – a relatively small student population – and as you say above, “nothing can replace the lungs of 20 year old kids.” Don’t you think making games accessible to ND’s grad, MBA, and law students would help, filling at least 4,000 extra seats with young lungs? Wouldn’t we all like to have access to less expensive tickets, like you do for UT games? Why not make face-value tickets more easily available? Why not reduce student ticket prices?

      • bernhtp - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        notredamegrad: I don’t think reducing the ticket price for grad/professional students would make any difference in purchases or attendance. The vast majority of students go already.

        I don’t understand your point about more face-value tickets. It’s purely an issue of supply and demand. All tickets get bought initially for face value and then many are subsequently resold. Notre Dame tickets are in extremely high demand (e.g., look at and nothing other than increasing seating capacity would make a difference in the market price of tickets. I’ve seen tickets go for $3000+ for really good seats at big games, though you can get upper section end zone tickets for lesser games at face value (sometimes less).

      • notredamegrad - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:08 PM

        Actually, the vast majority of those 4,900 grad/pro. students do not go, and for a very large number of them, it has a lot to do with price. $210 may not be much for someone with a job, but someone plunging themselves into debt or scraping by on a stipend has trouble justifying that. Many love ND football, watch every game, and would love to go to them, but pass because of price.

        Face value tickets are available through ND starting the week of each game – even day-of – and that’s the way to go if you can do it, but it doesn’t help fans who need to buy tickets before traveling to South Bend. Maybe there just isn’t a way to ensure fans are buying tickets directly – maybe capping purchases at 10 tickets? Why could you find UT tickets so cheap? Low demand? High supply?

      • bernhtp - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        It’s been a long time since school for me and so you may be far more current on what is going on now. I just find it hard to believe that $210 for six games (Notre Dame games at that) is a huge deal for most grad/pre-pro students.

        However, I will say that there is a huge cultural difference between undergrads and grads. Undergrads live in dorms, are younger, and fully drink the Kool-aid. It is special. Grads come from somewhere else, are used to living away from home, have roots in another university where they did their undergrad, and are extremely focused on their specialty. The level of enthusiasm is radically different. This has far more effect on attendance than does $35/game.

        BTW: are you watching Kelly on ESPN with Holtz and May. A full hour, and very cool.

      • lordsummer - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:51 AM

        I was definitely that graduate student from 2002-2005. Now, while having an excuse to skip most of the Willingham Era was probably not a bad thing, I can definitely tell you I would have gone to more games if the tickets cost less…and I was a science grad student, i.e., I was MAKING $20,000 a year to go to school. I can’t really make the argument that I should have gotten tickets cheaper…well, maybe I can…but for those who are actually paying to go to ND, I’ve always thought it was laughably, sickeningly greedy that they then get charged extra to go to football games.

        On the other hand, apropos to this actual article, I think it’s hilarious and awesome that the athletic director hit the dining halls to pimp for more noise. At least one false start on SC…love it.

      • notredamegrad - Oct 14, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        Student ticket prices are exorbitantly expensive at ND compared to other universities with flourishing football programs and raucous student fans. No way around it. Here are the 2011 student ticket prices per home game for just a few major schools:

        Stanford – $0 (7 games)
        Alabama – $5 (7 games)
        UGA – $8 (6 games)
        UT – $13 (6 games)
        USC – $22 (7 games)
        U Oklahoma – $28 (6 games)
        U Michigan – $31 (8 games)

        And by far, the most expensive…
        ND – $42 (5 games)

        This is something the AD can and should do something about.

      • standingdomer - Oct 14, 2011 at 7:15 PM

        as a 2008 grad school alumnus, it pains me to read this. I can’t speak for ALL the schools, but the MBAs and Law School students were there in droves, shared the excitement, felt privileged to be there and were loud. as for the cost of tickets, it’s not that big a deal to a grad student (if you’re taking out student loans, the incremental cost is next to nothing and SO worth it).

        as for the cultural difference, these facts are true enough: ” Undergrads live in dorms, are younger, and fully drink the Kool-aid. It is special.” but Fischer now counts for “somewhere else?” so the circumstances of the experience are different, clearly. and your argument may make sense logically, but the student body i went to school with doesn’t support the idea that grad students are less passionate.

        many grad students, removed from there undergrad experience, embrace Notre Dame as #1 in their hearts. Others only wished they could have attended as undergrads but could not, and fully embraced their time on campus like the dream come true that it was. others, like myself, didn’t realize how special Notre Dame was at 17. Many from the northeast don’t consider leaving, what with all the local options, and i didn’t bother looking past my backyard. DUMB. but many, when they DO discover Notre Dame later in life, jump at the chance… foregoing higher ranked and more convenient to attend schools without a moment’s hesitation.

        Notre Dame, as an institution, calls to people. and while people may hear that call at different times in there lives, it MEANS something to all of them to attend Notre Dame. It’s a dream come true to become a member of the family and live out the rest of one’s life as a Domer.

        there’s passion there. trust me.

      • bernhtp - Oct 14, 2011 at 8:12 PM


        Help me out here. notredamegrad tells me that few of the grads/pro students go to games and that some of the reason has to do with the season ticket price ($35/game). The price objection didn’t make sense to me and my experience with grads (admittedly from many years ago) was that most went to games, albeit at numbers and rabid enthusiasm somewhat lower than that of undergrads.

        Are you saying that notredamegrad is very wrong and that most grads go to games and have similar enthusiasm/loyalty to undergrads (on average)?

        I have friends in the administration and can probably get the figures on the ticket purchase rate of undergrads and grads. I know that it was always been astronomically high for undergrads (I have a godson there now).

    • standingdomer - Oct 14, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      TOTALLY feel you on this, but disagree with the conclusion.

      I am sick of getting yelled at to sit down…either on third down in the 2nd half down to USC 2 years ago or in the 2nd half of the opener this year.

      What made the drive back from Ann Arbor especially bad last month was how awesome the atmosphere was compared to ours (even taking out the jumbo-tron, music and maize pom poms or whatever they’re called). Sitting in Wolverine territory, I thought my standing would be an issue. NOPE! the old geriatrics in our section stood. and when they were tired, they sat and peered through the crowd, but were still LOUD. AND all were super good sports. when we were up, when they were up… didn’t matter. we were all excited to be there and cheering at the top of our lungs. it was always about the play on the field. raucous and decent behavior are not mutually exclusive.

      but there IS something Swarbrick can do. This may sound totally lame, but how about a ‘free to stand’ section? it could start off small. in the back row so no views are obstructed and if the experiment works, it could extend down progressively row by row. or extend from behind the student section? fans applying for tickets could check a box asking for seats in this section.

      honestly, the hassle from other fans has ruined the experience for large parts of the game. i wish i could get back into the student section and stand the whole time just to avoid the hassle of showing my support for the team.

  6. carlisleirishfan - Oct 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    I second the jumbotron for energy in the stadium. My first trip to ND was the MSU game two years ago. I had a great trip, but during commericials and timeouts the stadium feels dead. Just don’t cover Touchdown Jesus.

  7. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Hopefully, the 4 extra hours of tailgating will help some fans to get all tuned up, let loose and scream their nads off. Swarbrick is so out of touch….he wants the student section and fans to go crazy, but do so responsibly. Quite the oxymoron. My solution? Play more games in the Meadowlands or Yankee Stadium…..we got your crowd noise right here Jack. (That last sentence comes with an accompanying gesture that can’t be transmitted adequately via a blog site). This elitist argument takes on so many forms at ND from admission standards to crowd noise to composition of the student body. It really does make an impact on the crowd noise, however. StubHub right now has ND-USC tickets ranging in price from 188.00 to 1275.00. A princely sum in this economy indeed, not to mention travel costs to Bumfock, Indiana (shout out to you dickasman) if you live in any part of the civilized world, together with lodging that is jacked up threefold for game weekends with a required 3 night minimum stay and what you get are a bunch of tight-assed Blakes and Tads and Sloanes in the stands. Not the type of fan that is necessarily going to go crazy. Maybe we could import some of the proletarian occupiers of Wall Street to augment the student section. They could kill two birds with one stone: increase crowd noise while protesting the audacity of those “one per centers” who crowd the SB airport Friday night with their G650’s.

    • 1historian - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      good one

    • 1historian - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      I don’t get it – a season ticket @ND is $210, but wouldn’t that cost be spread over 7 games?

      • notredamegrad - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Apologies – it should be $35/game for ND (plus whatever tax/service charge on that, so maybe $37/$38). Still _significantly_ more than most other schools with strong FB programs. Far as I can tell, only Oregon comes close ($36/game).

  8. jerseyshorendfan1 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Oh yeah and get a jumbotron. I third the idea.

  9. ndgiants11 - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Wish I was old enough to remember these days.

    • mattnef - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      A flag on the crowd? I have never heard of such a thing. That is crazy. This clip should be distributed before the game for all in attendance.

      • alsatiannd - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        I was a freshman at that game. I distinctly remember the words that rippled through our section: Michigan’s on the two, a five yard penalty doesn’t matter. FU. So we yelled louder.

        Historical footnote: our biggest cheerleader in the Freshman section that year was one guy in the top row. One guy. He alone would yell out the cheers and the entire freshman section would take it up. The cheerleaders on the ground would look up at him and take cues from him too. That guy was Ted Leo, and if you follow music you know who that is.

        One fan can make a huge difference.

      • alsatiannd - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        #7, who was in on that massive stop, was Andre Jones. T.J. Jones’s father who just passed away. Andre Jones was a great, understated player.

    • smurphdoggy29 - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

      I remember that game, and being so beside myself with anger when they assessed the penalty for crowd noise CROWD NOISE of all the childish reasons, I digress though…

      The first thought that came to mind when I saw this clip on here was this = ALL Notre Dame fans who were watching on TV c’mon admit it, you know we were, you know it !!!

      That’s right we were all screaming are darn fool heads off at the same time AT the TV while the crowd was cheering in the stadium, admit it you know you were !!

      Like THAT helps or does anything…..

      It does ya know !!

  10. irishnole - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    I have seen how much an apathetic fanbase can make a difference. When FSU played Okalahoma earlier this year the atmosphere was amazing, even though we lost the crowd had an impact on the game. Even Kirk and Brett acknowledged how loud the FSU home crowd was. Even more surprising was that we had fewer arrests did against Charleston Southern or UL-Monroe. Go Irish, step up and make ND stadium one of the best places to play, BEAT USC!!!

  11. papadec - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    My son graduated from Wash St U in 2010. I went to four Dad’s weekends while he was there. I’m pretty sure they lost ALL the games. The tickets cost about $40/each. Most of the students sat between the 40s – not relegated to the corner (like the ND students @ the game we went to last weekend). There was noise ALL the time at those WAZZU games (on the student side of the field) – even with a lot of empty seats in the stadium – winning or losing. The student body complaint is the same that I’m reading here – the “geezer alumni”, on the other side of the field, don’t make noise. WAZZU plays a game/year in Seattle @ the Seahawks Stadium (whatever corporate name it has now). It doesn’t get sold out. The students & fraternity alumni have some damn good pre-game tailgating around the stadium – BUT, not at the Stadium parking lots. My son was in a Fraternity, and is still active as an alum. Despite the bad rap many frats (and sororities) get they sure are the heart & soul of school pride & spirit at the games. Living in the Seattle area, I have attended U Wash games also. It’s the same thing – students get to sit at mid-field and make a lot of noise. ND has decided to pursue the dollar & caters to the big ticket alumni contributions. If Jack Swarbrick wants noise – put the students where they belong – on the 50 yard line. Now that’s really not going to come close to competing with what any of the schools with fraternities & sororities do for noise – but in my opinion, it’s where the students deserve to be. I’m not even going to suggest a Greek system @ ND – BUT, for spirit and noise, ND will never come close to competing with schools that have a Greek system.

    • lordsummer - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:57 AM

      I don’t think the Greek thing is true. The dorms at ND are like their own Greek houses, especially if you go to a pep rally or other public function. It’s the overall tenor of the school, not frats.

      • papadec - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:45 AM

        I both agree & disagree with you. I attended a ND game in 1968 when my brother was a student there. I stayed with him in the dorm – I had a great weekend. The dorm partying was like a frat house – except no girls staying the night. (at least not that I am aware of) We didn’t have to worry about driving anywhere. The Pep rally, in 1968, was fantastic in the old Field House. When I went to the games @ WAZZU, I stayed in my son’s Frat house. There were father & son activities @ the house all weekend. If there was a Pep Rally – we didn’t go. We were having too much fun @ the house. I didn’t have to worry about driving anywhere. Martin Stadium is walking distance to Greek Row. This past weekend, I took my son to his first game @ ND, we met my brother & his son for a family reunion. We had a great time – especially the two boys. BUT, I thought the Pep Rally was kind of lame, out on the grass. So did some of the alums I spoke to, during the weekend. My perception is that there were many more young children @ this Pep Rally, and not many students. The Pep Rally didn’t come close to what I experienced in 1968. I graduated from Northeastern U, in Boston. I think most High Schools could & still can beat the NU football teams. NU is not a football powerhouse. BUT, the frats turn out for the games and make a lot of noise. At least they did when I was a student there. So, in that regard I do think it is a frat thing. Of the Colleges & Universities that I have attended football games at – I would say that ND is currently more like what I remember @ Harvard. Very reserved. Yes. It is most definitely the overall tenor of the school – and schools with frats are louder and way more rowdy at the games.

  12. dbldmr - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    I’m one of the 1938 Four Horsemen alumni dickasman so ardently loves. I find the atmosphere at the games to be deadly dull also. To me the biggest buzz kill is what happens (or doesn’t) during the interminable TV timeouts. He’s right…watching the game live can be a beating. As much as I appreciate the efforts of the various teams, clubs, professors, etc. it doesn’t exactly feed the atmosphere of excitement to have their accomplishments recognized during a football game.

    There is nothing worse than watching the defense come up with an interception and having the crowd screaming…followed by a never-ending break in which we are treated to an official with day-glo orange sleeves standing at the 35 yard line making sure that the NBC audience doesn’t miss a second of the Frito-Lay commercial while the fencing team is recognized for its most recent tournament victory. Is it any wonder that everyone (including alumni of all ages) is in advanced state of torpor when action finally resumes? It’s tough to be on a real high, take a three or four minute break, and resume the previous state of excitement.

    Bring on the Jumbotron!

  13. ndgiants11 - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    One of the biggest draws to Notre Dame is obviously the tradition. But while Notre Dame plays the 1812 overture in between the 3rd and 4th quarter, Wisconsin is playing House of Pain’s “Jump Around” while all of the fans literally jump around. People say that the building actually shakes. Last year during Wisconsin’s upset over Ohio State, Wisconsin’s PA announcer actually had to tell the fans to quiet down. Texas A&M will fill up half their stadium the night before a home game for their Midnight Yell, where they practice all the cheers and get fired up for the game.

    Now, I know both of those schools have about 30,000 more students than ND, and ND’s stadium is filled with the a more corporate audience, but that doesn’t mean one of the most passionate fan bases can’t have one of the loudest stadiums in the country.

  14. don74 - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Agree. Even if the pre game party gets you in the mood the weight of “tradition” and long stoppages kill it.

    • 1historian - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      You just nailed it – the long stoppages for advertising kill any serious enthusiasm. The place is more corporate every time I watch a game.

      Alex is a babe, but MAKING people – especially Kelly – stop and listen to her inane questions and give a respectful response is really absurd.

      FYI – the last game I attended there was 1989 when they beat Pittsburgh 45-7.

      Anyone remember “Ara stop the snow!!”?

      • dbldmr - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        I remember “Ara stop the snow!” I remember rallies at the Fieldhouse also…a lot more exciting than the generally lame attempts students and fans “enjoy” now.

        St. Paul said the love of money is the root of all evil. As it applies to ND football it’s also the root of all boredom. More noise and excitement…fewer commercials. The game presentation in the 60s and 70s didn’t have to be what it should be today. There just weren’t as many options. A game that used to be played in about 2 1/2 hours is now at least a 3 1/2 hour production. Okay…I guess that’s the price we pay for them to be televised, but there must be something else we can do to entertain and motivate the fans.

        I used to go to baseball games when I was a kid and baseball was the only thing going on. Now there are all kinds of things happening. It hasn’t hurt the game…and a Jumbotron wouldn’t hurt the game at ND.

      • txbeej - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        Not sure why you’d take a shot at the beautiful Alex Flanagan. How does she affect crowd noise exactly? All televised games feature a coach fielding perfunctory questions from sideline reporters, even high school games. Don’t fault Mrs. Flanagan.

      • dickasman - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        I actually thoroughly enjoy the interviews….its very insightful to me. I think they should do more of it during the games as well.

        As far as ND games goes, you get so much more sitting back on your couch than at the actual game…although I love stopping by bookstore and filling up on years worth of paraphenelia.

  15. alsatiannd - Oct 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Expanded stadium has diluted student section so their volume influences the rest of the stadium less. The eternal TV timeouts kill crowd momentum. The ND desperately needs to update their in-game repertoire.

    I’d checkerboard the student section so that it has an expanded acoustical footprint and more influence. The non-student sections stuck between student sections would be motivated and influenced to be louder like the students.

    Or you could make the student section the top halves of sections so that all their shouts cascade over non-students below them who would then be influenced to yell too.

    I’d offer alumni the choice of buying seats in “young alumni” or “cheering” sections so that their energy and desire is concentrated. If alumni don’t want or can’t cheer, they can buy in family or senior sections which can be spread around to thin out their deadness.

    • alsatiannd - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      First para should say: The ND “band” needs to update their in-game repertoire.

    • papadec - Oct 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      I like your idea regarding the students sitting in the top halves. They could stand as much as they want without blocking the view of the fans who want to sit.

  16. ohioirish - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    All, I think the biggest issue is that fans who want to stand and cheer are afraid of the ushers. @ ND if someone behind you complains that you are standing, and usher will ask you to sit. If you don’t sit then you may be asked to leave the stadium. That is the real issue.

    Living in the heart of Buckeye nation, I have been to a few OSU games with friends. If someone complains to an usher there about someone standing and cheering, they would be laughed at. This is what needs to be changed. It won’t matter how many jumbotron’s we get, if we can’t stand and cheer, it won’t make any difference.

    I also think we can be loud without being rude. Just cheer as loud as you can when your team does well, and be as loud as you can to disrupt the opponents offense.

    Go Irish!
    Beat Trojans!


  17. 1historian - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    I’m just gonna put this one out there and then I’ve gotta get going – got a H.S. FB game to go to.

    The subject is ushers @ ND games –

    A goodly number of ND students when they get a little kabibbled can get real obnoxious, unpleasant, etc., ESPECIALLY when they are challenged by some lowly usher from S.B. who is lucky to have the gig for the day and who knows he will NEVER make anywhere near the money that the snotty kid who is mouthing off to him will make when he graduates. He puts that usher’s outfit on and he becomes god. And he is backed up by his boss so it can get real unpleasant real fast.

    I remember the last few years there being lots of complaints about ushers getting real unpleasant, etc. – there are reasonable complaints on both sides.

  18. don74 - Oct 14, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Jack Swarbrick sat in the student section in the early 70’s. He talks of dropping his id over the wall to get friends into games, something many of us did. I am sure he gets it. He has to balance different factions. He has NBC, the current coaches, players and students, the administration, a board of directors, a prevailing feeling that ND the bastion of tradition and all that is right(not my feeling) as well as heaven knows who and what else. My guess he knows what’s needed and his appeal to the students is the first step in an effort to create an environment for change. As we all know nothing changes until those in power know it’s in their best interest to make change or allow change. Watching comments from the beginning of the season till today it seems there is more support for a jumbotron. And if not a jumbotron a crying need for a change in the gameday stadium experience. The stadium, the noise and the generally game day feeling will change with the success of Kelly and this team. Think back 4 years ago and try to remember 11 freshman playing and contributing at a high level. This group of freshman and sophomores will be the group that changes how ND is perceived by the CFB world and as a result the feeling of being in the stadium. We are fortunate to witness this after 15 bad years. The good news it we are talking about it.

  19. bernhtp - Oct 14, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Swarbrick is a VERY smart guy. ND athletics has made big progress since he’s taken the job, and there is no one I would rather have in these difficult times to navigate big issues such as conference affiliation.

  20. fredshaheen - Oct 15, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Perhaps Jack should have asked Digger to speak to the students.

  21. notredamegrad - Oct 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    The Notre Dame Athletic Department distributed a survey mid-day Saturday to all students asking how to improve in-game atmosphere. They asked about energy and excitement, whether the stadium was intimidating to opponents, a video board, piped music, asking all fans to wear one color, distributing colored pom-poms, why students do or don’t attend games, how ND games compare to those at other schools, what should change, etc. Good questions. Would love to see all the answers they receive.

    • ndgiants11 - Oct 15, 2011 at 9:52 PM

      I’m really glad to hear Swarbrick is making moves to improve the crowd during the game. But I’ve decided you can simplify this entire blog into one basic equation:

      80,000 fans – 10,000 students = 70,000 fans that need to step it up.

      Go Irish!

  22. fitz79 - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    My great grandma, Granny Fitz, God rest her, went to Notre Dame games in the 1920’s. She said it said no alcohol allowed on their tickets and she swears they were about the only ones that didn’t get carried out on a stretcher dead drunk haha Go Irish!

  23. ndirishguy - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    I’m 51 and I have yet to leave an Irish home game with my voice intact. I’ve been siting in Sec. 17, Row 19 or 21 (we were moved 2 rows up when the expansion was completed) since 1965 and there isn’t anyone louder than me yelling DEEEEEEFFFFEEEEEENNNNNSSSSSSEEEEEEE when the opposition is on offense. I remember the days before the upper bowl was added when the opposition used to have to back away from the line of scrimmage and beg the officials for help getting the crowd quieted. I loved it when the officials just shrugged and told them to make the best of it. Crowd noise leads to false starts, premature snaps and turnovers….If you can’t “YELL LIKE A CHAMPION” you have no reason to criticize the players for not “PLAYING LIKE A CHAMPION.” Ticket holders must start realizing they have a part to play in the fortunes of the ND football program.

  24. alsatiannd - Oct 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Eureka, I got it: every 100th fan gets a free set of bag-pipes. 800 blowing, shrieking, catterwalling bagpipes must surely make an ungodly amount of deafening noise, whether or not you play an actual tune on it.

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