Notre Dame pulled out all the stops Saturday night and still lost to USC. By all the stops I mean how they tried to jazz up the stadium or, in this case, rock up the stadium. And they still lost to USC and did not look very good either. So that is all the proof you need that Notre Dame need not do like most other big time football programs on game day. Let tradition reign! Lets keep doing like we have always done it.
Sure, let’s keep doing nothing much more than open up the gates and everything else good will follow.
Oh please, spare me, traditionalists. And just to really get your Irish up and shorts in a bundle, I will say it straight out. Notre Dame Stadium is bland and that is being rather selective in my description. It is not some kind of holy shrine blessed by the Pope and watched over by Touchdown Jesus. In fact since the stadium was remodeled most fans can’t even see TJ.
Egged on by Coach Kelly and Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame tried to infuse the stadium with a little vigor Saturday night. While the execution could have been better and more creative it was a good idea and now should be perfected AND expanded.
As for the execution Saturday night, let me start with Ozzy Osbourne. Personally if I had not heard another note out of him 25 years ago it still would have been too late. And that riff ND used on third down plays is so trite and so overused, I thought I was at a minor league baseball park. Thankfully Ozzy and Crazy Train left the building sometime in the fourth quarter. However, using the Boston Irish rockers The Dropkick Murphys on kickoffs was very cool. So that is my first suggestion: come up with our own in game anthems and to accomplish that come on over to my house and raid my rack of raucous Irish rock and roll.
And now the rest of the story.
1) For a night game do not use dark rally towels. Go white, or better yet, gold.
2) Paint the field! Why can’t we have an ND painted in the end zones or even better a script Notre Dame? And for the middle of the field you need go no farther than to the south end of the campus and the incredible new Compton Family Ice Arena. The shamrock with a centered ND is stunning and perfect for the football stadium. I checked and nowhere in the Ten Commandments does it say, “Thou shall not paint the field at Notre Dame Stadium.”
3) Jumbotron! Jumbotron! Jumbotron! I see in today’s South Bend Tribune where Eric Hansen quotes Kelly as saying he wants one and he wants it sooner rather than later. Right on! There should have been one installed years ago. When I worked the game at Yankee Stadium last year the jumbotron debate should have been put to an end right then. The videos (produced at their expense by the Yankees) were just incredible. As we did timings and run-throughs two days before the game I felt like I should take the last 20 dollars out of my pocket and just give it to Notre Dame as donation. I swear to god, no one will go straight to hell if there is a big screen at Notre Dame Stadium, as some of the traditionalists would make you believe. Just think. The interminable TV timeouts might actually be palatable.
None of this will insure more wins like, say, fewer turnovers in the red zone but it would make the Notre Dame football game day experience even better than it already is.