The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • It’s Not Yours!

    by CJC

    Hey Jack, Brian and even you, Fr. John:

    It’s not yours.

    Notre Dame is not yours to do with what you please. Jack, it’s not yours to remake into Stanford (although, sadly, I envy their football team). Brian, it’s not yours to remake into Cincinnati or Assumption College or Oregon or Michigan. Fr. John, you actually seem to get this, although following in the footsteps of a feckless president who wanted to turn Notre Dame into a mid-level Ivy would make anybody look good in comparison. And if my supposition is correct, it’s up to you to rid the place of people who fail to understand this.

    And although you should meet the appropriate needs of your students and consider respectfully their wishes, it’s not theirs, either.

    I’ll readily concede that current students, and in this particular context, current student-athletes, have a greater stake than us old farts. But it must be remembered that their greater stake is fleeting. Soon, too soon for most of them, that stake will be the same as those who came before them and those who will come after. By analogy, nobody would stand for George W. Bush putting longhorns on the front gate of the White House, or Barack Obama hanging a Chicago Bulls banner from the North Portico.

    What many of the players fail to appreciate yet — and many of the knuckleheads on NDNation and elsewhere fail to recognize — is that one of the strongest threads in a legacy is common experiences shared over many years.

    Please don’t mistake this for a Luddite mindset against all advances and improvements. Indeed, as the need for new facilities and other changes increases, all the more important to identify and preserve those things which can be preserved without harming the program or chances of success.

    As Chuck has pointed out so well today (and previously) — this is a unique place with a unique history. Nobody else can lay claim to it.

    It’s not yours to squander. It belongs to all of us.


    65 Responses to “It’s Not Yours!”

    1. Boo freakin’ hoo. If new, one-off unis and helmets help help get kids fired up and have a little fun, go with it. It’s not hurting anything. If field turf helps the team perform on the field, go with it. If a mix of recoreded and live band music enhances the atmosphere, go for it. If a (Oh my stars!) jumbotron is used properly, go with it. ND is breaking under the weight of it’s “traditions”. People need to stop freaking out about every little thing. Even the old traditions were new at some point. ND’s tradition is winning and winning the right way. The right way is with grades, graduation, character, passion, and integrity. Everything else is secondary.

      • Unbelievable. I hope that you love this new Notre Dame that changes its image so that people can identify field turf, shit helmets, recorded music, and a Jumbotron with mediocre football.

        The sad thing is that football is not even all that important. We used to be a university that struck a cord in the national consciousness. We had a president who was an adviser to 6 presidents. That Notre Dame had a football team that played on grass, had plain “real” gold helmets, did things its own way, and won national championships. People associated excellence with that football team and that university.

        Change too much and people will no longer identify Notre Dame this way. They will connect the football team to today’s Notre Dame which is no longer nationally important. Field turf, a Jumbotron, and constantly changing uniforms mean mediocrity. We aren’t winning enough football games and quite frankly, we aren’t always doing things the right way. People who used to identify with this fine Catholic university are turning away. We give honorary law degrees to pro-life presidents who actively support abortion bills. We are becoming more and more secular. We are losing our identity and its sad.

        All of these “innovations” simply serve to reshape the image of Notre Dame and cause people to realize that the place isn’t what it used to be. That’s why so many people are upset. We are destroying the legacy that those before us created.

        • “People associated excellence with that football team and that university.

          Change too much and people will no longer identify Notre Dame this way. They will connect the football team to today’s Notre Dame which is no longer nationally important”

          So are you trying to say that we should stick to our traditions to hide the fact that we are an above average football team, and that if we remove the traditions that illicit a Pavlovian response of thinking ND is a championship team, non-fans will see a big part of the truth? That just sounds like denial.

          People keep saying, so I will too. The only tradition I care about is winning. Scratch that. The traditions I care about are like how I like my winning: I don’t care so much of how they do it, as long as they do it. (for example, gold helmets to super gold helmets? fine. with a shamrock? i’ll take it since the helmet is still gold. music in the stadium? as long as the band still gets to play.)

          If the “old school” want to talk about lost tradition, what about the tradition of cheering for your team, and creating that home-field advantage? Didn’t you used to do that when you were a student? Or if you weren’t a student, didn’t you at least do that when you were younger? Don’t give me that “old” crap. My Grandpa is 76, and he gets out of his seat when watching football and basketball AT HOME!

          those of you who want to enjoy the game in peace and quiet, stay home. it’s not a game of badminton. heck, i can’t even say that; have you seen an Olympic badminton game? the crowd goes wild; even more so than many of the people I see in the stands at ND stadium! it’s a game of football – it’s literally one of the most physical sports in the world. imagine wrestling, but there are 22 guys and add a ball. you’re telling me you want to watch a violent game in peace? some of you say “my kids are here, and i don’t like the guy cursing in front of them”. really?! you’re taking your kids to watch 22 people hit each other in a game that has been known to have similar effects on the body as running into a garage door at full speed for 30 minutes? those of you who do this are hypocrites; encouraging brutal, physical play, yet covering the children’s ears to protect them against the cursing tongue of a fan, but still knowing full well you’ve probably cursed up a storm, be it at a game, or in your car after work, or at home stubbing your toe, etc. maybe you didn’t do it in front of kids, but again, you’re taking your kids to an event/venue where it is almost encouraged by fellow fans (due to the “passion” and love for the team) 98% of the time across 100% of all stadiums.

          • Well said. Where’s the “like” button.

            • Ditto…..that’s why I don’t mind seeing Kelly chewing butt on the sidelines when it’s deserved…such as a boneheaded penalty for standing over the USC player and taunting him. I almost bit my t.v.

        • You’re going to have to elaborate on why and/ or how one off uniform variants, canned music, hypothetical jumbotrons and field turf represent mediocre football. Last I checked, the vast majority of the top programs have these things. Last I checked, ND used to have shamrocks on the helmets. Last I checked, ND has won a few bowl games on turf. Last I checked, ND has been mediocre at best the past twenty years while wearing and playing on the “traditions” that you’re so concerned with defending. I guess maybe they’re not quite as magical as you seem to think. If ND wants to wear the same uniform and helmet for every game for the next 100 years, I don’t particularly care. The variations are a fun little twist that gets kids excited. Nothing is lost. Our field is awful. Field turf is a superior playing surface and would only help on the field performance. ON THE FIELD PERFORMANCE is what produces special memories and traditions. If you really think that having grass, never changing unis, and no electronic media is what makes ND and ND football special then you haven’t been paying attention. By your flawed reasoning, the first time a team wore a non-leather helmet, beefier pads, installed lights, made any uni change then they destroyed the legacy of the teams before them. So I guess all the teams that you love so much are really legacy murdering posers. That must be hard for you.

          • Except none of the things you listed have caused the 20 years of mediocrity, and implementing the things you listed will not do anything to change said mediocrity. So why is it important that they be done?

            • Regarding uniforms, it’s not important. That’s the entire point. If you don’t like the new uniform / helmet variants because you think they’re ugly (I do), that’s one thing. But to say something as trivial as that contributes to the dismantling of values and traditions is preposterous. Regarding everything else, if a better performing option is available, whether it be playing surface, pads, uniforms, lighting, a/v, etc, then ND should explore using it.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Because the best high school athletes in the country, who have a lot more options of colleges to win a NC or propell them to the NFL than 20 or 30 years ago, actually care about those things. They may not care about it as much as academic excellence and tradition but to ignore that it is part of their overall decision is foolhardy. These changes are not strictly for our enjoyment as fans. They are part of the package to recruit the best student-athletes to come to ND. And for those worried about these changes being tawdry and detrimental to the integrity of Notre Dame, ND will be the ones making the changes! I have full faith that they will make prudent decisions BECAUSE of that integrity, not despite it.

            • El Kabong says:

              Please list for me one blue-chip recruit who made his college decision based on any of those things you believe they “care about”.

            • Regarding “el kabong”‘s comment from 4:22. Check’s article regarding Oregon. FTW.

            • El Kabong says:

     is far from a valid source for anything

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              El Kabong- Watch Kelly’s press conference. All of the players that you root for liked the uniform changes. And as BK said, if they weren’t excited about them he wouldn’t have done it. Also, if current players are excited about it, recruits are too.

              Read “Recruiting Week in Review.” Both CB recruits mentioned National TV exposure as PART of their decision process. Do you think that recruits base their decision on just one or two things? It’s the complete package. It’s being able to show recruits that you are bringing all of the tradition and academic excellence to the 21st century.

              Like it or not, the student-athletes (which are the most important part of a winning football team) hold the most sway in making these changes. If you want to attract the best athletes you better consider EVERYTHING they are attracted to. 20 years of mediocrity was caused, in part, by the best players choosing other schools over ND. Maybe that had something to do with all that tradition being stuck in the previous century. Maybe it was the view by people outside of ND that the program was old and tired and because that tradition was the only thing ND offered. Maybe those people were other coaches. Most of those kids weren’t even born the last time ND won a NC. Let’s not forget our traditions or values but incorporate these new attractions with them in mind. Let’s show the rest of the country how ND can make these changes without being cheap or classless. We are ND. GO IRISH!

            • Regarding the dig from Elkabong, it is a valid source when it has direct quotes from Oregon players past and present who said one of the things that attracted them to the school was the uniforms. Every little bit helps.

            • If they’re making their decision based on uniforms, they’re not going to make it at Notre Dame when they actually have to go to class and other things other schools don’t make them do.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              El K- I cannot beleive you are actually insinuating that a player is dumb because he cares about how he looks in a uniform. I have friends who are Marines that said the dress blues and the Marine uniform in general was a reason they chose that branch of the military. They knew they wanted to serve, just like the student athletes want to play winning football and get a great education, but there were other factors that drove their decision as well.

              So while you claim that these kids are not smart enough to make it at ND, I beg to differ. What about the 105 players in the ND locker room that voted to accept the uniform changes? I think they have shown they can handle life at ND and, GASP, have an opinion on the uniform they wear.

              This all-or-nothing baloney that you continue to sell is getting old. Can you please at least consider the possibility that these types of issues may, in some small way, perhaps, have a little sway in the minds of these kids? Just maybe. Just a little. Just a faint possibility.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              What about the 105 players in the ND locker room that wanted the changes? They seem to be able to handle the rigors of life at ND

            • I believe the correct response is “You’re right, recruits do factor things like uniforms into their decision. I didn’t realize that kids cared that much about this stuff. I guess I was wrong about not being a valid source for anything as well.” You can think it’s dumb (I do too), but kids pay attention to this kind of stuff. It’s not everything, but it’s “not nothing” either. Like I said, every little bit helps. As long as it’s not illegal, against the rules, immoral, or goes against ND’s principles, they should go for it. Hopefully they’ll make more aesthetically pleasing decisions moving forward though.

            • No, my response was just fine. Attending Notre Dame is not a decision to be made lightly, and if people are going to put an undue weight on the style of uniforms, then they’re not making the decision from the correct frame of mind and should not be catered to.

              Last time I checked, we’ve pulled in some damn good recruits the last few years with the uniforms we have. The fact that the coaches in question couldn’t do anything with them isn’t going to be solved by a flashy video screen or cut-armpit jerseys.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Can I get a little love here? El K- Any thoughts on the 105 players that play for Notre Dame right now that are excited about the uniform changes? What do you think about Zach Martin and Cierre Wood comments about how the team LOVES it? Do you think that because there is this interest from players (current and recruits) regarding this issue, that maybe it is not the end of all things sacred at ND?

            • Good for them. Someday, when they’re not 19 years old and appreciate tradition a little more, maybe they’ll feel differently

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Wow. El K- Have you become so entrenched in your position that you dismiss this as a fad? The players that we all root for WANT this. They are excited about it. Doesn’t that maybe mean that their contemporaries (i.e. other blue chip recruits that we desperately want to play for ND to start winning BCS games again) may like them? No matter what they think when they “grow up” we need these kids NOW. Heck, we needed them yesterday. So please stop saying they are “not smart enough” or imply that they are immature. Your theory that kids that care what a uniform looks like can’t handle life at ND has been destroyed. So now you patronize the kids you supposedly support?

            • “Your theory that kids that care what a uniform looks like can’t handle life at ND has been destroyed.”

              Yeah, except that’s not what I said. I said if they’re basing their college choices on something as specious as a uniform, they’re not approaching it from the correct frame of mind, because they should be considering more serious criteria. When they’re trudging to class at 8am in the snow or pushing themselves through two-a-days, the snazzy uniforms aren’t going to matter. Catering to people making specious decisions shouldn’t enter into ND’s calculus.

              If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              El K- I am just trying to understand where you are coming from. Who said kids are going to make their decision SOLELY based on uniforms? That is like saying a kid will make his decision based on how much he likes the Golden Dome. He probably thinks its pretty cool but he’s not coming to ND strictly because of the Dome. It certainly is a PART of his decision, but its not like he’s ignoring everything else and basing a decision based on it.

              Can kids, who are basing their college decision on academics, traditions, TV exposure, and more “serious criteria”, also be interested in what the uniforms look like? If not, why? Are they too immature? If so, are those kids capable of handling ND life? Can they be multi-faceted people with differing interests and excel in a number of them?

          • I think the gold helmets, traditional uni color format, band, and Irish Guard are the key symbols of the football team/program and should continue to be showcased and shouldn’t be drastically altered or covered up. If there is a better helmet technology, use it… but please make it solid gold. It’s a key symbol of the university. Please continue to showcase a live Notre Dame Marching Band at football games. It’s a symbol of the unversity.

            When these things are changed, its a sign that we don’t want to be that program and university anymore.

          • They represent mediocre football because that is what we have now. Adding these elements are new and represent the football team now. We are not a football powerhouse and we are trying to be like everyone else.

            The traditional gold helmets and navy jerseys were worn by teams that won national titles.

          • What I would like to see is the stiffs in the stands turn away… turn away from the stadium, go home and watch the game in peace. Surrender your season ticket package so us fans who actually care about creating a home field advantage once again are able to purchase them for ourselves and our family of fans who care about creating an environment that opposing teams hate to enter because they know, it is Notre Dame!

          • SonOfAnAlum says:

            Wow. Are you thinking that you have become so entrenched in your position that you dismiss this as a fad? The players that we all root for WANT this. They are excited about it. Doesn’t that maybe mean that their contemporaries (i.e. other blue chip recruits that we desperately want to play for ND to start winning BCS games again) may like them? No matter what they think when they “grow up” we need these kids NOW. Heck, we needed them yesterday. So please stop saying they are “not smart enough” or imply that they are immature.

        • Notre Dame should be about tradition…but that does not mean they cannot change aspects of it. Go look at every team that has one a national championship over the past years (SEC teams) and you’ll see that they are modernizing there football programs. Yes, ND should keep most of its traditions, but we have not won at title, or been close in roughly 20 years. If we do not change and dont pump in music and have a jumbotron we will have another dry 20 years. The band pumps up the student body section, but do you really think that those trumpets and saxophones pump up Floyd, Slaughter, Teo, Rees…NO, NOT A CHANCE and until we get music that pumps them up we will have the same results. What gets college kids these days more pumped up some Enya (classical music…ND band) or Hip Hop/Rap?

          Keep the tradition with the Jerseys (those dont need to be changed) and most other things, but lets get some music and a jumbotron. Notre Dame can still have tradition just needs to make changes…Did history class teach you nothing?… stubbornness and refusal to change ends all dynasty’s.


          you decide…

          PS: if we didn’t change some “traditions” (allowing Lou to recruit certain recruits) …. then we wouldn’t have one that national championship

          • SonOfAnAlum says:

            Woah, woah, woah. Hip-Hop and Rap??? I think many of the self-professed “crochety old alums” heads may just have exploded.

            I was actually thinking some Ludacris (Stand Up, Number One Spot, and/or Get Back?) or Kayne West (Jesus Walks, Stronger, All of the Lights?) or Outkast (The Way You Move or Rosa Parks?) or some newer stuff that I am too old to listen to. I wonder what some of the older alums would think about that…

    2. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      It will take time to rid the ND experience of the “the footsteps of a feckless president.” But it will happen. My guess is that if a few plays went differently, Kelly wouldn’t be on the receiving end of this, but perhaps I am wrong.

      Somehow ND needs to remain ND even while the world ND has known transforms around it. For most alums that means winning.

    3. Ralph Novotney III says:

      Notre Dame changes you, you don’t change Notre Dame. I learned that (Class of 2000), my friends learned that (Classes of 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002), my brother learned that (Class of 2005), all who came before us learned that, all who have come after us learned that, and all who are yet to come will learn that.

    4. CJC,
      I think your posting would have more value if you mentioned what you are ranting against.

      Is it the incredibly ugly Shamrock on the helmets for the Maryland game?


    5. To CJC, Another vote to Dan’s comment above. It helps when you say WHAT you are ranting about. Maybe you dedicate your life to ranting? But today I surely rant about the Cocoon of King Football, aptly named by George Vecsey in the New York Times today.
      There are way over 100 Happy Valleys all over the USA where the Football Dragon lives and dominates everything all year long. Little big babies are born and sworn to play the game as soon as their bodies and brains can. Meantime, the Dragon rears its ugly head twelve times per year just to rant and show off.
      And the results are not happy at all. The results are to separate people in warring factions, permanent feuds and hating clans where hate and revenge are life itself, and those in charge cover up for peers’ transgressions, as long as the transgressions are coverd up inside the shower rooms.
      It’s all part of the larger Cocoon of King Football, where doublespeak proclaims the unhappy Happy Valleys, where hate, alienation (instead of social harmony), lust for yearly revenge, aggression, and stealing little kids’innocence are all part of the Cocoon. Where excellence really means walloping the hated enemy clans, instead of creating an atmosphere of harmony and unity. Because the Cocoon of King Football is the fetidness of the ubiquitous Happy Valleys. The entire culture needs to be disbanded, to substitute with something that promotes social harmony, and responsibility instead of coverups.

    6. Is this in response to the helmets? Yeah it’s ugly but it’s a helmet. Let’s focus our collective energy on the product on the field.

      • Agreed (Irishane). If an ugly helmet (and any other small details) is all it takes to kill the spirit and tradition of not only the football program but apparantly the entire collective identity of your school, then they weren’t very strong to begin with. People need to get over themselves. We (ND fans) complain about the state of things and pine for the lost glory of yore, but when steps are made to attempt to get back to not only relevance but dominance, everyone freaks out. Let’s have some confidence in our kids, our staff, and ourselves. Half the time I feel like I’m listening to people from the 40’s being hysterical about how rock n roll is going to bring down our country and pollute the youth. Let’s all take a breathe. We can step into the 21st century without losing our ideals and standards. For the record, I don’t particularly care for the “shamrock” helmets (the greens don’t match!), but I like that they’re trying new things from time to time. Oh yeah…GO IRISH!!!

    7. Not many people in your corner on this. Someone needs to make those decisions about the direction of the program and how it evolves in ever-changing times. Should they take into account the opinions of the students, alumni and fans – sure, to some extent. But the CEO of a company or the president of the US don’t poll the employees or the general public when they make a tough decision. Everyone above is right – it’s about winning. That is the tradition that has suffered the most. I’ll take a shamrock on the helmet or a jumbotron in the stadium if it entices recruits or helps us win.

    8. You’re at a 10, try to take it down to a 2.

      It’s a helmet. It is not the core of the ND football experience. You know what is? Football, and the improvement thereof. Let’s talk about that:

      Rushing Game Statistics:
      season yd/game yd/carry

      2011 173 5.7
      2010 126 4.0

      2009 128 3.8
      2008 109 3.3
      2007 75 2.1
      2006 125 3.9
      2005 135 3.6

      ND has had runs of 55 (Wood), 79 (Hendrix), 78 (Gray) yards this year alone. In his entire 5 year tenure, Weis only had one run for more than 45 yards–Brady Quinn’s 60 yarder against USC.

      Notre Dame ranks eighth in the nation in rushing yards per carry. The 5.8 yards per carry by the Irish is on pace to break the modern school record of 5.6 yards per carry set in 1992.

      Junior running back Cierre Wood and senior Jonas Grayboth rank in the top 95 in the FBS in rushing yards per game. Notre Dame is one of seven schools to have two running backs in the top 95.

      Among the top 100 players in rushing yards per game, senior running back Jonas Gray has the third-best yards per carry average. Gray’s 8.5 yards per carry average is on pace to break George Gipp’s school record of 8.1 yards per carry set in 1920.


      To the extent that ANY of this stuff excites the players, which it clearly does, and attracts recruits, which it clearly does, LET THEM HAVE FUN. Why? Because we get improvements like that –^

      • So it’s your position that our rushing statistics have improved because we’re wearing shiny helmets?

        • No. It’s my position that our rushing statistics have improved because of good coaching, and part of good coaching is being in touch with your players. Being in touch with the players is part of the reason the uniform tweaks are being made. The players are excited about them. Psyched up players play better football and attract better recruits. That’s all I need to know about it.

          • SonOfAnAlum says:

            Couldn’t agree more. I think too many people are focusing on how THEY will be affected as fans instead of how the changes will help our current players and attract new ones.

        • borromini says:

          The rushing stats have improved because Kelly is improving the team. His system of implementing these improvements isn’t placed just in the social/cultural environ of the players, the locker room or the practice fields, but also in gear and game-day environment that however incremental, do affect the players and recruits. ND football players are still real student-athletes who not only bring their values representative of that younger generation that Kelly realizes is important, but also get transformed by so much that is within Notre Dame to become a unique blend of both.

          I don’t personally agree with the results with some of these initiatives, but I understand what Kelly is doing and ultimately support his efforts.

    9. “Its not yours”… how I wished that this ‘battle cry’ would have been in use when Fr. Malloy was de-emphasizing and trashing the football team!

    10. dan couch says:

      Anyone who has a problem with the changes going on at Notre Dame, need to just shut up! We need to change with the times! Notre Dame is so old and out of date, its not even funny. I went to a game a couple weeks ago, and no one stood or cheered! Unbeliveable. Half the crowd is so old and out of date, they need walkers and hearing aids. Stay home and watch the game there if you dont wanna cheer! Everyone needs to get over the fact that ‘were Notre Dame and we cant change’ Are you kidding me!? College is a business and businesses need to adapt to the time just like anything else.

    11. I think it’s all about balance. It is possible to maintain the bulk of a school’s traditions while giving way to the inevitable change that time will bring. It makes me think back to the Davies years when ND insisted on still employing a primarily run oriented, hand off straight up the middle type offense, even though virtually none of the successful teams across the nation were still doing it. Finally Willingham, of all people, introduced a “west coast” offense to the program. Some people couldn’t bear to see an ND team that threw the ball the majority of the time (even though we Invented the forward pass back in the day). All traditions had to begin at some point. Now having said that I think ND should always be a hallmark for keeping high academic and ethical standards for its players and students. That’s something that I think will never change. But in terms of occasional flashy uniforms and certain stadium modifications keep in mind we’re trying to recruit 17, 16 year old kids here, who’ve grown up in an entirely different world than many of us.

    12. Just to throw in my 2 cents…

      Change is good, it gets the blood flowing – new ideas, better ways of doing things. Heck,even Rockne was pretty avant-garde in his approach to the game. However, change just for the sake of change is just plain stupid.

      Regarding the Helmets : I think we should give it a go. The only thing is the tradition of painting them is lost. And on Saturdays, the line won’t look like they’ve been a battle anymore. As to the green shirts, the last time they were effective was back in ’77. Ever since, they’ve looked gimmickry.

      To LFernando – “The only tradition I care about is winning”. Really? Ask Penn State if winning is the only thing that counts. A cursing tongue is ok? Most educated folks believe it be a lack of maturity, couth or intelligence. Me, I’m personally ashamed when I hear a ND Fan curse. It brings us down a level. There are lot of things one could say which is highly humorous and insulting without going to that level.

      As for a jumbotron, it’s worth it for pictures. If it isfor playing ear splitting music, then I’ll take a pass. It’s a football game not a concert. I can always buy a ticket to a concert if I want to subject myself to that stuff.

      To Dan Couch – “… shut up”. Ah, who died and left you in charge?

      Bottom line : I’m all for change but if it all ends up looking gimmickry (aka, Boise State), I’ll stick with our traditions

    13. I happen to think it could be marketed as a strength that we don’t have all that Pirate of the Carribean bull**** in our stadium.

    14. Larry Delaney '60 says:

      I just attended the ND vs. Wake Forest game. It was the #1 academic vs. the #2, and that is important.

      Neither team is in the top 25, and ND was very fortunate to win.

      We have a long way to go to get back to the glory years. I thought Kelly was the answer, but he also has a long way to go.

      I am for anything that helps us improve, as long as we don’t reduce our standard or cheat.

      GO IRISH!

    15. All of the things that some people are complaining about like the shinier helmets, the music, etc. are extraneous. I would like to keep the real grass but if they want a jumbotron, that would be OK. The main thing is the identity of ND as a Catholic university and its uniqueness in American life and that is what is in question. My opinion is that that question affects football. Hopefully everyone on the team has that fire deep within them about playing for the most unique university in the world. I think BK gets it and I think he’s pretty much the right kind of guy for the job. Hopefully he gets all the RKGs he needs for the team. That can’t be an easy job and my hat’s off to him and the staff for the job they have already done. Go Irish!!!!!!!!

    16. Notre Dame never needed new uniforms every week to be successful… You will be judged by “W”‘s not uniforms… Put this cr*& to rest, ND fans by enlarge don’t want it…

      • But the players do.

        People also never needed ____ to be successful years ago either. Times change. Things that adapt, survive.. things that don’t, die.

    17. Here’s a tradition from the Lou Holtz Era I’d like to have back — admit some student/athletes each year who may be on the fringe of ND’s academic standards, such as Tony Rice, Chris Zorich, George Williams, to name a few. Those players, who were irreplaceable cogs on the last Irish national championship club, would not be admitted today.

    18. El Kabong and Vannie,

      ND Nation has become such a downer. You’ve used your position to oust a coach, now what? Instead of your smug insinuations, give us YOUR plan to overturn our “tradition” of losing and return ND to glory.

      Spell it out!


    19. I believe that once Kelly wins a bcs bowl or two, “ask and ye shall receive.” Until then, things do not need to become so modern just yet. I am hoping to transfer to this great university, my father and relatives attended and worked here, and I am a jump-off-the-couch-on-a-sack fan and love this team. To be honest, those helmets look alot better in person. I went to the ND vs Navy game this year and the only thing that bothered me was the rock music on every 3rd down. the occasional rock song is fine but every third down is what bothered me. I enjoy hearing the band more but otherwise nothing is getting to out of hand. Kelly just wants to bring his own fire. But he does need to learn that those are not the things that fire up Notre Dame stadium. Bottom line is: it’s ok to want, but i just believe what we have now is fine. The helmets and music are ok, but let’s not get to greedy

      case and point: notre dame vs usc 2005. no music needed. just some green jerseys and rowdy fans.

      GO IRISH

    20. Notre Dame beats up on Purdue – expected

      Notre Dame beats up on Air Force – expected

      ‘Plucky underdog’ USC comes to town, and, to quote the Observer – “It wasn’t even close.”

      Notre Dame beats up on Navy – expected. + payback.

      Notre Dame comes back against Wake Forest (Wake Forest?) and ekes out a win. Not pretty but a win nonetheless.

      Coming up – Maryland. There’s a titan. Better watch them!

      Then B. C. – Their record is unimportant – They will be ready for Notre Dame, they will NOT be intimidated.

      And then – Stanford. Last year the big bad bullies of Stanford beat up on Notre Dame at the stadium that has stood there since the days of Knute Rockne – while coach Harbaugh stood there and egged them on.

      The jury is still out on this team.

    21. I agree with some posters that NDNation is smug and snarky. BlueGraySky had class.

      Jumbotron might actually decrease stadium noise and thwart home field advantage even more…anybody consider that? Slackjawed, drooling, hypnotized youth starting at yet another TV? Bad idea. There’s GOT to be a better solution. Something creative. C’mon ND Engineering Dept, let’s come up with another tremendous ND innovation.

      Helmets – the helmets look just fine during DAY games on TV. At night, the lighting makes the helmets look like fake jewelry on TV.

      Anyone else think so?

    22. i didn’t go to ND but my dad did, and i’ve attended and watched enough games to feel valid having an opinion. i love all things ND Football. I’m fine with the helmets…just don’t start putting stickers on them. The music was overdone at the USC game, and a little better at the Navy game. Find a happy medium between recorded music and band there and it’s probably fine too. The music seemed to be more suited to a night game environment. ND doesn’t need a jumbotron…watch it on NBC if you need to see a replay or take commercial breaks. jumbotrons are for Cheeseballs.keep the old scoreboard just like Wrigley Field. Gotta keep the grass field, period. Throwback jerseys…enough with the green, but I liked the Michigan game getups as a one-off change…similar to how NFL teams do quick change-ups every once-in-a-while. bottom line is…quit losing games and people will stop blogging about traditions. win the games and be classy and all ND fans will be proud. man it was awesome going to games from 87-93. it’s still pretty awesome. i think we all just want a top tier team again. c’mon irish. and naysayers and overanalyzers…please relax.

    23. Robbie Robinson says:

      I was at Wake Forest Saturday night and was perplexed in the atmosphere in the BB&T Field.
      Their jumbo tron was plastered with advertisements, it was announced at the beginning of each
      quarter the company that was sponsoring that quarter, i e., Krispy Kreme Donuts. The grand sound system(Sony) was blaring loudly and over driven in its capabilities.
      Between quarters they had games on the field for fans, I thought I was at a minor league hockey game.
      I guess WF Baptists have finally sold out to commercialism and the almighty dollar.

      The point I’m trying to make is, the jump to transform the “The House that Rockne built” to what I witnessed Saturday night is not the path that Notre Dame should want to follow. And mark my words, it will evolve.

      • Thanks and well stated – the only opinion that really counts is from someone who’s been there, and you have.

        I have seen a few games at ND stadium and will never see another one, so my opinion really doesn’t matter, but to you who go there and who will go there, please remember this:

        There is only one ‘House That Rockne Built’, so treat it with the respect it deserves so you can hand it on proudly when your time comes.

    24. After having been unable to attend an ND home game for the past 11 years due to coaching my kids teams every ND football weekend, I have had the good fortune to attend the Utah game last year and the Navy game this year for Parents Weekend… two very different games from the fan perspective. The Utah game was everything I remember from my days at Notre Dame and attending games during the Lou Holtz years. The Navy game, though a solid victory and a nice time, was a perfect microcosm of the good and the bad fan experience debated on these pages.

      Notre Dame Stadium will always be an electric place to be when a Southern Cal, Michigan, Alabama, or Oklahoma comes calling, but faces challenges when the opponent is Western Michigan or even Navy. The field should always be real grass and the team should be built around that potential advantage… longer grass for USC, power running game, stout defense. Music can be pumped in but it should fit the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Crazy Train and Hells Bells might be great for an NFL game, but Hells Bells blaring in front of Touchdown Jesus?? Why not play only Irish bands? I loved the Dropkick Murphy’s start to the Navy game with bagpipes blasting. How about The Warrior’s Code from the DM”s? Vertigo and Beautiful Day from U2? Hay Wrap from The Saw Doctors? Make it a uniquely Notre Dame Stadium experience not the same old canned music that you can hear in any stadium… though keep 7 Nation Army because it has become a classic and fun for the student body.

      The last debated detail is the Jumbotron. I have been against it, but after sitting through countless interminable TV timeouts during the Navy game I realized that the times have indeed changed… how many TV timeouts did we sit through in the ’70s and ’80s? The TV timeouts suck the energy out of the stadium like a baseball pitcher walking the bases loaded. I now believe appropriately sized “jumbotrons” could be put in the northeast corner and the southwest corner of the stadium. For the Navy game, highlights from great ND victories of the past could be played during the timeouts, for USC… great USC highlight, etc. to keep the stadium energized. With respect to the spectre of blaring Applebee’s and Krispy Kreme commercials, ND should run their in stadium advertisements like The Masters Golf tournament. We should have only 1-3 exclusive sponsors… Adidas, maybe a car and/or packaged goods company with ND tailgaters featured, etc. Like The Masters, commercials would be kept to a minimum and only ones consistent with Notre Dame.

      Change can be good, but only change that continues to uniquely define and enhance the Notre Dame experience and mystique.

    25. The gold on the new helmets was to most match the gold on the dome….this it does and I really love the look…..however there is NO SHAMROCK ON THE DOME!!!!

    26. El Kabong. Head to Penn State. Their uniforms always stay the same. Things are working out well for them right now because of their storied tradition and lack of any type of change. I’m sure, well at least accordion to your faulty logic, you’d agree.


      Dr. M.J. Jennings

      • Right, because the lack of change of their uniforms is what’s causing their current problems.


    27. Bill ’80 – yours is a good point. (11/10/11 @11:59)

      But “we should have only 1-3 exclusive sponsors.” That’s a good idea but even if it did happen – how long do you honestly think it would last? If there is ONE thing Notre Dame is good it is making money – lots of it.

      But what I say means nothing – if they play Ozzy Osbourne on the P.A. the end is nearer than we thought.

      I read somewhere that Ozzy’s neighbor is Pat Boone.

    28. Thanks Terry. Actually, they could make the same amount of money or more if they limit the number of sponsors. The ultimate determiner of the money are the TV ratings and how many people attended an ND game this year… it’s not 80,795 x 6, etc. It is determined by how many different people attended a game this year. More importantly, as the team gets better, the value of the spots goes up. Sponsors want to be associated with winners.

      Rather than get into the arcane demographic/market research info that would determine how much money an ND Stadium Jumbotron would make, they should only do it if it is integrated into and enhances the fan experience for all. We do not have to be like everyone else. Going to an ND game is a “bucket list” experience for many and that fan nor the season ticket holder that attends every game should come away with the impression that a Notre Dame home game is just like any other college football game. It is not and never should be. GO IRISH, BEAT TERPS!