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  • Cheer, Cheer (but not too loud)

    by SEE

    (The Rock Report | Notre Dame Football News) – Notre Dame should rewrite the fight song to read: “Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame, but please do so in a family-friendly, politically correct manner while not obstructing views of others.”

    The “we need a jumbotron to help with stadium atmosphere” argument is about as non-sensical and disingenuous as the “we need to join a conference for scheduling purposes” argument.  As if a jumbotron will suddenly ignite passion in the Gold seats.

    Both are self-inflicted wounds being used as justification for different agendas.  I was at the USC game in 2005; it was plenty loud. No jumbotron needed. What worked that day? The team was winning and fans were standing and cheering most of the game.  That’s it.   That’s the entire formula.   Real high-level stuff.  Anyone who says ND needs a jumbotron for atmosphere wasn’t at the game.

    Jack Swarbrick’s response to an inquiry about the advantage of a jumbotron surfaced this line of thinking in an email, “I believe that it is imperative that we create more energy in our stadium in order to create more of a home-field advantage.”

    Jack, you don’t need a jumbotron, you need give everyone a card that says, “If you go to a game it is highly likely that the person next to you or in front of you will be loud and could stand much of the game.   You are encouraged to do the same to Cheer Cheer for Old Notre Dame,” not a Blue Card (I’ll explain in a minute.)

    There’s a simple solution to the atmosphere issue :  1. actually let fans cheer and 2. field a winning team.  No one needs a jumbotron to exhort cheering. That’s rank foolishness. ND needs a jumbotron to generate more revenue, period. I have an Notre Dame email saying as much.

    “You should understand that the University has a million financial challenges. For example, the $40 million bill for the coming ND Stadium repairs. How does the University decide to pay for it?…  Car wash? Bake sale? Jumbotron?”

    Just as the only thing preventing Notre Dame from scheduling a decent slate was the 7-4-1 arrangement, the only thing preventing a louder stadium is Notre Dame.   One fan shared this account of an usher encounter:

    “during the second half (of the South Florida game), an usher walked up to the four of us and attempted to pull us aside. We asked why and he wouldn’t say, but just insisted that we leave our seats and speak with him in one of the tunnels to the concession area.  He then told us we were being “too loud” while cheering, handed us a card that referenced something about maintaining a family atmosphere and smugly said something like, “are you aware of the ‘card’ system in soccer?” Well this is what I like to call the blue card which is equivalent to a yellow card, please be respectful to the people around you and tone down your cheering. To be clear, we were not profane.”

    As luck would have it, another NDNation fan was with his family right in front of the “rapscallions”

    “I was right in front of you… the rest of the people in our area (including us) couldn’t believe that the ushers pulled this stunt.  The 4 guys behind us weren’t swearing, just yelling and cheering, but the ushers pulled them away and warned them. It was ridiculous. It was my first time back in years and I couldn’t believe what was happening. My son, daughter and in-laws (yes they would qualify as “old”) all had a great time high-five-ing you guys when we started to make a comeback.”

    We’ve all read the stories in the past about the absurd crackdown on drinking and the F-Troop/A-Team approach to reigning in drinking and problem fans. While that disaster has abated, it’s incongruous to believe that all fans should able to sit and enjoy the action while at the same time lamenting the silence of the stadium. One is the result of the other.

    Which is why this Swarbrick line stuck a chord, “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.”    It should read, “I need your passion…  unless it’s too loud or… you’re in someone’s way…  or it’s done a way that scares children… or…. ”

    While the atmosphere shouldn’t deter families from coming to a Notre Dame game, families should know that a trip to Rock’s House is not a trip to Disney World.  Good fans stand and cheer and yell to create a home field advantage.

    Jack, you’re not going to rattle a team into jumping off-sides if you make people sit on their butts, clap politely and stay out of everyone’s sight line.   ND’s misguided attempt to create a Disney environment combined with a mediocre product is at fault for the stadium atmosphere.   Kids should know that a football game is a participatory event, not a day at the ballet.

    People yell, they get upset, they exhort their team on.    This has to happen within boundaries, but yelling loud and standing should not be a boundary.

    It’s football.  You have an obligation to cheer your team on.   There’s a reason the words “Cheer, Cheer” are in the fight song.

    The solution isn’t pouring electricity into a loud, obnoxious screen funded by corporate ads that distract from the field, but instead fielding an electric team that in turn incites an electric crowd unencumbered by “rooting restrictions” and unbound by a rare and insoluble passion.

    Call me a cynic, but I doubt the Sheas were thinking  that a jumbotron was necessary when these lyrics were penned:

    “Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame. Wake up the echoes cheering her name.  Send a volley cheer on high. Shake down the thunder from the sky!”

    The only echoes a jumbotron will evoke are the echoes of Kevin White’s ASU jumbotron debacle (click here for more.)

    “The real battle during ASU home football games pits fans against a high-tech marketing machine that employs a distracting array of audio, video, live stunts and bright signage to hammer commercial messages into a captive audience. No matter how the game unfolds, no matter the situation on the field, Sun Devil fans face a fusillade of advertisements. The ads divert attention from the field and refocus the “market” on products and corporations being hawked.”

    92 Responses to “Cheer, Cheer (but not too loud)”

    1. Excellent article.
      Jack, please read this.

      • Great article as usual. Anyone who honestly believes a gazillion-volt, oversized flashy object will “fix” Notre Dame’s football atmosphere is severely mistaken. The so-called reasoning behind the installation of a jumbotron is to create a greater “home field advantage.” How the hell is that going to happen if we aren’t allowed to stand, scream and cheer right now? I have been told to sit down or quiet down at least once at each home game I attend. The breaking point was actually being removed from my section at a recent home game because of complaints of me and those with me standing and blocking the view of spectators insisting that sitting and whispering is the only acceptable way of watching a Notre Dame football game. We were given the option by the “understanding” usher of being forced to watch the remainder of the game in the last rows of the stadium if we wanted to continue such “raucous” behavior or sit on our hands and not disturb other “fans” Notre Dame experience. How is a jumbotron going to solve this? Can those in charge possibly be this out of touch? Flashy electronics aren’t needed for a gameday atmosphere. Being able to stand, scream and cheer without the Gestapo approach to policing games will give ND all it needs in terms of an exciting gameday atmosphere. It existed before, it can exist again sans jumbotrons and pumped-in noise.

        • I am 65. I have been going to games since 1949 missing about 15 in that entire period. I am sick and tired of being called an “old guy”. I travel to at least 2 away games a year. I have more experience attending ND games, home and away, than most of the posters here. Here is waht “frustrates “me;
          1) the student section shows up just before the game begins. If they really want to support the team get their butts into the stadium and let the team hear them when they can really set a tone for the game.
          2) the annual freshman starting of the wave. If I want to do the wave I’ll go to a Chicago Fire game. The abso;ute worst is to continue to do this foolish activity DURING GAME ACTION !
          3) the “young guys” who show up just AFTER kickoff, claim they have to stand to support the team and then are gone half way thru the 3rd qt. This happens ALL the time in our section. So if the ushers have seen this scene before don’t always blame them for expecting it to turn out the way it usually does,
          4) the “young guys”, with their hats on backwords, who stand up, wave their arms to “get everyone up” and then spend at least half the game on their cell phone.
          5) the “young guys” form the middle of our row who go in and out of the row endlessly AND in the middle of live action — but they have to stand to support the team !
          6) how about that great cheer we do during time outs ….. WE ( 5 second pause), ARE ( 5 second pause), N ( 5 second pause), D ( 5 second pause) repeat after 5 second pause.
          7) and do you want to know how to really get the croud going at your home opener — at the first time out get your public address guy to say… the administration of ND honors someone responsible for contiruting to the success at ND…today we are honoring the cleaning crew from the Morris Inn”…..boy doe sthat get the energy going…or how about using an imortant time out to salute a law professor, that gets my “cheering genes going”.
          This issue comes up every year,and year after year , we seem to want to blame the “old codgers”. Well some of us old guys have seen the same thing year after year, form the same kind of one game a year attendees. Theres a great line from an old movie which you want to consider before all you “young guys” think you have a clue what your talking about ;ie. “…get yourself a reputation before you come back to this pool hall…”
          Go Irish

      • I sat right next to Jack’s announcement in the dining hall, giving me the excellent opportunity to tell him it’s not the student’s fault it’s quiet. Whatever happens on the other side of the field, it’s not loud. This blue card nonsense drives me insane.

      • Kyle Field in College Station is one of the loudest stadiums in the country; everyone from elementary school kid to 90-yr old alum cheers and most stand the whole game (90 yr. old included). Yes, there is a jumbotron, BUT it is at the far end of the stadium, and is no more distracting than our current scoreboards. The loudness of the stadium is due to the fact that a culture of ‘yelling’ for the home team
        has existed for generations. LSU and Clemson (two places which are both referred to as “Death Valley”
        also create a high volume of cheers as a home field advantage and have been doing so for decades.
        If someone wants to watch the game comfortably seated and in relative quiet, they can stay home, watch
        it on NBC from their Laz-E-Boy; and enjoy a soda &/or beer and some snacks. That is if you don’t want the ‘game experience’, which inseparably contains loud cheering, and hopefully some standing especially at key plays. So, the choice is simple: stay home and enjoy a ‘family experience’ (your definition) or come to the game a be a part of the Notre Dame family experience cheering our team (without vulgarity) “Onto Victory!” Just stop trying to change the stadium experience to fit your tastes. By the way, I hear PBS is showing a marathon of the Metropolitan Opera this weekend. 🙂

        Go Irish! No jumbotron! Build a schedule around our ‘peer institutions’!

    2. This is the most cogent, well-rounded piece on the topic we have seen to date. The place can be family-friendly as can be and still be loud. The place can be loud without a jumbotron. I’ll happily continue to bring my kids to home games—and teach them how to cheer while they’re there—but not if we have to look at some infernal screen. If there’s one thing that would make $70/seat less worthwhile than a lousy football team, it’s a stadium with a jumbotron. Don’t do it, Jack.

    3. BostonIrishND03 says:

      This is basically embarrassing. A blue card system? Seriously? The real problem lies with ND Security – they need to take it back a notch. I understand if there is a clear display of profanity and inappropriate remarks (two years ago one ND fan asked a Latino looking USC fan if he had a green card which I deemed wildly profane for a variety of reasons) but standing up and creating “noise” is actually expected of a fan base … some may call it our responsibility. And by the way, the two electronic signs in the stadium that serve as our mini-jumbotrons actually display the “Get Loud” or “Make Some Noise” messages that so often populate other stadiums in the country. So which is it ND Administration? Should we obey the “blue card” (Ohhh, I’m so scared) or should we follow the request to make some noise via the 1980s electronics?

    4. Heck I’ve been busted for singing the anthem too loud.
      Stadium is a bit of a throwback isn’t it; PA field, scores, flag, band? Kind of like you can market to that winsome pastness quality. Jumbotron — you kidding?
      Know what really bugs me? Boos. Sure if the other squad cheats or does something w/o class (Sparty planting flag comes to mind.) but there’s mostly no reason to boo the other team — ever. Let the debased foe do that.
      Fanbase will get riled once there is something at stake.
      BTW if you really want to see loud Irish fans, try an away game!

    5. bob burnikel says:

      ROCK, I COULD NOT HAVE EXPRESSED IT BETTER! (Sorry for shouting; it might offend someone and get me a card.)

    6. Notre Dame fans are old with some sense of entitlement. At the South Florida game I had to hear the old codgers complain about people standing up and that they should get the ushers for standing. Ever been to a high profile game in Michigan or Ohio State? You don’t hear the old codgers in those stadiums whining. If you can’t stand up during a high profile game you should sit and look at the back of the guy in front of you, stay home, or watch in the handicap areas of the stadium. The problem is that Notre Dame wants to hold on to the past so much that the present has passed them by. When I was at the Michigan game I was worried that recruits were at this game because any 18 year old kid that likes to have fun in no way would go to stuffy Notre Dame when they could go to UM where there’s a 114,000 people party going on. At the Michigan-ND game and their jumbotron is awesome! Instant replays like it was in your living room. They have the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus and all the other sights on campus. They already changed the stadium so adding a nice luxury like a jumbotron makes sense. It won’t make the stadium louder or keep the old codgers from whining but it sure is nice to have.

    7. Matt Coash says:

      I have been wanting to write to Blue and Gold Illustrated since the Michigan Game and the article that they had about the Jumbotron. I was at the Michigan game and it was an atmosphere like no other AND we had been kicking there butts for 3 quarters! I TRULY believe that their Jumbotrons got them back in the game!!!!! They were pumping in eminem’s Ford song starting in the 3rd quarter and those pom poms were rocking. Even the “old” quiet people were pumping those pom poms at least adding to the atmosphere.
      If the “old” guard doesn’t want a large jumbrotron. Can’t we upgrade these current scoreboards to a very large “flat screen” TV? That way we are not hurting the mystique of the Stadium. If we were going to add a Jumbotron – we don’t need it at both ends like most Stadiums – just do it on the South End so it doesn’t interfere with TD Jesus. It will be large enough for the “old” guard to see the game better and they might not complain about “fans” standing up and cheering so much.

      It’s time for ND to get up with the times. Let’s compromise and put one in the South End Zone or at least upgrade the electronics in BOTH Scoreboards to give us some replays!! Remember those replays cost us a TD the last time N.D was at Michigan Stadium because it brought to the attention the play were the running back supposably stepped out of bounds. They called the play back. IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

      Go Irish

    8. Outsatnding as always!

    9. Ed Smithe says:

      I was in the fancy seats behind the SC bench at the 2005 game, and I fondly remember nearly got thrown out for screaming at the top of my lungs for most of the game.

      As with Yankee stadium, the problem is that there are far too many “fans” that have come there for the expensive “experience” as opposed to defending our turf. Unfortunately, many of those fans start in their late 40s and continue up to their mid 60s (though my father, who’s turning 70 this year has always done a good job of making noise).

      The only way that you will fix that is to allow more individuals like myself in those seats (that give a damn), vs. selling more tickets to the “high rollers.”

      And therein lies the rub…So long as ticket prices to enter those seats are high and remain exclusive to friends of the University and Alumni, it won’t matter what Jack does to motivate the fans. Those that are motivated will be motivated, those that are not, will not.

      The only way that you solve this is to insert “plants” (perhaps folks blessed by the University by a lottery) in those sections and give them free reign. It’s pathetic that we have to stoop to these levels, but that’s the only way you’re going to solve this problem.

      Like the French revolution, all it takes is a few dedicated individuals to incite the mob. It’s time that the University finds those dedicated folks and gives them an opportunity to bring back the “mystique” of ND stadium.

    10. I have to say I’m very disappointed by the ‘blue card’ thing and the general malaise the ushers and crew seem to be advocating within the stadium. I’m wholeheartedly against that, the long TV timeouts, and the seemingly endless presentations (and I’m surprised you and I haven’t been recognized during these – surely they’re running out of people to give awards to on the field).

      That said I’m torn about the whole jumbotron thing. I understand where both sides are coming from. But maybe I’m more of an optimist and do believe it can (and if instituted, will) be done right. I also believe while you guys have a strong voice here, you may actually be in the minority on this issue (key word ‘may’ – have no idea but think there are more people for it than you guys think).

      Bring on USC.


      What is needed is to stop selling season tickets to people who are staid, sit too much and don’t make enough noise. Charging $10,000 plus the cost of season tickets is not the way to go if you want a hungry crowd that makes some noise.

    12. Pete Roddy says:

      Two MSU fans sat behind me last month and amongst their inane comments were complaints about the boring scoreboard. That’s kind of sad. In a good way.

      • It’s not sad in a good way. The scoreboard blows.

        Innovation. That’s the driver of success. And ND’s innovation is stuck in reverse, essentially marketing that it’s not Michigan State or Oklahoma State.

        I don’t know about at Jumbotron but a much better scoreboard is necessary

    13. I’m 76. Codger enuf? I may not jump up and shout as often as others, saving my energy for the plays that need to be rewarded, and FOR THE TIMES WHEN WE NEED TO TELL THE TEAM WE’RE WITH THEM, and maybe sometimes WHEN WE NEED TO TELL THE ENEMY WE WISH THEM THE WORST. Nevertheless, I’ll never complain about the ND fans who want to shout FOR EVERY PLAY. That’s their privilege, and the team deserves the support! I’ll watch their backs if that ‘s what it takes. “Enthusiasm . . . from ‘possessed by a god’.” So let’s not lump all us codgers in the same class. If it comes to that, I can still outshout at least half the whippersnappers, undergrad, grad or alumni. Really. And damned if I’ll let any usher feel comfortable who tries to tone me down. Oh, and I find jumbotrons more distracting than inspiring. All those presentations too.

      • Frank, sometimes a group gets a bad name from sour pusses. Happens to young people as well. The bottom line is everyone should be screamin’ their butts off. My Dad couldn’t stand, but he didn’t begrudge those who did. He loved it. It was enthusiasm. Last game he went to a game he almost passed out from heat prostration. He thinks it was the best time of his life now that he can’t go at all. Hopefully, you keep going for a long, long time.

      • F R A N K f o r P R E S I D E N T !

    14. Kenneth Hamilton says:

      I am for cheering and yelling and getting the crowd involved.

      While I personally have yet to fully come to a decision on the topic. I would just like to say there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

      Purdue- they literally have a commercial blasting between every down.

      Michigan state- even though they have a huge screen nearly the same amount of square footage is used in Ad space.

      and ill apologize in advance, but Michigan- they dont have any commercials, they only show replays and promote the university.

      would it be different? yes. Would it change the dynamic of how games have been in the past? yes. is it better? I think that’ll depend on the execution.

    15. Wow, so great to read this article. I have too been removed from a game because I was standing and cheerly loudly on 3rd downs. The rest of the people around me were shocked at what was happening. I even turned around twice and as politely as possible defended myslef to the upset fan…what is wrong with cheering?

      They eventually got an usher and as I held my ground with fans watching and defending me, I was asked to come with them.

      I was born and raised in South Bend, and also a graduate. People ask me all the time if I go to Notre Dame games, and I always tell them it is so depressing to be there I would much rather watch from my home. At least I can cheer on my team the right way. To actually cheer and not just golf clap.

      Notre Dame is not a scary place to play, no intimidation whatsoever. Crying shame. At least paint something in the end zone to remind the other team as to where they are.

      Uggghh! I’m depressed just ranting about it. Breaks my heart!

    16. wherethegagandheave says:


    17. Excellent article. The problem certainly isn’t the lack of a jumbotron; it’s the lack of sky boxes. We need a place to put the fans who don’t like standing and have lots of money to spend so that the fans who want to yell can be near the field.

    18. I just read this to my father who is has been an usher over the last few years. He has NEVER heard of a blue card system that you discussed here. He feels this usher must have gone rogue and put his own interpretation on the “family atmosphere” that the university is trying to promote.

    19. To the usher that handed out that blue card: I don’t blame you for following orders, and I hope that’s all you were doing. But to the person in charge who sanctioned this activity: how dare you. You make me absolutely sick. Ushers should enforce the rules against people that are irresponsible, dangerous, lewd, or inconsiderate. That is their job, and we thank them for doing their job. But they are utterly without jurisdiction or reason to punish people for cheering.

      I challenge all fans to be so loud and boisterous during the game, in support of the team, that all of those ND “fans” that are *not* joining in the cheering feel excluded and decide to leave. I don’t expect all fans to cheer until their throats hurt. There are plenty of kids and older alumni who probably can’t manage that for 4 hours. But to those so called “fans” that complain about fans that cheer, and to ushers who take such complaints seriously — ND football is not for you anymore, you are not welcome to enjoy it as far as I’m concerned.

      I know ND likes to enforce bright-line rules. Here is one: cheering alone cannot be “inconsiderate.” Ever. Especially if it is incredibly loud.

      • As a usher I have never heard of a blue card and have never told anyone not to cheer on my beloved Irish,thats Notre Dame football,Loud and spirited!!That said no one should have to put up with a drunk wit a filthy mouth.Most everyone comes a long distance to cheer for the Irish and should be able to enjoy the experiance.Don’t put the ushers in a position they don’t want because of your bad behavior.
        The advice I give to fans coming into the stadium is to watch the tunnel and when you see the gold helmits to stand (kids on the seats)and when those helmits move again yell like you never have before and dont stop until they exit the tunnel!! “GO IRISH” BEAT SC!!!!!!

        • Tim — I wish all the ushers had your viewpoint. I’m sure 90%+ of them do, actually. Unfortunately, some of them don’t, and just a few people are giving all ushers a bad name. You should challenge your fellow ushers to do better. If you see a fellow usher being overbearing, or holier-than-thou, or on a severe power trip without reason, you should help them understand that they are doing wrong (and hopefully they’ll either change, or they’ll realize that ND is no longer a place for them and they’ll quit).

          And if a fan is so drunk he can’t stand, I’ll gladly support any usher that wants to escort him out of the stadium. But also keep in mind that there’s nothing illegal or inappropriate about a little “social lubrication” as long as one’s inebriation isn’t causing harm to himself or others. So have some mercy on the common, acceptably buzzed, fan. That accounts for about 99% of us, and your mission is not to remove people who have had a few beers. It’s to keep the peace — not to enforce puritanical standards.

    20. JGoforthND says:

      I am a 32 year old male from KY and a life long Notre Dame fan. I was priveleged enough to attend my 1st game September 6, 2006 against Penn State. My friend got the tickets from a co worker, and after looking online we realized that we were very close to the field. After arriving at the stadium, and walking up the stair wells, I thought, well at least I am here, I dont care where I sit. We soon realized that you have to go up to get to the seats on the FRONT ROW. My first game, and I was leaning on the brick wall surrounding the field.

      I told my friend that I had every intention of standing the entire game and screaming louder than I do at home. Not long before kick off, a “middle aged” woman made a comment about me standing to her husband. I ignored it. Another comment, I ignored it. And another, to which I turned around and asked if there was a problem with me standing. I was unsure about the policy of ND games, and from the looks of the fans around me, I felt out of place standing. I am not a real tall guy, maybe 6′, but she implied I was the size of Manute Bol. I told her and her husband that I was going to stand, and that I was sorry. She then said she was going to get an usher and have me moved. Before she could, I went to the usher and told him my quandry, explaining how far I had come and how in awe I was. He told me one thing, “you sit down when the band sits down”. Fair enough. It did not take long to figure out the band never sits down.

      My point is, a jumbo tron does not add anything to the stadium. After traveling all over the SEC watching football games, it is all about the fans, their knowledge of football and some of it has to do with tailgating. Notre Dame football is great the way that it is, we are developing a great product, and without the 2 hiccups at the start of the season, this USC game would (and still might) be a great football atmosphere. Love the articles, thanks for letting me ramble. GO IRISH!

    21. When I visited South Bend for the USC/ND game, there were plenty of drunken tail gaters prior to the game who threw junk at the USC band bus’ and were in a somewhat festive mood to say the least. I thought it was great fun but am not sure I would want my young children involved around the tail gaters. I would agree that the big screen is all to often used as a big time advertisment and a distraction to the game, not to mention to the ambience of a great stadium with a great tradition.
      USC has big screens at home, but they are not used for ads… just the score and replays. The later is a good thing however.
      If any school can afford the stadium improvements it must be ND. I would suggest heated areas for winter games for us wimps from Socal… I darn near froze to death with the 30 mph wind and freezing rain and 30 degree weather.

      Lets hope we have a good contest this weekend. It appears that ND has the edge with more mature players as USC is playing 18 underclassman, half of which are freshman.

    22. This article is a long time coming. I get dirty looks from the ushers every year, and I’m 55. My son and I have to tone it down when we think we’re going to get in trouble for being too exuberant. Sad. But that directive to stadium employees has to come from somewhere. Who? And as someone who has attended many University of Kentucky home football games, I can assure you… ear-splitting music and two jumbotrons does not equate to success on the field.

    23. 10 So Cal recruits are coming to the USC game this weekend according to press reports. Most are being recruited by both USC and ND. It is critical that ND fans remember that if any of these kids pick USC over ND, they are to immediately and forever be labeled “gangsters” or “thugs” but if these exact same players select ND, they are always be referred to as “student athletes”.This is a proud ND tradition that must be upheld. We want this myth to continue at all costs.

      This is satire for you young readers.

    24. Isn’t it the responsibility of the cheerleaders to get the crowd into the game? Maybe they should show some more passion or hold up cards reading “NOISE”.

      FYI – Cards, as in cards used for card stunts have all but been eliminated as students began throwing them all over the stadiums and some people were hurt.

      Great plays and exciting football is what gets the fans on their feet. Close competitive games also help. blow outs, either way kill the crowd involvement and send them home early to beat the traffic.

    25. Excellent article. I would add that the same goes for basketball games. Although I’ve never been approached by an usher, I have been shamed by fellow ND fans for being too loud while the visiting teams fans carry on like banshees. I don’t understand how “fans” can pay for a ticket and then sit on their hands. Maybe this is my cue to stop wasting my hard earned money. I can scream at my big screen at home and only upset the dog!

    26. Not arguing the incident that was described in the article, just want to say that as someone who has been an Usher for 10 years now, I’ve never seen or heard of these Blue cards (or any other color) and I’ve never asked anyone to be quiet or sit down. And for the record, I’ve never been instructed or had it implied to me that I needed to do that either. It’s a big stadium and there are a lot of Ushers working, so I would never presume to know everything that goes on, but there has never been a directive given to the Usher population to keep people from cheering or standing. To the contrary, I’ve always been as frustrated as anyone else by the lack of noise/passion at our stadium on most Saturdays. For the most part, I think the Ushers do a really good job, but as in any situation when you have 800+ people performing a job, there will always be some that don’t measure up. Here’s hoping that this whole mess gets resolved and that on Saturday night we have 80,000+ standing and yelling for the entire game! Go Irish!

    27. Anoitherodlcodger checking in….
      Those cheers “We are N D are maddening and do not arouse the crowd….in my day (there’s the old codger coming out) several spontaneous cheers came out most notably a building GO, GO GO GO GO that got louder each time. the cheerleaders can start it, but i becomes infectious. and the crowd will participate.

    28. Sadly, this is all too true, and I’m really glad this article points out the crux of the problem at ND home games…Jumbotron or no jumbotron, the underlying problem is the lack of spirit by a large portion of the fans. The students are definitely NOT the problem, and so I think Swarbrick was addressing the wrong crowd when he spoke at the dining halls. The problem is the rest of the stadium, much of which is composed by complacent, old alums who have forgotten what a live football game atmosphere should be. It’s so pathetic…I mean, this is Notre Dame football!! I understand that profanity or bigotted comments should not be allowed, but cheering loudly and standing is part of the game! If you’d like to watch it in a quiet, calm, and serene setting, STAY HOME AND WATCH THE GAME ON YOUR COUCH!!!

    29. The only “fix” needed for the stadium is to remove the seats in the upper-level north endzone so Touchdown Jesus can watch His boys play (and so they can see Him in return). A jumbotron is an insult to that stadium.
      Cheer loudly, my friends. This game against USC is enormously important – not only for this season – but for the future of the program with so many big-time recruits coming to witness Our Lady’s campus in person!

    30. I”ve been to at least 10 games, love the gameday atmosphere, but most times it is anticlimatic to the Friday night pep rally. There you can let go and really be a Notre Dame fan.At every rally the coach and players get up and solicit us to be loud and to be a fan. I will continue to attend any game I can and while at the game will do what the coaches and players ask because that’s who I’m the to support (my TEAM) THE FIGHTIN’ IRISH

    31. Great article.
      Years ago,Joe Theismann suggested something along the lines of ” if you could bottle up the energy in Notre Dame Stadium it would light up the world”————I’m certain I am not quoting verbatim,but I think I am close.

      I am 74 years old and saw my first ND game in 1946 (Army in Yankee Stadium) and continue to go to any game I am lucky enough to get a ticket for.

      I cringe every time an usher welcomes me to the game and also suggests I “enjoy the game”.

      Stop with the “warm, fuzzy stuff”and make everyone in the Stadium know “WE ARE ND” !!!

      Lose the flower beds,the pretty yellow seats and the clapping hands suggesting we”make noise”.

      Notre Dame stands for so many great things———-leave the fan base alone and allow us to”SHAKE DOWN THE THUNDER”

    32. The JumboTron is a not the only thing issue here. The blue cards are R-D – RIDICULOUS. A JumboTron is a fact of CURRENT football – as are the ‘crazy’ uniforms of Oregon and now Maryland. The STUDENTS and more importantly the RECRUITS want to play in front of this atmosphere, want those uniforms, want to hear the fans in the stands (and those of you who don’t think this is true that have never had the chance to wear an ND uniform of any kind and represent the school). Good recruits plus good coaches usually equals good football. I agree, the ND football atmosphere is arguably on a continued spiral downhill to a Disney-like joke, with no end in sight. If ND wants a game day atmosphere that competes with Camp Randall, Ol’ Miss, etc., bring back Green Field, kegs of beer, and tailgating where students can walk down a row of cars and yell, “Thirsty Domer” and have a beer thrown to them by an alumni. Bring on the jumbotron (with limited advertising). Bring on updated uniforms. Bring on a song to enter the stadium. Ditch the 1812 Overture that was popular in 1989 (does anyone remember when Louie Louie was banned during the first of the Holtz years?? How ridiculous). Does anyone think that walking out the fencing team at a commercial break really gets the fans going? Seriously. And yes, I was at the ’05 USC game. And I am a huge advocate of the jumbotron – and any other effort to bring ND football game days to the 21st Century.

    33. If you can’t cheer without a jumbotron, how do you cheer with one? I submit, the issues are the same … standing, too loud, etc.

      It seems that a “family” atmosphere equates to “calmness”, “proper behaviour” – whatever that means, and subdued voices in the presence of children. Having coached middle school football, one of the fundamentals we had to teach our boys was how to play with emotion. The process required getting loud. It is possible to be emotional and quiet, but it is more difficult; besides, how does that help the team if they need our emotion to help them?

      I was at the AF game, and I thought it was insulting to us fans that the players had to wave their arms asking for noise. There was a group of us that responded; we yelled and stood up. Our ushers didn’t say a word. May be columns like this are having an effect on the ushers, but we need the fans.

      Lastly … the cheerleaders cheers seem rather lame to an old geezer like me. We had to cheer on our own at AF.

    34. I used to go to several home games a year. A few years ago, however, I decided to “travel” with the team instead. If I wasn’t in, or next to, the student section the home game is pretty much a long and boring affair…win or lose. The STUDENTS are great, and are not the Problem! Outside of their section, on several occassions, I have been told way too often to “sit down,” or “be quiet.” I honestly think my home gamewatches might be louder than the South End Zone sometimes. Come to think of it; I know the visiting fans are louder on that end…embarassing; just embarassing.

      I have more fun at away games where we can stand, cheer and scream. ND fans are there to support the team and be as loud as possible. How is it we are louder at away games than at home games anyway? That should tell you something! I have friends who didn’t go to ND ask how the “game day” atmosphere is. My response…it is something like no other; something everyone should experience at least once in life; campus tours, the dome, the team walk, the band, the tailgating, Touchdown Jesus; just amazing…until the kickoff! Between NBC tv timeouts and being told to sit down be quiet, it makes for a really long afternoon.

    35. Patrick Mikes '79 says:

      Let’s do this correctly: ban everyone who is in late midlle age or older. Inspect all ticketholders and direct those who appear frail or incapable of sustaining loud, raucous cheers to watch the game in the ACC. Do whatever is necessary to ensure the people in the stadium act the way we want them to act.

      I graduated fron Notre Dame 32 years ago. Before complaining about the participation of the fans or implementing draconian changes to the stadium and ticket policies, I’d like to ask a few questions:

      1. Have the demographics of the non-student fans in the stadium changed significantly over the past three decades? Older, richer/poorer, more or fewer women in attendance, alumni/non-alumni? Do we really want to use these data to determine policies regarding ticket sales and fan behavior?

      2. What is the impact of the NBC contract? Frequent, prolonged game delays. Later (perhaps less convenient) start times. How do these affect attendance and enthusiasm? (I agree with the comment above citing the frequent awards and commendations distributed during the game. Many of them are meaningful to the recipients but not to the fans).

      3. What are the precise policies and directions communicated to the ushers? How are these different from 20-30 years ago? Who sets the policies? Have they truly affected fan behavior?

      4. How does the recent performance of the team compare to the performance in the ’70’s and late 80’s?

      I think most complaints can be resolved by a candid answer to question 4.

    36. I’m an “old codger”, and I have been screaming my lungs out at ND Stadium (and other stadii) for more than 60 years. I was introduced to the ND spirit in the old field house on Fridays and bonfires in the fields that are now East of the Stadium. If I didn’t get hoarse, my Mother or Father would ask my what had happened to my spirit. I have been a season ticket holder form more than 45 years, and my brother and I have led cheers from the SE corner of the stadium for all that time. We have a loyal and participatory group who join in, including some of the best ushers in the stadium.
      If you can’t duplicate that in your seating area, it is sad. We only wish we had more support from some of the “youngsters” in their 20s, 30, and 40s, who only cheer on 3rd or 4th down!
      Jumbotron? Hell no! I’ve been to most of our opponents’ stadii and they are a distraction. I think the Tennessee fans need one because they can’t generate enough sound themselve. I love to drown out the SC fans when it’s 70k vs. 5k, even thought they have a guy with a bullhorn on a platform, pleading with them to make noise.
      If you are told to sit, just politely tell the person you sit occasionallly at Sacred Heart, which is Church. This is the home of the Fighting Irish!

      • God Bless, TNT65. This is the line of the day, “If you are told to sit, just politely tell the person you sit occasionallly at Sacred Heart, which is Church. This is the home of the Fighting Irish!”

      • Patrick Mikes '79 says:

        The plural of stadium is either stadiums or stadia.

    37. Michael Martini says:

      We need more COWBELL!!!!!

    38. I agree with most of this post…but I want a jumbotron.

    39. The last game I attended was with my sister during the Weis era. Everytime we stood and cheered some fella from behind us would yell “down in front”! By halftime we felt so unwelcome we left. On the way out a group of MSU tailgaters invited us over and we had a blast with “the enemy”! We had more fun with the opposition than we did with our own fans. Sad commentary folks! Want to see the difference between us a

    40. good article…sky boxes accomplishes at least two things, takes the quiet one percenters off the seats and keeps the crowd noise in ala the Big House…would appreciate however, video replay screens on the north east and south west corners of the stadium…they don’t have to be huge and they don’t have to be glitzy…let’s all cheer on Saturday till we lose our voices…

    41. I must take a contrarian view to much that is expressed here. Let me focus on the core point, right now: usher actions. “Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame, but please do so in a family-friendly, politically correct manner while not obstructing views of others,” seems, if interpreted reasonably, exactly the policy that ND ushers should follow.

      If the stories told here are true on their face, then there do seem to be some over-reacting ushers, but in the many games I have attended, I’ve never witnessed anything of the sort. I’ve never even heard any one EXPRESS a problem with loud cheering. I’ve seen ushers intervene immediately to break up a brawl, respond instantly to an elderly woman fainting and falling, and taking a young lost boy in hand. I’m happy to have ND staff who are so responsive. At the LA Coliseum, I missed almost a whole half of football because ushers wouldn’t take the time to check tickets when there was a counterfeit problem; instead they made me leave the stadium and stand in three different lines before readmitting me with great embarrassment. Give me ND’s professionalism every time.

      My own experience is that ushers are not responding because patrons are too loud, but rather because they are too loaded (and/or obnoxious). I’ve seen plenty of that, and I don’t care for it or think it adds to the game experience. Louts “accidentally” pouring drinks on people in front of them every time they cheer, men repeatedly and disgustingly sexually harassing young women, 24 year-olds fans screaming at 7 year-olds in the wrong team colors, “Your team sucks, you f***ing loser.” USHER PLEASE! Most people don’t ever call the usher but tolerate these jerks; I don’t resent any one who refuses to be so liberal. And don’t dare to pretend that it is in any way necessary to allow obnoxiousness an belligerence in order to have good fan participation.

      I also must take issue with those who think that standing and screaming their heads off the entire game somehow marks them as true fans, the only ones who should be allowed at games, the only ones supporting the team, and that everyone else is old, staid, rich, sour pusses, codgers, entitled, whiners, etc. You need to get over YOURSELVES. The game is not about you and your essential connectedness to the team. You are like concert fans who think that because they dance in the aisles and shout out the lyrics of their favorite songs they are better, somehow, than fans who actually want to hear the band’s music. It’s a preference, not a virtue, and one in which their assertion of themselves as just as important as the performers on stage precludes others from their different preference.

      Let’s examine this need to “stand and deliver.” First, don’t imagine you make that much difference to the team. You do not make Te’o tackle harder, Lynch get off the line quicker, or Gray run faster. Again, get over yourselves. You are fans, NOT football players. Second, don’t pretend that you alone are cheering and nobody else. In big games, on important downs, at crucial moments, and during big plays almost every one in the stadium is very involved. Third, don’t confuse continuously standing and blocking people’s views while bellowing insults that nobody except those nearby can hear with jumping up and loudly cheering or raising the stakes on third downs when the stadium speaks as one. My sense is that few people get annoyed with spontaneous or momentary exuberance, or carefully controlled and calculated participation, but find it irritating when demonstrativeness is a permanent condition unrelated to what is happening on the field and more related to what fans feel about themselves. Just as coaches realize that players cannot be high for every play of every game, so most fans in attendance need pacing as well.

      To recapitulate, I totally agree with the Rock that winning teams playing games of import are the most important factor in audience engagement. I look at usher behavior and audience participation through a different lens, though. Read closely, I’m not sure I’m that far off from the Rock, though he goes for passion first — including in his criticisms — (and then remembers limits) and I go for good behavior and sportsmanship first (and then want passion within it). Many others here don’t seem nearly as nuanced, though, in understanding that tolerance AND consideration must go hand-in-hand if everyone is going to enjoy games at Notre Dame

    42. As another 10 year usher, I had an incident last year at the Utah game. Two vocal fans were trying to cheer on old Notre Dame. Everyone else in the section was sitting on their duffs. We are talking about close to the field seats, where the players can hear their names being called. For those of you who know me, I high five everyone in my section on every score and defensive stop. I was asked by people behind them to have them sit down. As I approached, I put it back on those standing and yelled loudly to them from about 15 feet away. Told them they had two options, sit down and be quiet like the rest of the section, or get everyone else into the game and get them to stand up. They quickly got the message. We had the entire section standing in a matter of one minute. Problem solved. Then I apologized to the fans who wanted to sit down, stating that the majority of the fans wanted to stand and cheer, and offered to have them relocated to a section where no one stood. They declined. No complaints for the rest of the game.

    43. A Jumbotron would be entertaining if used correctly…energy created watching clips of Rocket, Timmy, Tony…or Joe… even old radio highlights of great plays would instill much needed excitement. The biggest issue with energy is the 4+ minutes per commercial break. And wow, there are a lot of commercial breaks. And what happens during commercial breaks? Announcements and ceremonies happen…both of which can be interesting to some…but better left for another time…Half time or Pre-game for example. Commercials and award ceremonies kill enthusiasm and noise. Perhaps a reason the student section is so successful in cheering continuously is because they disregard most of the PA announcements and presentations and allow their adrenaline to stay constant or build. Get rid of those and replace them with 4+ minutes of Irish highlights and the fire may last until the “break” ends. Energy is going to be needed on Saturday night so let’s do away with or ignore the announcements and ceremonies during for just one game. Go Go Go Go Irish sounds good to me.

      • “If used correctly” is the key phrase. It will not be. Nowhere in sports today is there a screen that is being used the way you describe. What leads you to believe ND would be different?

    44. TV timeouts absolutely kill the atmosphere,…….and everyone knows it. It’s time for a jumbotron with the caveat that there is absolutely NO advertising or commercial activity whatsoever. And that includes any University public announcements. TV time out? How about a Rocket run back. TV time out? How about Zorich blowing up Miami. Austin Carr drilling Sydney Wicks. Pat O’Brien. It’s time for a Jumbotron in this Class of ’74’s opinion.

    45. If the NFL can play a nationally televised game in 3 hours and make enough money then ND should be smart enough to figure it out as well! It is hard to cheer though the long TV timeouts and maintain the intensity that Swarbrick is looking for, to say nothing of what it does to the players and any momentum we develop. Standing around waiting for the commercial timeout to finish is terrible for the game, the players and the fans!

      Maybe those who want to sit and calmly watch should be directed to buy seats in the upper ring and those who want to cheer and stand should be seated in the original 59,075. Add skyboxes for the big donors on either side to free up the lower bowl for more rambunctious fans. If we need a jumbotron to offset the lost advertising from TV commercials and to help pay for stadium modifications so be it, put it in the south endzone with 2 smaller screens in the NW and NE corners. Minimize the advertising during the game, use it for replays predominantly. You could run commercials and advertising before the game, halftime and after the game as people leave. You could make the jumbotron two sided to entertain the fans in the parking lot before, during and after the game.

      Anything to keep the flow of the game going, to maximize the speed of play that Coach Kelly wants and to take advantage of our new levels of fitness and athleticism.

    46. Nowhere in sports are there games with as many TV timeouts to endure. When at other stadiums, the breaks are shorter and less. Heck the Superbowl is probably run in less time than an ND game. If Jack wants us to cheer through countless 4 minute timeouts…and keep our intensity, we need help. Throw us a bone…or in this case a JumboTron…

      • Then address the length of the TV timeouts. It seems that would be a much more cost-effective solution that could be implemented much more easily.

        • El Kabong, I did address the TV timeouts…the timeouts are what kills energy…I am not writing to come up with a cost-effective solution…just having fun

    47. Monk RUINED the ND game day experience. If you think that for a minute, Jack, that fans cheering the crowd does not impact the players on the field and make them run faster, hit harder, jump higher – then you, my friend, do not understand the basics of adrenaline and ATP that flows through a 20 year-old body. I agree – no need for cursing – but screaming and cheering? For the sake of the rest of us who want a stadium atmosphere that competes with other colleges that have been kicking us up and down the field for the last 15 years, find a skybox, drink your Manhattan, and golf clap all you want.

    48. TV Timeouts… ouch, this is the killer of passion and momentium at the game. Many above have stated it and it is so true. A team gets on a roll and the crowd is on their feet in anticipation and then all of a sudden… “timeout on the field”… for a TV break. Everyone sits down for 5 minutes, chats it up,check email, surf the net and when play resumes, both teams make substitutions of fresh guys and the game begins anew. All momentium is lost as players wonder “where were we”. The momentium of the emotion and moment are lost. I fondly remember when TV would show the half time shows and you could listen to the bands play and get a sense of the tradition of both teams. Not anymore, it’s “back to the studio” for an endless run of clips from other games and analysis.

      Keith Jackson was right when he got out saying that when they told me to place over 55 commercial placements into the game dialog, I had had enough. When the first down line is “brought to you by”, you know the game is secondary.

    49. My bad on the “stadii”. That’s what I get for trying to remember Latin from classes 50 years ago.

    50. As for a Jumbotron at Notre Dame, personally, can’t see a place for it without blocking a view of some part of the university I like to see from the stadium, even after the expansion. Thats just a personal thing though. As for the crowd and the “game experience”, quite frankly, I have been going to Notre Dame games from the age of four, and have seen some of the greatest games and teams play in ND Stadium, even remember going when they played Alabama at home once.
      There has been a drastic change in atmosphere inside the stadium, and out for that matter, in recent years. I have been asked to sit down MANY times, I have been told I am being to loud, and have even been told to turn my t-shirt inside out because it had an offensive word on it, the word was “damn”. Those experiences, and reading the experiences of others recently have made me not want to go to home games purely out of fear of being thrown out, or in some cases, placed under arrest, or even just an overall uncomfortable feeling of having to take caution in how I express my support.
      Thats kind of sad actually, that I don’t fell comfortable in a place that for many years I have always professed to be the “Greatest Place In The World”. Always said if given a choice of any place in the world to be, gimme Notre Dame Stadium on a fall Saturday afternoon for a big home game. For now though, I think I’ll just let others have their “Notre Dame Experience”, I prefer to watch on TV and enjoy “The Spirit of Notre Dame!” Remember, God doesn’t care who wins a football game, but His Mother sure does! GO IRISH!

    51. Here are three reasons there is no crowd noise: (1) bad product for the last 20 years (2) too many high rollers going to the games (3) the NBC games last about 4.5 hours (4) crackdown on drinking.

      ND needs more sex, drugs, and rock and roll when it comes to Saturday tailgating.

      I am an ’03 graduate and didn’t go inside the stadium for half the games because of the depressing scene and the 4.5 hour long games.

      Had more fun watching at the Linebacker.

    52. I’m happy to be able to share my own usher story: Last year my friend and I were in the south endzone seats for the home opener vs Purdue (can’t remember the section #). It was both of our first times in the stadium as alums, meaning it was our first time sitting outside of the student section. We were naturally a bit let down at the lack of energy in the general seats, but took it for what it was. We got to talking with the people behind us and found them to be Alex Welch’s family, who at that time was a freshman. This was his first game on the team and also his family’s first game inside ND stadium! After the first Irish touchdown, the Welch’s were admiring the scene seeing of thousands of students doing push-ups for the first time, so we explained the ritual and offered to “put up” the daughter to join in… the family was super pumped and the daughter was excited… she got up on the bench but before we could even do one push up an usher swooped in and wagged his finger at us to show that wasn’t allowed. After we put her down I went over to him and asked what the reasoning behind this was; I forget his exact answer but something along the lines of liability and not wanting anyone to get hurt. Such a load of crap… you could easily add a line or two the fine print on the back of the ticket to cover any liability issues, and in fact I would assume there already is the necessary wording on there, “Notre Dame is not responsible for…” etc. Needless to say we were very dismayed by this spirit-killing display by the usher and by the beginning of the 2nd quarter had already been snuck into the student section by underclassmen friends. Felt much more at home there where we could actually cheer.

      In summary: ND stadium ushers cracked down on recent grads who agreed to a ND football player’s family’s request to put their daughter up for push-ups. For shame!

    53. I was at the Steelers game Sunday in Pittsburgh and it was LOUD and the atmosphere was fantastic. I have not seen anything close to that at ND stadium in years. Two years ago we had a Boston College fan in our section who was both loud and obnoxious (but not profane) but that seemed to be fine with the ushers (“Welcome to Notre Dame!”) The University has to realize that this is a football stadium and while profanity is not necessary, standing and screaming are part of a typical fan’s support for their own team. I don’t know what my reaction would be if an usher threatened me with a “blue card” for supporting Notre Dame at Notre Dame stadium. Pathetic.

    54. How about some new cheers…We (PAUSE) Are (PAUSE) N (PAUSE) D (PAUSE)! GO (PAUSE) Irish! You can set your watch by when the cheerleaders will be bringing out these game changers every week. Basically the same since the 80’s. The band does its traditional small group tour through the stadium. As a band member, we also started that in the 80’s. No real change since. Here’s an idea…how about a nut job Leprechaun in the mold of Chris Farley. Rather, our male cheerleaders have physiques like Chris Farley! Here’s another thought…instead of a Jumbotron, how about McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts awarding a free Big Mac or coffee to everyone with a ticket stub when the Irish win or score a certain number of points? Hey, what about setting some clear expectations and challenging our students, alumni and fans? Domers really seem to understand expectations. Better yet, how about some new expectations for our Administration and stadium staff? Our fans are quiet and ND is one of the most boring places to watch a college football game. Call it what it is! Wait, let’s listen to a Michigan or USC fan call it what it is! Oh, the many ideas. What about a university plan to execute some or all of them? Surely we have the intellectual expertise to develop a comprehensive loud cheering plan and execute it. No…too much work and not enough money in that. I vote Jumbotron!

    55. Tim N. Section 18 says:

      Enough said. Pass it on for this weekend. Go Irish Go!

    56. I think that part of the problem is that the university and fans expect too much from a football game. This is a football stadium. Sure, it’s old and it’s beautiful and it’s on campus and all of this but it’s a football stadium. It’s not church. It’s not Disney or a shopping mall or whatever. It’s football, a brilliant, but violent, sport.

      People should stand up for the entire game. They should scream, holler, yell and get the place rocking. That should be the goal. And at times, that may mean that profanity is heard. Now, this is different than being unsafe. It’s different than allowing fans to vomit from alcohol intake or to smoke pot or whatever (yet, I doubt football fans smoke a lot of herb at a football game). But come on. Bring some energy.

      Swarbrick is right about one thing: Notre Dame has the quietest football atmosphere anywhere in big-time college football. It’s louder in Evanston.

    57. I agree about the ushers and the laid back culture at ND. I do think a jumbotron( or video boards like at ALA would be a good idea. There is so much dead time that replays, scores, highlites from other games,ND videos etc would make the game experience much better.

    58. There are so many things that seperate Notre Dame from other colleges which brings alumni and supporters of the university and its mission so much pleasure – academic standards, honesty, integrity, resourcefulness, giving, etc. This, however, is not one of them. If this blue card nonsense stays in place, and they do not allow fans to stand up and get loud at a FOOTBALL GAME, then I suggest we change the nickname of the team and the institution to “The Polite and Politically Correct Irish” instead of “The Fighting Irish.”
      ND has great baseball – for those who want to sit down for 99% of the game I suggest 9 innings instead of 4 quarters.

    59. Thomas Burke says:

      Swagger, edge and respect is what we need in the stands. We dont want jumbotrons or a tranformation into belligerent-drunken SEC style beefcakes that Michigan has become. But for God’s sake, can we stop acting like were at mass during the games. It’s not sexy and it doesnt intimidate anyone!

    60. Robert Gibbs says:

      I completely agree, things have changed inside the House that Rock built, ever since season tickets were offered. I, as well as anyone else, are aware of the Alumni and how important Alumni support is for the team and for Notre Dame. However, to be blunt, most of the season tickets were purchased by those Alumni who are, lets face it, members of the AARP. And those older Alumni prefer to treat going to a Notre Dame FOOTBALL game as if they’re going to the opera. It’s NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL for Pete’s Sake! I’ll be at this weekend’s game, and like games I’ve attended in the last few years, I can honestly say that I will feel those darts of stares in my back by those older Alumni as I stand and Cheer Cheer for Ole Notre Dame……I guess I might as well purchase a Tuxedo, bring in a glass of wine, and act as if I’m attending the Opera…………..GO IRISH!

    61. Domer2010 says:

      While I agree with your overall sentiment, I believe you have missed your target. Jack Swarbrick’s main concerns do not center on creating/enforcing stadium rules and instructing the ushers to enforce a “family friendly” Disneyland atmosphere. That entire mess is run by Mike Seamon, Director of Game Day Operations.

      I’m sure Mike would love to hear from you. Feel free to voice your concerns/questions/comments when you see him around campus, or email him:

      GO IRISH! BEAT $C!

    62. I almost got kicked out of the USF game for standing while the scoreboard said “On Your Feet”. Absolute joke. Had an 70+ year old usher threaten to get security. I can tell you one thing. That’s not gonna fly Saturday night. When will the House that Rockne Built be a feared destination again? Hopefully it starts Saturday.

      Here Come the Irish. Beat $C!

    63. I’ve missed only one home game since 1968 and always found the fans cheering loudly when we are winning. Its about an attitude, that no matter what the score is, we will win.
      We haven’t had that feeling lately until this past year and its returning. I some sometimes see players exhorting fans to cheer, [that’s not needed], play hard the cheering will come naturally. I attended a Notre Dame game at Nebraska and the worst part of the whole experience was their jumbotron, You could not even hear the Nebraska band. What a waste of money! This is just like the administration trying to generate enthusiasm in their orchestrated pep ralley’s. Let the students do their own thing and it will be genuine enthusiasm. Just some thoughts from an old timer.
      GO IRISH!!!!!!

    64. Let me start by repeating the obvious reasons why our stadium is dead on gameday- poor product for many years, 4 hour games, lamest cheers in the country and a stadium full of tourists. These things do not promote electricity and excitement. Let me add one more factor to the debate. Our place is a dump! The bathrooms, concessions and ridiculously cramped quarters in the lower stadium are pathetic. Whether you traditionalists want to hear it or not, these things affect the overall experience of a football game at ND. So does not having a jumbotron. I say get one. Start some new cheers and game day rituals while you are at it. The traditions worth saving include winning games, national championships and heisman trophies all the while doing it the right way in terms of recruiting and academics. The traditions worth losing include cramped quarters, troughs in the mens restroom, cheers that put you to sleep and apparently (this one is news to me) ushers confused about their jobs.

      • I have been to MANY stadiums with dumbotrons and, let me tell you, they do NOT generate excitement. In fact, in every case, every single fan sitting around me thought that they were too loud and added virtually nothing to the game except replay of the previous play. And, before you say it, I am by no means an old man. Just a young fan giving you a bit of perspective with respect to the Dumbotron.

    65. I believe that anyone who thinks that a Jumbotron will help us get more wins is not in touch with competitive athletics. If these guys aren’t fired up playing for ND, then remove their scholarship and send them to Backup College. If you win, the fans will respond, it’s as simple as that.

    66. kmjackson says:

      We do not need a jumbotron. Jumbotrons do not make fans cheer louder. I have been to lots of sporting events and I have never seen a jumbotron that did not cause more silence as people watch slack-jawed than cheers. Exciting football and a change in the mindset are needed (its OK to make noise and bring out your keys on 3rd down, you did it as a student…)

    67. What the heck is wrong with those people! Kicking people out for being loud? Nuts. Anyone reading this got the ear of Swarbrick? Tell him to read this page and fix it. Thanks Tim N Section 18 for the youtube link to the 1988 game. GET LOUD! How about a bunch of students roam the parking lots before the game and tell everyone to get loud?

      On the issue of standing, not everyone can or wants to stand all game like the students. You can still be loud sitting and can jump up on the really exciting plays. A little compromise works there. But BE LOUD!!!! And NO jumbotron.

    68. “I travel around with our team and our stadium is the quietest place to play.”

      There’s a reason, Jack – you.

    69. Great article. That YouTube of the ’88 Mich game makes me want to run down on kickoff coverage Saturday night (and watch the rest of the game from the Hospital with a big grin on my face). Go Irish! Make some noise!

    70. NotreDameNate says:

      Here is my .02 worth. My 1st game was in 06 at Purdue. My buddy scored 2 tickets and we both went. Just so happens that our tickets were with the ND student section, what a freaking blast it was. They knew it was our 1st game and they let me do the 1st six pushups, just amazing. The students were awesome and it was made even better as none of us had to sit down, it was all students around us. That is what I do at my house, I stand and I cheer!

      2nd game is in 07 at Notre Dame vs. BC. I realize ND struggled mightly that year, but that does not matter to me. This was my 1st time at a game in South Bend, you better bet your a.s.s. off I was going to stand and cheer. Unfortunately my experience was nothing like the one I had at Purdue. To be quite honest, I was very disappointed. I was told more than once to sit down by IRISH fans. I was shocked, and at a loss for words. How can you go to a football game and NOT CHEER for your HOME team? It left such an impression on me that I don’t know if I would care to spend the money on a ticket, travel, and then have to freaking sit down for the game. I can’t do that. If I go I want to be by the student section in hopes I won’t be told to sit down. But that isn’t a guaranteed either, I’m sure. So I guess I will just watch it on t.v. in my house and stand and cheer all I want. I don’t know what else to do. Hopefully it will be rockin’ for the USC game though.

    71. It doesn’t matter is one team good or bad , crowd should be loud on every game if they are truly real fans of that team . There is that obligation to cheer your team on . But that is only my opinion 😉

    72. I haven’t read all the comments here but I got a pretty good feel. I would like to know how old the writers are. I am a Notre Dame graduate and after 43 years I am just as excited and interested in ND winning as ever. I certainly love to hear loud cheering as long as no swearing is involved and the people doing the cheering are not inebriated. But give me a break, people. I am 64 years old with a bad back and legs. You think I have to stand for the whole game to prove I am loyal??? I have gone to at least one home game every year since 1964 and have contributed to the Alumni fund every year since graduating. Are you people telling me I should stay home because me and probably 30,000 other people in the stands just can’t stand up for four and a half hours? By the way, when I was 20 I went and stood for the entire ND-MSU 10-10 tie in 1966. You do that when you are 20 but not when you are 64.

      • As long as you don’t mind people standing in front of you, and are cheering where you’re sitting, I appreciate the fact you cannot stand for that length of time. If you have an issue with that, try to trade seats for an aisle where you can see, etc. before you go get an usher and kill the energy all around you. I love the lifelong passion fans have for ND — but if those 30,000 other people in the stands who aren’t up to stand for that long are killing the energy, its time for those 30,000 people to be made to be the ones who feel uncomfortable in ND stadium. NOT the ones standing and cheering and being loud. If a ‘changing of the guard’ is what’s required to make our stadium great (it’s not now. not even close), then that is what it takes.

        Go Irish, Beat Trojans

    73. […] in Iowa: I had a bit here written early in the week supporting the Jumbo-Tron.  But after reading THIS OUTRAGE from ND Nation, you can count me among the jumbo-tron supporters no longer.  In fact, the single biggest way to […]

    74. Charlie S says:

      Take out the seats and benches in the stadium. That would help!

    75. PMB ’10: I’ve never complained to an usher. And try trading seats with anyone. I assume you are a 2010 grad. Well, son, use the intelligence you should have. Again, give me a break. Think about other people besides yourself. I have been at a ton of Southern Cal games and the classic Miami game and no one had to stand for the whole time to show spirit. Somehow I knew when I wrote on this board that I’d get people like you with no common sense. Sorry, son, but standing up isn’t the solution. Better teams are the solution. I’ll stand up with everyone else at crucial times, sure. But when ONE fan like you stands up surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people who don’t and forces those thousands of people to stand … it doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’ll be long dead when you are old enough to want to sit at games, but the day will come, and maybe you’ll remember me.

      By the way, I’ll be at the Southern Cal game yelling my head off, and if I have to stand, I will.