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  • Solidarity

    by Mike Coffey

    Mixed in with the rest of the angst generated by Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma is some discontent from the Notre Dame student body regarding a portion of the football team not staying to sway during the Alma Mater post-game. While I wasn’t at the game to witness it, according to some media reports, the decision was made by Brian Kelly to allow the team to go directly to the locker room if that’s what they wanted to do. Given some of the reaction on the Observer Viewpoint page here, here, here and here, that decision doesn’t sit well with some of the students.

    Those of you who expect me to excoriate Brian Kelly for somehow ruining a Notre Dame tradition may as well stop reading here. Not only am I not going to excoriate him, I’m going to suggest he take it a step further — Nix this silly exercise altogether in favor of what the actual post-game tradition was prior to a failed former coach putting his ill-conceived stamp on it.

    If we’re going to consider “tradition” as something that’s been done for more than 10 years, the team’s post-game tradition for decades was to go over to the student section following a game, win or loss, and salute with their helmets. It would last about 30 seconds or so, then the band would play the Victory March and the team would head for the locker room. If you watch a tape of the legendary 31-30 victory over Miami in 1988, when Brent Musberger is saying “there is no love affair like the one between the Notre Dame team and the student body”, that’s what’s happening on the screen. The Alma Mater would be played, but it was much later during the band’s post-game show while the team was long gone to the locker room.

    Sometime during the early part of his tenure, Charlie Weis got the idea of having the band play the Alma Mater during the salute and having the team sway along with the student body. Like so many other ideas Weis had during his five years at Notre Dame, it was stupid and should have been re-thought. While solidarity with the students is of primary importance, I also believe asking players who just suffered an emotional loss on the field to spend more time on that field than necessary is a bad idea. Salute the students for a couple seconds, sure — maintain the solidarity. But there’s no need to overdo it with sappy sentimentality. Hanging around for two or three minutes while swaying to the Alma Mater (a practice I find off-putting and creepy to begin with) does no one any favors. And “saluting the other team” by participating in their alma mater traditions is even dumber and more pointless.

    Coach, you’ve got the right idea here. Bring the tradition back to its true roots. Go back to the helmet salute and head to the locker room with the Victory March as your anthem. Let your players celebrate or suffer in privacy while maintaining the important bond between them and their classmates.

    58 Responses to “Solidarity”

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The Sway has got to go. I’ve thought it was stupid from Day 1 that Charlie put it into effect. I hope it is nixed altogether. I was there from ’86-’90, and it was never done. Let’s focus on what’s important: winning. And not some sappy “tradition.”

    2. The entire team needs to stick together as a “team” regardless. If it’s the Alma Mater, or helmet solute i t should be the entire team not a whatever you want to do situation.

    3. Great response Mike. I definitely believe the solidarity should continue to be maintained. Unfortunately, communication was neglected with this recent change. That is the problem. The student body would have certainly understood if only they had known. Finally, I would just like to briefly speak to the booing (both from fans and, at least in this instance, from (allegedly) fellow students. Students…these are your classmates, your peers, your friends. Please do not go down this dark path again. “Fans” (and I use that term loosely as I’m speaking to anyone that boos at a college game), are you kidding me?! I would rather you save your $ and keep your butt out of the stadium than to fill the seat with your fair weather approach to watching ND play. No (and I repeat NO) college student deserves to be booed by their fans! I am embarrassed to be in the same stadium when this happens. You aren’t a true fan if you only support during the wins, the great plays, the successes! Please reconsider your impact on some 18-19 year old “kid” that is playing on that field and not your selfish need for a victory to somehow make you feel better about yourself. Truly…it is not all just about you!

      • Totally agree Bob. I have been going to ND games since the mid 50’s and it has always been painfully to hear our students and fans boo one of our players.

    4. I agree 100% with your opinion.
      lou educato
      “56”

    5. BeveragePavilion_69 says:

      Couldnt agree more. Nothing worse than the team mailing it in during Charlies years then having to watch them do this.

    6. FairCatchCorby says:

      I couldn’t agree more with the article and with the responses to it. The “sway” is creepy and pointless. The only important thing after a game, win or lose, is for the team and student body to acknowledge each other’s contributions to the contest, thereby affirming and strengthening that bond between them that is special at Notre Dame.

      Steven Good ’64

    7. This could not be more correct. Swaying to “Notre Dame, Our Mother” is an ersatz, made-for-TV non-moment that should be consigned to the dustbin assigned to other Weis-era missteps. Please continue to advocate for this outcome.

    8. Mark napierkowski says:

      I don’t care who started this “tradition” or practice, or whatever you guys want to call it. I thought it was a good idea. I thought it was unifying; i guess that makes me a patsy. It doesn’t matter that a failed coach instituted it. i read these posts every week, and I’ve never seen you guys object to it before, maybe because we were winning. The bigger issue is the booing, which is crap. It belongs nowhere in college athletics unless the refs are the object of the scorn. Even if the coach is your target (which is still very bad form), players infer that they are the ones being booed, and it has no place in amateur athletics.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        I’ve objected to it since its inception. I think it’s dopey. I addressed it now because it seems to be a topic of note in the Observer.

        • Dick Murata says:

          I’m with you Mike 100%…………raising the helmets to the student body is class. The swaying and alma mater is more than dopey. Kelly should have discontinued it when he first arrived. That is NOT tradition and my class celebrates 60 years next year. It is a Weis-era misstep!

    9. I strongly disagree with what has been stated. For one thing, new elements can be created within a tradition. Further, I am totally touched emotionally by the players and student fans swaying to the Alma Mater. And, I also believe that all the players should be out there when they lose. In the moment of defeat and disappointment – of feeling that they;ve not played a very good game, etc., being able to rise above the despondency one might feel at that moment, in solidarity with your student base, you allow the moment of defeat to become a strengthening of resolve. Rather than running away from what has just happened, one celebrates in victory and in defeat and learns interiorily what it means to face up to the defeat and to derive support from a fan base that understands its affirming role.

    10. I had forgotten that Weis instituted the “sway”. (I have mentally blocked out much of those years I guess) I agree that it was ridiculous to make them do that after a loss- glad to see that gone. I would also like to see the helmet salute back. I guess if they want to “sway” after a win, ok. Seems like a buzz-kill.

    11. Well said. If there was one thing about Weis that was even worse than his coaching, it was his awkward attempts to mold social dynamics. Remember him having the team practice celebrating? The alma matter thing evidences the same social cluelessness. The team’s just had a tough loss, now go sway arm-in-arm in front of the students to a mournful song. Nothing illustrates a tough and competitive team like that!

      • I’ve already indicated my positive “feelings” about the alma mater and the sway. And, as I indicated above, think it to be a teachable moment. In the pain of defeat, we do not escape to the cocoon of the locker room. We rise above our feelings and “sway” or stand together to face the next challenge. It’s a matter of perspective. I have mine and respect that others experience it in a different way.
        However, more importantly, to my mind is the decision that BK has made with regards to the QB position. I firmly believe, wihout knowing the facts, that this team needs Malik and his multi threat talent on the field. The QB is the most important position player. It is time NOW to give him the opportunity to spark this team. Oftentimes, given the opportunity, fresh athletic talent responds to a given opportunity and produces beyond ones expectation. As the coach of Notre Dame, BK has to give his team the best chance to win NOW. The future will look after itself, in terms of who will play QB next year or the year after. I believe, if his press clipings are correct, and he is healthy, then Malik should be given that opportunity. What think you?

        • I wish Malik would get a shot. The problem is that Kelly is probably not willing to dumb down his offense for a true freshman QB. Plus, there might be some growing pains and a couple of ugly losses if we sat Rees (oh wait!). But I’d happily go 5-7 rather than 7-5 if it meant getting Malik some experience for next year. Golson might not return and Hendrix might be off to med school. Sigh.

    12. Go back to the helmet salute!

    13. Personally, I’m a fan of the “sway” after games. It’s a way to come together as a community and from the time when Weis started it in ’06 through to today as a student, it’s been one of my favorite parts of a game day.

      That said, if Coach Kelly wants to get rid of the “tradition,” so be it. Just don’t only do it after wins. It sends entirely the wrong message to the student body if you’re only doing it after a win, if you only want that “solidarity” after a triumph. As students, we stay until the end of the game, namely to sing the alma mater. If the new policy is that the players won’t be joining us, you can surely expect an empty student section by the end of the game the next time we get blown out at home.

      We sing the alma mater because we “Love Thee Notre Dame.” It sends the entirely wrong message if the players only love it after a win, does it not?

      • Thanks for your perspective. And agree with it.
        I indicated in a previous post that to sing the Alma Mater was a teachable moment. And you’ve expressed how that is the case. We stand together, affirming each other, in victory and defeat. Having a theological background, I’d like to add another dimension to this teachable moment.
        Mary, in the darkess moment of sorrow – standing beneath the cross of her son, disgraced and executed, stood there and swayed back and forth in the traditional Middle Eastern custom as she lamented what had befallen her son. She did not run away to the locker room to escape and mourn in private. It is a stretch to get players and students to think that way in the moment of football defeat but it could become part of the educational program to give this as an example as tp why we stand together and sing the alma mater even in defeat. This would be good Catholic education.

      • Sly, it would be helpful to this discussion if you, and other former students, would comment honestly as to your feelings, when singing and swaying together with the team, following a defeat and how you sensed the players felt.

    14. The alma mater tradition nouveau is kind of excruciating.

      In short: it’s too … civilized. It quiets everything down and cuts short what might be loud, crazy celebration after a big win. It’s also irritating after a loss.

      Basically, it’s the yellow mums in song form.

    15. Daniel Luzney says:

      The alma mater is a tradition and the team captains shouldn’t abandon their team win or lose. Brian Kelly told to shut up before going into the tunnel when I told him “team captains don’t abandon their team after a loss” I lost all respect for him after that. That’s not how you treat your fans. I don’t blame the student section for booing the players that left for the locker room.

    16. I don’t even have to think about choosing a Zorich helmet salute over a Jimmy Clausen Sway any day. I didn’t attend ND, so full disclosure there, but seems a bit disingenuous. Awkward on the telecast as well, win or lose. Brain says “look away, look away.” I must also say that the uniforms are looking a lot better than the passing game. Every week’s an adventure, but i’m all in. Go IRISH Go.

    17. Don’t paint the singing of the Alma Mater as some fledgling tradition that is insignificant when set against the backdrop the rest of Notre Dame history. Though it was instituted in ’06, which seems relatively recent, that was nine years ago. As a current senior at ND, that would make me 12 years old when it started. For all intents and purposes, it’s been going on for pretty much as long as I can remember. Singing the Alma Mater after a game, win or lose, is a tradition that any recent graduate absolutely loves and is passionate about. To me, not singing the Alma Mater would be like painting our helmets black, tearing down the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign, or covering up Touchdown Jesus. Don’t take that away from us.

      • Mike Coffey says:

        So I take it you’re also against the piped-in music and the possibility of a video screen in the Stadium? Those things are like “painting our helmets black” to me and people like me.

        • I am, actually. One of the only good things to come from the piped in music is that the band got miked and is louder now. I also don’t really like the Shamrock Series uniforms… Why can’t we just be us?

    18. It’s a dumb “tradition.” No one knows the words, it kills the energy in the stadium, the players don’t want to be there. They didn’t do it when I was there, they shouldn’t do it anymore.

      • “No one knows the words” Are you kidding me? It’s your Alma Mater!!! I graduated in 2004 and we always sang it after the games, win or lose. Maybe the team wasn’t swaying, but the student body certainly stayed and swayed. Everyone I know who graduated from ND knows the word, as it has a special place in all our hearts.

    19. Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is defined as poise in the face of adversity.” I’ve included an example of this below, involving Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame football coach who led the Fighting Irish from 1918-1930.

      Knute Rockne of Notre Dame had just suffered his worst loss ever, 27-0 to Army, in an away game. It was even more embarrassing because he had openly predicted Notre Dame’s victory. He snuck his team back to South Bend on the train, arriving at 4:00 AM hoping that no one would be at the station to witness their return. He was wrong. There were 10,000 fans waiting for him chanting, “Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame!” They put Rockne on their shoulders and carried him through the train station. He told them, “Put me down; I feel like a fool. We lost.” The fans replied, “We might have lost, coach, but we still have you”

      What is Kelly teaching these young men? I’ll take the alma mater over Brian Kelly any day of the week.

    20. The Alma Mater should be sung, students and athletes should stay-win.lose or draw. No one likes to lose, but standing with your fellow students in a difficult situation shows strength of character. It is a beautiful tradition and should be respected by the school population.

    21. So sad you feel this way,you do not know what you are missing.
      No longer an Observer reader.

    22. Mr. Coffey — Were you one of the long-time apologists for Charlie on this website? If so, it’s sort or ironic that you would now criticize one of the good changes he implemented. I second Mike and Eileen.

    23. I agree. Drop the sway and go back to the helmet salute.

      And while they’re at it, get rid of that caterwauling ‘HEEEERE come the Irish … of NAAAWder Dame’ before the game, too.

      Steve, ’73

    24. As an ND grad having sent 2 of my children to the school, with another one there as a sophomore, I and my kids disagree with the writer of this article. We believe that the playing of the alma mater with both the students and team present affirms the fact that win or lose, the football team and the game is part of something much bigger than just a 4 hour sports event. Games with wins and losses come and go, but the University and showing how all are part of it endures through that song. The solidarity of the football team with their fellow students is special, both for the students who have stood and cheered for 4 hours for their team, and for the football team who played their hearts out for their friends and University. Most students, even when the game may be lost, stay out of respect for their friends on the football team, rather than trying to beat the incredible crush of everyone at the dining hall at once by leaving early. My daughter was a freshman in 2007, when we lost nearly every home game, but the students stayed and cheered and sung with their team after each game. Charlie Weis may have been a poor football coach but he is an ND grad and knew what made the University special….BK only seems to know how to peddle merchandise at the bookstore.

    25. Mark napierkowski says:

      I’m with John, Sly, Christian, Mike, and Eileen. Coffey, I’m with you, too, in terms of opposing the jumbotron and piped in music.

    26. I love the Alma Mater, but the time and place is not just after a football game. It has always seemed awkward to me. I have always objected to it, but I was willing to accept it if the players were okay with it. We all love Notre Dame, but the players actually put their time, their hearts and their bodies on the line for her, and I think there are times in which we should defer to them. At least I know now that I am not completely out of touch. I don’t always run to embrace change, but when it comes to Notre Dame I usually come around to acceptance. However, having players sing the Alma Mater after games is one change that never settled in for me. Again, it is a beautiful song—wrong venue.

      Bottom line, the players know what they like, and no one is going to convince me that they want anything more than the very best for Notre Dame. And like it or not they also have a better feel for what their future teammates—recruits—will like. To be quite honest, if Brian Kelly really wants to do this and if he can get this done it somehow would make me feel a bit better about the team. I don’t know why but somehow this seems like someone who can take the pulse of his team and strong enough to move things around when needed. Heck, I’d be willing to give him a raise or maybe even a jumbotron if he’s tough enough to pull this one off. Yes, I prefer the helmet salute, win or lose.

    27. Charlie may have started the Alma Mater thing after games, but he didn’t start the Sway. Students were swaying to the Alma Mater back when I was a student in the late 90s and I hated it then for the same reasons you give here. Creepy.

    28. The Alma Mater has been disrespected consistently for years!
      It is insulting to see uncaring players talking to each other or having a poor lip-sync bored look into the horizon.
      Either do it right always, or don’t do it at all.

    29. I agree. The helmet salute is a classy, honorable statement to the student body that “we are out here for you.” The drawn-out participation in the alma mater is overkill and out of place as the centerpiece of the post-game ritual. And “saluting” other teams is nonsense, with the exception of Navy.

      I’d go farther and say that the chant in the beginning of the 4th quarter to the 1812 Overture should be canned. That chant was a salute to Lou and it’s moronic that it’s been transferred to every subsequent coach. I recall being at the GT game in ’97 when we were wondering if it was going to happen…if we were to chant “Bob” instead of “Lou,” and were amused to make lowercase “b”s with out fingers instead of the “L” for Lou. Students need to know when it’s time to leave some of these things behind, and which things need to be retained as is without unnecessary meddling.

    30. As a current student who was present at the game, let me contribute my two cents…

      For starters, we were not booing the players. (at least no one around me was) Yelling, angry, absolutely. But not booing- we were, in the only way one person among thousands can, trying to remind them of our presence as we watched them leave. Trying to remind them that we were there- in an empty stadium the student section was still completely present. No one had been made aware of BK’s new “policy” and when the players left, we felt abandoned and forgotten about. We were not booing them, we were saying “hey, what about us? We stayed for you. What gives you the right to leave, when we all wanted to but stayed only to support you? Can’t you return that loyalty for the amount of time it takes to stand before us and sing as a student body?”

      And, I can’t help but notice that a lot of you who don’t like the alma mater after the game haven’t been students here for many years, in several cases decades. While that in no way means we don’t appreciate your input, it does mean that your perspective isn’t quite as relevant. In an institution where there is nearly complete turnover every four years, there have been generations upon generations of students between you and me. Maybe this tradition is only seven years old, but as a senior, it’s happened at every ND game (any sport) and even many nonathletic events that I’ve ever attended. And it was that way for classes I never even met. That’s a tradition. It’s not time that makes a tradition, but meaning. And while you may find it weird for us to all sway together and sing, while it may be difficult for the players to do it after losing, it still means a hell of a lot to all of us that we can come together and do it, win or lose. Because it brings us together- not as football team and fans, but as Notre Dame.

    31. Please drop the sway and the flowers around the stadium. That’s for girls or hammered emotional guys at a party. Real warriors go back to locker exhausted and get pissed after a loss.

    32. oleoleahey says:

      Decide on either of the two salutes, Alma Mater or Helmut and be done with it. Either are fine traditions. Involve the Captains for a leadership moment in making the decision. They are Notre Dame men, Kelly is not. Kelly seems to be making all of the minute decisions and setting the talking points these days. Maybe he should be stick to distributing his green pom-poms and developing a quaterback.

    33. The current students seem to be fond of pointing out that just because the “tradition” of the team singing the alma mater on the field is a recent one (since 2006), that doesn’t mean it’s any less significant to them, and that objecting alumni should learn to accept it. Well, just as Charlie Weis had the right to institute this (lame) policy that is awkward for the players after a loss, Brian Kelly has the right to institute his own policy for what he feels makes the most sense for his team. Obviously quite a few players agree with him.

      Major college football is physically and emotionally draining on the players. Every game in college football is a play-off game, with major financial repercussions for the schools that play it. When teams lose, especially if they’ve lost to an inferior team e.g. Tulsa, Navy, Syracuse, Connecticut, they don’t want to hang out in front of a crowd of people any longer than they have to. They’re rightfully upset, and probably embarrassed it if was due to a poor effort, and they want to get back to the locker room quickly to recover and prepare to do better next week. It’s not poor sportsmanship – they’re rightfully angry and don’t want to drag out the pain in public any longer. Anyone who doesn’t understand that has never played competitive sports at a significant level. Players should salute the student section with their helmets and then get back to the locker room. The students and fans can sing the alma mater together afterwards with the band as has always been the tradition.

      • Tim, I have never played sports at a significant level; however, that does not mean I have not experienced failure, performed poorly, and, as a result, wanted to escape having to face up to it. Heck, doing or saying something that harms another requires an apology – something many of us find very difficult to do. In addition, many of us have been brought up with the value of “having to face the music” when we’ve done something wrong or not performed well. From your perspective, this should not be required of the football team if they have so NOT performed. And finally, could it not be just as helpful, if not moreso, for the team members to experience, in defeat, the solidarity of support from the student body as they sing the Alma Mater together? Maybe it hasn’t been your experience, but it has certainly been mine, that being “pissed” and sulking off to the “cave” was no way to deal with a negative situation. I’ve found that solidarity, sharing the hurt and expriencing the support – sometimes critical of my behavior, has been a much better proactive response. Finally, players being required to “sing” and “sway” in spite of their feelings at that point is a teaching moment. They are taught to overcome their feelings and tap into something that is more than winning or losing a football game. It’s called being connected to the living spirit of Notre Dame as represented in the present day student body. Having experienced this, then, they can go off to the locker room be pissed and do whatever to prepare for the next game.

    34. As Tim notes, to my memory (back to the early ’80s), the Alma Mater has always been played after the game, win or lose, as part of the band’s post-game performance. I never swayed to it, since I was always on the field playing it. As such, I don’t sway to it now and would feel awkward doing so, although also feel somewhat out of place when everyone else is swaying back and forth (reminds me of my drunken Irish uncles singing “Goodnight Irene” to my great aunt!). I don’t necessarily agree that the song saps the energy from the stadium, especially given the cresecendo at the end, and since the band typically ends with the Victory March and Hike Notre Dame, it’s not the last song of the day. As for the players joining in the swaying, I would leave it up to the team to decide, although if it is to go, I think at the very least the helmet salute should stay, as a way to demonstrate the unity of the student body, athletes and non-athletes alike. (Note: Oklahoma band played their Alma Mater after the game, so apparently this is not unique to ND)

      More history: for those who decry any saluting of the opposing team and fans, it used to be the tradition that the band would face the east side of the stadium (opposite the press box) and play the opposing team’s fight song during the pre-game performance. We also used to practice the MSU Band “horsey step” during the week leading up to the game, at least when the directors weren’t looking!

      As for the 1812 Overture, I believe it was initially played during one of our halftime shows in ’81 or ’82. Fr. George Wiskirchen, assistant band director at the time, was responsible for arranging the music for the halftime shows and thought it would be original and eclectic to put together a tribute to classical music, including Tchaikovsky. We continued to play the 1812 Overture in post-game shows and in the stands during time-outs. How it morphed into a salute to the head coach, I have no idea, since Lou didn’t show up until after I graduated.

    35. Mike, I couldn’t agree with you more. Never really liked starting the post game celebration that way. However, the band always played “Notre Dame our Mother” just before they headed off the field from the post game show usually to a very sparse stadium crowd. Those who were still in the stands stood and swayed and that’s the way it should be. Let the band play the victory march and let the Irish Guard do their jig after the teams have cleared out. Let the team get to the locker room. Let the managers clear the field and let the band entertain the fans who stay.

    36. Paul Tschirhart '63 says:

      Notre Dame is, or has been, unique in college football. In 2007, WE went 3-9. I was always very proud that the students, alumni, and fans stood behind the team win or lose, in solidarity and love for our team. We didn’t leave until the Alma Mater was played for ALL of us. It’s about love for Notre Dame, not a victory anthem.

      No one wants us to win more than I do. I truly bleed blue and gold. And I admire the job Coach Kelly has done to bring the Irish back to national prominence – or is the detested “relevance.” But let’s win (and lose) with class. Some traditions are NOT worth keeping (e.g. lack of a replay facility, natural grass, swaying to the Alma Mater); most are -especially the students, team and alumni together singing the Alma Mater after the game. Good sportsmanship is one tradition very worth keeping. I was always proud that the band used to play a short version of the other team’s fight song. That one’s gone too. Now we have a laughing soundtrack to pull out to mock the other team when someone “upstairs” wants it.

      In 1964, after losing the final game of the season to USC in LA and with it losing the National Championship, the team was met upon returning to campus by a thousand or more students, prompting Murray, the famed LA sportswriter to proclaim the wonderful spirit of Notre Dame.

      Have we really lost this in the Kelly era?

      Paul Tschirhart ’63

    37. Paul DiGaetano says:

      You could not be more wrong in your position. The Alma Mater is moving and comforting for almost all Domers, (except the small minority expressing views to the contrary above). No matter who began this tradition nor when, it is a beautiful tradition which the bulk of the student body loves ( as evidenced by their reaction Saturday). The bulk of Domers at the games do as well. I was there Saturday as I have been for just about every home game for the last several years. Furthermore, I was in the student end of the stadium Saturday and saw as well as heard the student body sing with the student-athletes. There was no negativity ( except when players were seen going directly into the tunnel). Thankfully , some players turned the rest around and everyone came together. These players were not told by the coaches to turn the others around. In fact, they did it of their own free will and accord. There was solidarity. There was support for the team even in defeat. This is exactly what Kelly has been preaching. The players don’t object to this tradition continuing, Brian Kelly does. Taking this away from the student body , and the student-athletes will be counterproductive. It is a tradition which both groups embrace and should be continued!

    38. Jim Phillips says:

      This entire conversation is absurd.

      The Alma Mater is for alumni of Notre Dame, and the fact that current students (some of whom are players) sing it, only gives credence to its meaning. Enough already. Let the players connect with their classmates and give honor to Notre Dame. I cannot begin to understand the nonsense coming from Coach Kelly. Bring players back “into [his] guidance”? The guidance of the idiot who just led the players into defeat? I reject his crap about the players not executing. Let the leader lead, and give his underlings direction they can follow with success.

      The time has come for this idiot to be relieved of his duties directing this fine assemblage of football players. Time to fire Coach Kelly. Get rid of the fraud. He persists in staying with what he perceives as the safe route. Meantime, we are mired in a construct where the quarterback is late on most of his reads, cannot throw accurately on the run, has absolutely no sense of the urgency of getting the play started, and continuously over-throws the receivers. And we do not even try another option except when we program a running play so the defense does not need to wonder how to attack. Imagine if Hendrix came in, faked a running hand-off, and passed the football. . .

      I particularly love the 3rd or 4th down plays with less than a yard to go where we run sweeps that take 3-4 seconds to develop and which are successfully rebuked. You have All-American candidates on the offensive line and you do not depend on them to move one defensive player one yard???

      Three times in the fourth quarter we are 3 and out??? Change the quarterback; Change the play; Change something.

      Change the coach . . . Time for this old show to go.

    39. none of this would be even a small issue if the team won the games they should have. If kelly could coach a bit better then this wouldnt matter to anyone

    40. I am a 74 year old professonial actor. From the days of my childhood, I was always moved by the thundering ND Victory March pounding in our house after every game; win or lose. Watching and singing with the students was, and still is, a joy.
      However, more is not better in this case; sing the praises,shake down the thunder, and then get off the stage. Any performer will tell you; leave them hearing the applause.

    41. All four of my years at ND were Weis years…including all of his horrendous last three seasons. Charlie came up with the idea of instituting the sway after playing Navy (‘saluting the other team” by participating in their alma mater traditions is even dumber and more pointless’…well, considering the opponent we emulated, I don’t think so) and seeing them do it the first time. He thought that demonstrated the solidarity between the team and students/alums better than what we had at the time, so he instituted it. To us, the students of the time, the decision had nothing to do with creating a made-for-TV moment for NBC; it was all about that solidarity. When the team creamed Army en route to a major match-up against USC on Brady Quinn’s Senior Day, the alma mater served as a way of celebrating a great moment; when we did it following a 38-0 loss to USC the following year, the alma mater allowed us to show our continued faith and pride even in the tough times. In both of these instances, however, the alma mater demonstrated SOLIDARITY in a more demonstrative way than ever before and created memories that are among the most cherished that I or many of my classmates ever had in South Bend.

      So yes, I know that the team swaying to the alma mater with the students did not happen under Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian, or even Holtz. So it’s not an old tradition, I get that. But for many recent alums, the alma mater at the end of the game was a special event, one that was copied from a noble opponent that demonstrated emotions felt between the team and students/alums more evidently than ever before. You may disagree with the swaying and want it to go away, but please do not dismiss it as a “silly exercise” created by a bad former coach

    42. Completely disagree with you. Kelly’s decision is wrong and just another example of his poor decision making abilities. The players staying shows good sportsmanship and class. Kelly should plan on just going to the locker room on his own and listen to himself speak. What an over rated used car salesman. I have zero confidence in his coaching ability.
      Ever notice how the other sports teams at Notre Dame also do this as part of their post game than you? It’s classy.

      For those who think it is a dopey tradition, don’t stay for it. Head out to the parking lot. There are a lot of people who stay in the stadium till the end because of this great tradition.

    43. 1812 Overture was 1977.

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