The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • Change is Good … Sometimes

    by Mike Coffey

    We fear change. That’s the accusation we get here at NDN, anyway, usually coupled with some reference to leather helmets and Rockne’s barnstorming and other lazy analysis.

    Thing is, we really don’t. Change is not bad … that which does not change dies, after all. But it’s important to know the reason behind the changes, because those are the details in which the devil is hiding.

    Change that promotes some kind of improvement can be a good thing. After all, we went from the aforementioned leather helmets and other kinds of padding to more solid materials, which were safer for the players. ND implemented a training table, allowing the players to have a better diet. Exercise equipment has improved, allowing players to avoid injury. We build the Gug, which gives the players a central location for meetings and training and other team-related things, saving time and possibly improving camaraderie. All good stuff, but it’s good stuff because of the resulting benefits, not because of the change itself.

    Some changes also flow naturally, even to things some consider sacred. The uniforms have changed in style here and there over the years. Names have been on the back and not been on the back, the colors have rotated around with the blue and gold and green, sleeves and monograms have changed. These things can be (and usually are) affected by style, trends, technological advances, etc. They’re part of the fabric of who we are.  If I had my druthers, we’d have the Devine-era green jerseys with names on the back.  But sometimes it’s others’ druthers, so c’est la vie.

    I’m personally also not opposed to some changes others may consider anathema. One of our posters put together a rendition of the stadium that would allow for luxury box seating, and I think it’s very well done and might be a good idea because it leads to improvement — the raised bowl keeps the sound in better, and the kind of crowd that might object to standing and loud cheering would have a place to go to satisfy their need, both of which might create a better home-field advantage. And all could be accomplished without damaging the aesthetics of the stadium itself. Positive things accomplished with limited negative effect — that’s change that I (and a lot of other folks) can get behind.

    What I object to are specious changes that are made for reasons other than improvements. To wit:

    When we’re rotating in uniforms and helmets to sell more crap at the bookstore, I object. That’s low-rent whoring and should be beneath us. Yes, I realize the “Come Sweet Cash” mantra has been out there for a long time. But even though it was there, we weren’t getting beaten over the head with it. The blatant non-apologetic display rankles me.  We have a uniform for a season, whatever it happens to look like, and we should wear it.

    When we’re talking about replacing a playing surface with one not proven to be safer for the student athletes — and may, in fact, not be as safe — because it’s the flavor du jour, I object. Grass on dirt is natural padding. It doesn’t cause “road rash” injuries and is softer than a plastic-based surface. Maintenance costs and the difficulty in maintaining a grass surface in ND’s climate are factors, to be sure, but other venues at Michigan State and Green Bay manage to maintain a mostly-grass surface with the same limitations.  Let’s try that out before going whole-hog into better living through plastics.

    When we’re talking about putting in a video screen to generate revenue at the expense of a unique venue in college football, I object. Maybe that makes me old-fashioned. But I won’t apologize for valuing that when I attend ND games, I don’t have music blaring at me and am not assaulted by video appeals to the short-attention-span generation. I like listening to the band and watching the cheerleaders and yelling loudly for my team. I don’t need Ozzy or MAKE SOME NOISE to accomplish that, and I haven’t for the 30+ years I’ve attended ND games. That’s what college football is supposed to be about. Instead, a lot of other venues have turned it into an electronic extravaganza. If I want to play a video game, I’ll play a video game. If I want to attend a college football game, I’ll attend a college football game. But I won’t apologize for wanting to keep those two experiences separate, because at too many college football stadiums these days, they’re not.

    “Change with the times” goes the riposte. Fine, I’ve got no problem with that. But change for the sake of change is stupid and distracts from the true problems. Shiny new uniforms doesn’t change the fact we’ve lost at least three games every season since 1994. They can pump in as much Crazy Train as they want, but it won’t solve our quarterback issues. And the next time a five-star recruit makes his decision on where to attend college based on a video screen will be the first.  “The kids like it” is not a reason to do anything, because kids have liked Notre Dame for a long time without those things, and winning football is the strongest attraction of all.

    “Who cares about the changes as long as we win?” goes another. Those posts make me want to cry, because they mean the glitz-mongers are winning. Yes, winning games is important, and I’m not necessarily opposed to changes that increase the chances of winning, provided our values aren’t compromised. I imagine that would describe a lot of you reading this, so we’re on the same side here. But Notre Dame is a unique and special place. I don’t want that to change. You shouldn’t either, especially if it only serves superfluous ends. Seven Nation Army doesn’t help us win. LOUD CONTINUOUS NOISE flashing in five colors doesn’t help us win. Good players and coaches do, and the aforementioned things don’t bring us those either.

    If all that makes me a crotchety old alum, fine. I’ll wear that mantle proudly, and I’ll fight specious change to the last. If that’s not your bag, fine. Read a different website, because NDN won’t be for you.

    128 Responses to “Change is Good … Sometimes”

    1. Your last sentence is spot on, and it’s a directive that many people I know have taken to heart.

      • If that’s how it is, that’s how it is. But according to our statistics, we’re getting just as many (if not more) unique visitors per month than ever. So somebody agrees with us.

        • I’m not sure that stat means what you think it means. Just because more people are visiting the site doesn’t mean they agree with you.

          But to be fair, seeing as I don’t have any stats whatsoever and I just have anecdotal evidence, I can’t prove the opposite either.

        • Chilly Willy says:

          With all due respect, there’s a bit of the “Howard Stern effect” in that. People who disagree have an even tougher time turning it off than those who agree.

        • It’s not that they agree with you. It’s that you guys are drawing more and more attention to yourselves.

          • In the real world, people don’t waste time on things they don’t agree with or think are substandard

            • you do realize the irony of that statement coming from someone who runs a website dedicated to notre dame football?

            • Surely you can’t be serious. Isn’t this entire post about things you don’t agree with or think are substandard? One also need only to look at politics (Bill O Reilly, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Olbermann) to find prime examples of people who not only speak about things they don’t agree with but make a living doing it.

            • I am amused and entertained by this site. I don’t always agree, I don’t always disagree. In no way is this site substandard. Anyone who says so is just being bitter. You don’t have to like something to know that it is quality.

            • If you really believe that, you need to get out in the “real world” more often.

        • Is that the stat you are going to hang your hat on?

          Aren’t you the least bit concerned about the quality of content? The threads are limited to the same 10 odd posters who typically share the same views. Anyone that disagrees is shot down for being dim, dense and unworldly.

          There are seldom any counterpoints and people are starting to view NDNation as “crotchety old alum” conspiracy theorists. Maybe all those site visitors are rubber necking the reaction that Rock’s House will have to new shoelaces.

          Looking at visitation numbers and not the quality of content seems to be a lot like worrying about how many t-shirts and tickets you sell for a 7-5 football team.

          I bet your advertisers like traffic. Are any of them Adidas, Sprint, or Xerox?

        • And the stadium is still selling out, so looks like the new helmets are a good thing. We should ban people who disagree.

      • goshen irish says:

        I don’t agree with you on the Jumbotron. We need to move forward with that. The field turf is a question I leave to the coaching staff and administration. I definitly respect your opinion. Thank you for operating this site. You do a great job. Go Irish.

        • Avon Domer says:

          As someone who has been attending games at Notre Dame Stadium for nearly 40 years, I’m all for the Jumbotrons if used correctly, and to me that means show replays, past great moments in ND history, stats, other scores, etc. Advertising on the Jumbotrons? NEVER!!

          As far as the loud music blaring in the stadium, I’m fine with it for maybe six or so times a game. I’d much rather hear our band and the opposing team’s band, which is one of the great features of college games over NFL games. GO IRISH!!

      • I would tend to agree with most of it but as u said, we have been middle of the road, and that’s being kind, since the mid 90s. Part of why that is would be we as a team did not come out of the dark ages of football until willingham got there. We are behind the times and just starting to catch up. Just as Penn state let Joe pa become bigger than the team and the school we could make the same mistake with TDJ, I’m not advocating full on cosmetic renovation but a middle ground must be met if we live fully on either end of the spectrum the team will suffer but that goes for no change mind set as well as mass change. Having said all that even if we didn’t have a football team were still Notre dame so I don’t think that people who feel the way u do as well as myself have much to worry about Notre dame has never been pushed around they wont start now

    2. This post makes me want to make LOUD CONTINUOUS NOISE.

    3. I totally agree. I am 60 years old and have been fortunate enough to attend 6 ND games. These experiences have been some of the greatest of my life even though we lost 2 of them. It is all about why we are different-it is truly a special place and experience. I do not want a big screen and I want to hear the band-not pumped in rock music. This should be the special place it has been and the players will understand that we win with hard work and dedication not glitz and glamour.That makes us truly special.

    4. the “low-rent whoring” is profitable because of a widespread fanbase that buys news jerseys and such. they create a demand for it, and that demand translates into “come sweet cash” that makes independence (and individual television contracts) economically feasible. if the low-rent whoring sustains notre dame’s position, i’m with the johns in the projects.

      • That’s a false choice, though. The money from the contracts comes from the interest and people watching. You don’t have to buy a t-shirt for that to happen. Winning football keeps independence possible and brings in the television money, not the Shamrock Series.

        • I think he was saying that our NBC contract (which nets us less money than what we would get as part of a shared revenue system in most of the major conferences) is partially feasible because we have other good revenue sources.

          • But the income from those sources is significantly less than income from things like TV contracts or ticket sales. So doing something to sell an extra thousand t-shirts doesn’t bring in as much money as doing something that wins us an extra game or two each season

    5. I agree with many of your points, but I don’t think the idea behind a video board is to generate revenue as you say. We all know how much money the football program generates for the school, and I doubt the athletic department would start pumping in ads for Gurly Leep just to make a little more cash.

      Also, why jump to the conclusion that we wouldn’t try something like Green Bay does before going straight to FieldTurf? Because Brian Kelly had a one sentence answer to a pointed interview question a few weeks ago? Take it easy.

      You might not need music to make you yell, and that means we need more people like you in the stadium. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most people. When the music is used a a supplement or catalyst and not the main source of the noise (like it is at Purdue where the crowd is pathetic and quiet and the music is deafening) I think it can bee a good thing and has been a good thing at the last two games.

      • I think you grossly misunderstand the people in charge on this one. I’ve already read where Swarbrick refered to a Jumbotron in the same sentence as other “revenue generators”. How can you look at the uniforms for this weekend and think the current administration cares about tradition and good taste over $$$?

        I personally don’t have a problem with a Jumbotron in the stadium if it was done correctly, but I am 100% confident that over the course of time it would not be used that way. Remember, ND stadium is only used 6-7 times a year. How are they going to pay for the purchase/install/annual maintenance of a Jumbotron when it gets so little use? If you think they aren’t going to use copious amounts of ads to make money off of it you are a sucker.

      • anonymous says:

        Why on earth would a local car dealership advertise to 80k+ people, most of whom are out-of-towners that wouldn’t buy their product?

        • Dude, it’s called a metaphor. If you don’t get the point of what he’s saying, don’t make yourself look dumb by trying to negate the entire post just because he used Gurley Leep as an example.

      • I keep hearing how the new helmets and music don’t make the team play any better. Maybe not, but they do have an effect on recruiting which brings in better players which does make the team play better.

        • El Kabong says:

          Which blue-chip recruits have made a decision based on helmets? Would they not be more attracted to winning?

          • Why does it have to be an either-or proposition?

            I would think of helmets, uniforms, the jumbotron (well, overall gameday experience) as benefits. You wouldn’t take a job because you get 20 days of vacation a year instead of 18. But those are little perks lower on your list of pros/cons.

            Similarly I would like to think an athlete chooses a school because of the tradition, coaching staff, potential to start and develop, winning, and possibly academics. But he sees the Gug, training table, uniforms, helmets, other gear, and gameday experience as perks that certainly make an impression (likely more positive than negative based on players’ responses though the jumbotron would be debatable).

            Arguing that a blue chip recruit came to the school because they did or did not have a jumbotron is such a tangential (and I would argue, inaccurate) argument.

      • Regarding music and the jumbotron, I’ve been to a couple games this year and the over-the-top blaring of Crazy Train has not, in my estimation, made the crowd any louder. The problem is the crowd not getting into the game. My wife’s uncle is 80 years old. He can barely walk up to his seat. And he sits there and complains every time the people in front of him stand up to cheer. That is the problem. No amount of loud music or in-your-face graphics on a jumbotron is going to get this type of fan up and cheering. I don’t know what the solution is on that one. If the crowd is going to be soft and the music is going to blare in my face, I’ll probably stay home where I don’t have to stand in line for the bathroom and a cold drink doesn’t cost $8.

      • if you don’t like change, you might find you like irrelevance even less.

    6. Algoldendomer says:

      Very well said, on all points.

      The helmet-du-jour makes me want to vomit. I guess I’m a crotchety old alum too.

      • Burnt Diploma says:


      • The new helmets are amazing. You’re nuts. I’ve been noticing how other teams gold helmet have looked more gold than our the last couple of years. They’re supposed to look like the golden dome, and they finally do.

    7. I agree with almost everything said here. While at the USC game I realized that no helmet or uniform looks good when you are getting your you-know-what kicked. Knute Rockne probably turned over in his grave when the ESPN special a few weeks ago had a guy in an ND uniform walk the runway in a fashion show.
      The only point of contention I have is with the artificial turf…I, too, favor keeping the grass, but I think a motive for some changing to turf is to help a fast-running team. A fast spread-offense like Kelly ran in Cincinnati is probably better-served on artificial turf rather than grass. It’d be a tough pill to swallow for traditionalists like myself, but there probably is a rationale besides just cheaper maintenance.
      And another thing…playing Ozzy Ozbourne (of former Black Sabbath fame) and having the Band play Lady Gaga at halftime is not exactly what I had in mind to hear at America’s most prestigious Catholic university. Would it kill them to play music by someone not so blatantly opposed to Church teachings? Do they care? I’m not asking for Glory and Praise music on 3rd down, but c’mon….

    8. I was at the Wake game and their jumbotron drove me nuts. I hated it. And, I hated the Christmas tree ornaments our guys are wearing in place of helmets.

    9. Chilly Willy says:

      I think you’re only highlighting only one side of the equation. And let me state – I want NO MUSIC, NO JUMBOTRON, and Lou Holtz style uniforms year 1 with black shoes. But there’s another side to this:

      Uniforms – Revenue whoring is not the only driver here. Recruiting plays a role too. It sounds really childish, but players react to this stuff. Telling a 17yr old that like counterparts at all other schools, we’re going to break out funky cool uniforms once a year for them to wear, helps recruiting. I didn’t like the Michigan game unis, but I had alot of non-alums I work with say “loved those uniforms”. And those people were aged 25-41.

      Jumbotron – Nowhere has anyone said that’s about generating revenue. They want a loud atmosphere by showing ND highlights, history, replays, etc on the screen. There’s something to be said for that. Now I think you get that by putting a winning team/players on the field…but the argument is that the loud enviroment HELPS WIN games. Had a friend go to Arkansas this wknd…said it was so much louder than ND it was crazy.

      Playing Surface – I have to admit, this one I actually agree with. The new field-turf is dramatically better than old astroturf. I’ve played on it, and it’s dramatically better. It acts like grass from an injury perspective – less ACLs, MCLs, etc. And it definitely produces SPEED. There’s no question that Kelly sees speed as the way to recruit. You may say “but Fla, Bama, LSU have grass” but they also have sunny weather.

      End of the day, I don’t think any of this stuff matters. If we go 12-0, they could wear clown suits and play Elton John and i’d be happier than I am now.

      • Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” would have been perfect for the USC game. I hate the piped-in music, but even I would have song along to that one. Think of the great inspiration it would be for our students:

        Well, a couple of the sounds that I really like, are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike,
        I can use a little muscle to get what I need (including first downs), I can sink a little drink and shout out, “She’s with me!” (When an ND player is tackled out of bounds by the USC cheerleaders).

        Don’t give us none of your aggravation, we’ve had it with your discipline.
        Saturday night’s all right for fightin’, get a little action in.
        Gonna get as oiled as a diesel train ….

      • Sam Yarman says:

        Hey there Chilly- Not getting your point about the modern plastic Turf: You say “It acts like grass..” Well, ND already has grass! So why pay millions $$$$ to get something to ACT like grass, when we already HAVE grass. That’s like seeling your Porshe and instead buying a go-cart, becuase the go-cart acts like a car. You also say plastic turf “produces speed”. OK, perhaps athletes can run faster on plastic; but, let’s face it, if it makes ND players run faster, don’t you think it will also make the players on the other team run faster too?? Or will the new plastic turf only respond to ND players feet??

        • Chilly Willy says:

          It acts like grass from an injury perspective. In other words, you don’t get injuries like you used to on the cardboard astroturf (and in the middle of november, we’ll actually have a playable field as opposed to the brown pit we have with the grass). As for the speed, Kelly is focused on recruiting speed, not just big well regarded HS football players. Ishaq, Lynch, Atkinson, Daniels, Shepard, Darby…these are speed guys. He wants to build a speed driven team. Will it work? I tend to believe it will. And he thinks that it will give us an advantage.

    10. Terrific post. Number of well made points. I completely agree.

    11. Very well said, Mike. I hope that you FedEx this to the President’s, AD’s and Football offices.


    12. Bob from Minooka says:

      Change is good and change can even be great however, changing a jersey or helmet or even the surface of your playing field doesn’t resonate into more wins at the end of a long season. Blue and Gold is what I know and an occasional glimpse of green to get the blood to flow. Blue jersey’s and gold helmet’s are the corner stone of Notre Dame football. They are to Notre Dame what the blue pinstripes are to the New York Yankees. When you see those two colors you immediately connect them to Notre Dame, you know without a doubt it’s them.
      I’m a traditionalist and that blue and gold blends in with the long standing tradition of what is Notre Dame and Notre Dame football. Young men don’t commit to play football at Notre Dame because they wear cool green jersey’s or have a shamrock on the helmet. They go there because of the rock solid winning tradition of Notre Dame football that has been built over many decades. In my humble opinion I think they should stuff all the green jersey’s in a trunk, lock it and throw away the key. Those jersey’s have been brought out so many times over the past 15 years or so that the whole tradition of them has wilted away. In fact, I think they’re the kiss of death. The last time I believe any change in the uniform has had any effect on the players and fans was under Holtz when they won the Sugar Bowl against Florida and those jersey’s I believe were white with green numbers. Does ND really need to wear these new digs against a team with two wins. C’mon!!!!
      Blue and gold is where it’s at and green for a big game when no one expects it. Until ND starts to punch people in mouth week after week and they bring home the national championship I’d stick with the B&G. In, fact I wouldn’t change a thing keep the tradition alive!!!

      “GO IRISH”

      • While it may not be the stuff that the recruits are attracted too, it’s the attitude of the coach and how “cool” he seems. If I had a dollar for every article I’ve read about a recruit and one of his major factors for picking a school is how well he got along with the coach’s, I would be a very wealthy man. Getting back to the uni changes, It shows that Kelly is not a STIFF, he is in tune with these kids and they gravitate toward that. SO I actually do think it works, and hey by the looks of his last recruiting class on defense Kelly and his new ideas are on the list of thing I would not change.

    13. Several points:

      1. Winning is paramount. That doesn’t mean the other issues aren’t important. It just means all told, I want a winning product on the field. That doesn’t mean the ‘glitz-mongers are winning.’ That means I, without being bought off by the administration, choose to place less priority on what the grass looks like, what the helmets are made of (even if I find these ones ugly), and what uniform we’re wearing. For god’s sake win the damn football games.

      2. The buzz generated by different uniforms must work otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Whether it’s ‘selling out’ or ‘low-rent’ is a matter of opinion. And who knows, maybe the money generated from that allows us to maintain our independence (decreasing a potential revenue gap with those in conferences) and keeps the ticket prices lower than they would be otherwise.

      3. I still don’t understand why anyone really cares about grass vs Fieldturf vs a hybrid. None of this alters my gameday experience. And if it saves ND money, doesn’t come up in clumps, and potentially lowers overall injury risk, I have no problem with it. To date it looks like overall injury risk may be slightly lower but ankle injuries are higher. Agility/cutting is faster for both teams on Fieldturf but not straight-line speed, and in the long run it would be cheaper to have this. And it holds up better at the end of games and a season.

      4. The jumbotron issue – it can be done well and it can be done poorly. “It can’t be done well!” is a matter of opinion. Does it make the fans and stadium louder? I have no idea. If it does and if it allows the coaching staff to see better what the opposing team is doing to be able to exploit that during the game, I do see the benefits. If they go to this I hope they do tons of research before putting one up.

      5. Kids love stuff. They love gear. As we get older we are less in touch with this crowd. A buddy of mine trains high school/college basketball recruits and these kids love the stuff they get from Nike. We don’t need to go crazy and be like Oregon. But for just one or two games a season, I don’t care what they look like if the kids enjoy getting this ‘cool’ stuff (including the leprechaun gloves).

      6. The crazy-train quarterback analogy is a bad one. Does anyone think Hendrix will be better if Crazy Train is played? The music is a trial to see if the crowd gets louder and possibly negatively affect the opposing team. I don’t think Kelly’s preparation of the quarterbacks is altered by the music in the stadium – if it is, we have an issue.

      While I understand where you’re coming from, you have to realize almost all these issues are based on opinions and not facts (Fieldturf being one that has actually been studied). You don’t like X, Y, and Z and have your reasons. Others like X and Y but hate Z and have theirs. We all lie on the spectrum somewhere.

    14. The Shamrock Series is about as lame as it gets. Especially against a 2-and something Maryland squad that might actually beat us. I like the new helmets, minus the Lucky Charms logo. I was at the SC game and while I thought they made the players’ heads look to big for their bodies, they looked classy.
      The bottom line is this: ND Stadium is not loud enough because we don’t win enough. That coupled with the fact that the vast majority of our “fans” on Saturdays are senior citizens. I sat in front of two geezers at the SC game, and on the Trojan’s FIRST offensive drive I was standing up yelling my ass off and twirling that cheesy towel. Then one of them tapped my shoulder and said, “C’mon guy, sit down.” Really? In section 109 20 rows up?!

    15. To wit: the giant video board at wake forest did not generate momentum. It did not generate more crowd noise. The exhortations to “please direct your attention to the video board, as we give away tube socks” did not improve crowd attention or noise, they detracted from it more than the “please now honor the 1961 fencing team” announcements do at ND.

      The only thing that the video board did for WFU was cover up the embarrasing silence of the crowd at all times with a loud thumping, and yet expose the apathy visually with crowd shots of mostly bemused silent fans drinking coke as their team slowly lost momentum in the 2nd half.

    16. First, thank you for all the thoughtful and comprehensive ND coverage and writing.

      Now, the glitz-mongers are winning. I am not disagreeing with you here. But you can’t stop it and consider ND on the same level as the other schools. I don’t watch a lot of ESPN or College Gameday but when I do, ND is typically the butt of the joke and it’s not all because of the product on the field, it’s more often about how “times have changed.” Now I don’t agree with all that either. The ESPN/ABC announcing team Saturday night for the Wake game did a huge disservice to ND recruiting efforts. But the fact is that the kids watch ESPN and listen to that. Right now ND is a joke in its efforts to play music in the stadium, have alternate uniforms and lobby for a jumbotron because it is so far behind. No one laughs at Virginia Tech for playing Metallica but it comes across as ironic and black comedy at ND Stadium because we have gotten so far behind.

      There will be growing pains for the next few years and there are ways to modernize tastefully. ND Stadium does not need bombardment from Buffalo Wild Wings advertisements to be competitive in recruiting or to make a buck and keep its athletics department solvent. But I had more fun at the USC game this year than I have had at a ND game in a long time, despite the loss, and I know that I was not alone in that feeling.

    17. In the low-rent-whoring category you might include the stadium concessions. $5 for a 32-oz. softdrink in an alleged “souvenir cup” made of flimsy plastic that doesn’t even survive the dishwasher. Chickenshit defined.

    18. SonOfAnAlum says:

      I also agree with many of your points but I think you are looking at these changes with blinders on. I agree that if the changes are done hastily or haphazardly it will have a detrimental impact on the University. But to automatically assume that these changes will ruin the tradition of ND is a bit nearsighted.

      Yes, the rotating uniforms is a bit cheesy but wanting to have a new playing surface, a jumbotron to sell the University, and incorporating music into the gameday atmosphere is not “change for the sake of change.” Just like they did with the Gug, I fully believe ND will install the latest most state-of-the-art playing surface. From what I understand, that is similar to Green Bay. If it is not a better surface than I am not for it but other than the aestethic aspect, our field right now is not something to brag about. And grass may act as padding, but when the dirt beneath the ground is frozen solid it won’t make much of a difference.

      The jumbotron is not simply an advertising space where they will have condiment races (similar to some MLB parks) and people yell hysterically for the ketchup or mustard. It can actually be a way to galvanize the fans and get them more involved with the game. Wouldn’t it be nice to see replays? I know the few games I was lucky enough to attend I was beside myself because I couldn’t understand questionable calls. Don’t you think that it would be helpful to see a blown call on the big screen? Can you envision what that would do to people in the stands? The next time you watch another team play on TV wait for the simultaneous reaction to a replay on the big screen. It has the ability to elicit audible emotions from the fans. And while you and the other “crotchety old alums” know who Rockne, Parsegian, and Devine are, a lot of the younger crowd do not. Heck, they may not know that Joe Montana or Tim Brown went to ND. Don’t you think it would be nice to showcase the amazing history and tradition at ND? With the ability to manipulate media, you can show clips throughout that amazing history and teach people that are not as steeped in Fighting Irish tradition just how special of a place ND really is. I don’t know about you but when I watch a highlight reel of ND football I just get excited. And similar to NBC commercials, you can highlight the other amazing things being done at the University. The jumbortron, as long as it is not a place to hock wears, can be used as a tool to illustrate what a special place ND is.

      The music can be used in the same way. At certain points, in certain situations, it can enhance for the experience for many people. I understand you are not one of those people but please realize there are a few other people attending the games as well. And those people would probably agree that continually playing the same song on every 3rd down is obnoxious. But throughout the game, during TV timeouts, etc., it can keep people’s energy up. I agree that overuse will deter from the other attractions of the game like the band and the cheerleaders but I would also think that that it could enhance those facets as well. Put the cheerleaders and the band up on the jumbotron, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. The point is that these things could enhance the gameday environment if done correctly. And I have full faith in ND to do that.

      One last point. I respect all the alumni of ND. My Dad was the class of ’69. Your opinions should be heard and considered. But you have to realize that to attract the type of student-athletes needed to compete for a national championship you have to be the complete package. The college football landscape has changed. Traditonal powers are being rivaled by Boise St., Oregon, Oklahoma St., and a litany of other schools. Kids that want to be a national champion have a lot more options nowadays. So ND has to offer more than just tradition and academic excellence (which are two aspects that will never change and should always be the top draws). But, like it or not, kids want to be stars and see themselves on jumbotrons and Sportcenter. So while it may not be an enjoyable experience for you during a game, I’m pretty sure the 19 year-old, short-attention-span generation, world-class athlete, that you desperately want to help ND win a NC, thinks its pretty cool to see himself making a diving catch for a TD on the big screen. That is why the NBC contract and playing on national TV play into their decisions as well.

      So while I don’t think you should apologize for how you feel about these topics, realize that there are factors other than your personal gameday experience that should be considered. One of the amazing things about ND is the diversity and multitude of backgrounds people have. I think it wise to consider all their voices when trying to build a consistent winning football tradition.

    19. The biggest problem with keeping everything the same is that we have lost 3 or more games since 1994!! If Kelly wants to make some changes to the program to add some excitement then this alum is all for it. Every game I have attended is quiter than the last, it’s down right disturbing. Adding a board and some box seats for the STIFFS, will not kill the ND expierience, bad football and a lack luster crowd will.

    20. I know I have read this somewhere before…but what about mic’ing the band? You want it loud? Great! But we can also do it in a way that keeps tradition.

      Granted, I am one who actually liked the song played before kickoff.

    21. Regarding variant jerseys and alleged “whoring”. How is providing more product options to your fans / customers whoring? The “Spirit of Notre Dame” jerseys are the coolest jerseys they’ve put out in recent memory. I bought one. If you don’t like them, don’t. No one’s saying you can’t be a fan if you don’t buy the merch. If you can’t respect or root for the team or school because of wardrobe, you’re not much of a fan to begin with.

    22. Squeeze77 says:

      I totally agree with the post above regarding the Jumbotron at Wake. The endless, inane ads by all of those ” proud supporters of Demon Deacon football” made me want to puke. I drew the line at the Krispy Kreme human hamster ball race. That kind of crap belongs in minor league baseball games. However, a properly placed screen would be great for instant replay, honoring returning legends, etc. It can be done right.

    23. Paul James Cappelli says:

      As an avid ND athletic training supporter I would like to point out that the athletic training facilities at ND are second to none. As a former athlete at ND i used to get annoyed going into get treatment in the early 2000s in the stadium training room. I used to have to sit on football players laps in ice baths or jam myself in btwn two hockey guys in the whirlpool. While that was exciting at first, it got annoying after a while. I went into the new training facilities last yr and they are incredible. Dont change anything about this stadium!! Fear the Leprechaun and good luck to the ND boys this weekend!

      • Disturbed Golden Domer says:

        Whoa! Dude what are you talking about with sitting on football players laps in ice baths and ‘jamming’ yourself in between hockey guys. Paul James Cappelli you are one weird weird guy!!

    24. A simple but wonderfully spontaneous cheer starts with either the crowd or the cheerleaders yelling GO GO GO GO GO GO GO louder and louder and for as long as it lasts…..WE ARE N D inspires no one in the same way that DE Fence does not.

      Go go go is infectious and effective….Someone start it up at the next game.

    25. This commentary and “It’s Not Yours” are very thought provoking. Having now read both of them, I have this to say:

      I have issues with the University, which I’ve let them know about. There’s no point to get into them here. (Besides that, you probably wouldn’t post my comments!)

      The fact is that, like our society, the University has been changing, evolving over the years. Of course, it was changing and evolving for the many years long before any of us were on this earth, too. However, it just so happens that that evolution seems – to many of us – to be contrary to Notre Dame’s tradition and traditional values, over the past 25-30. And there is certainly a very good case that could be made to support that position. Whatever that case . . .

      I don’t have “a problem” with all of the football-related issues or changes that you mention. I couldn’t care less about a Jumbotron or the color of our jerseys or what is sold at the book store. I actually like the new gold helmets. But I also prefer natural grass and would rather listen to the band and watch the cheerleaders, too! Hell, I wouldn’t have cared if we played in the old stadium with ALL of our old traditions solidly in place and 2 or 3 more national championship banners hanging on the walls!

      However, time moves on. But I really, truly believe that, even on the sunniest days, there are tears in the eyes of the Lady who stands atop our Golden Dome. And that is sad. Damn sad.

      ~ mpsND’72

    26. Whitecoat says:

      Make no mistake about it. The USC game is an example of change being a major distraction on the team, and it showed. They were wearing new “golden dome” helmets and they thought they could walk on water, and walk all over USC. The vibrant noise was right up USC’s alley, hollywood style, and the band stopped playing. The coach got caught up in schematics instead of coaching, and the man accountable for keeping ND on a level keel was Jack Swarbrick ….. the one accountable for the program. Jack did a terrible job of insuring our boys and our coaches were focused. The coach is accountable to him, and Jack had zero metrics to insure the win was the only focus. He wanted to be cool at the expense of the win.

      Whitecoat, ’62

    27. Is nothing sacred? Maybe we should add seats with tv monitors, so every single person in the stadium could bask in the glow of advertisements and instant replays, or maybe send text messages or upload a youtube video. There is an idea! Plug your own pocket gizmo into your ND monitor and start sharing media! Maybe we should heat these seats, too. Or better yet, just put a dome on top of it. Perhaps some Crab Rangoon could be served, and after, a nice digestif – served by waiters, of course. To accomplish this, let’s sell the naming rights of the stadium to Dunkin Doughnuts, and their ads will play for free forever on the mini screens that everyone has. ‘The Irish Run on Dunkin’ – I can see it now! Nobody in the stadium will care that there is even a football game being played, so who would care if it happened on God’s Green Grass or Haliburton’s Artificial Turf. We’ll be too busy watching our personal TV’s and having caviar finished with a delightful brandy, which, of course, will be featured in an ND advertisement on a mini monitor at every break from the ….. wait…. Why is everyone there? Oh that’s right, there is some kind of game being played…

      • SonOfAnAlum says:

        If you actually think they would do any of these things you do not know ND. If this is an appropriate response to a legitimate topic, I would hate to see you get carried away with something.

    28. I have now heard two people call the MD game helmets “Christmas ornaments.” Ouch. One day at ND I looked around at all the gear and said, “you know, I think the classes here are just a front to sell tee shirts.” I was kidding but the I do believe the University needs to resist the temptation to always just do that which makes more money in the next quarter. I pray they do not destroy the traditions we love.

    29. 1 mile from the stadium is where I grew up. In the 40’s and 50’s I could easily hear the roar of the crowd from my back yard even though there were only 59,079 roaring.
      I’ve been to many away games over the years and can’t stand the manufactured noise at Tennessee, where there is not much fan noise over the sound from the giant woofers, and the Jumbotron shows cartoons and ads for shoes, as well as animated jokes and scenarios (first time in a long time I’ve used that word in the correct sense).
      USC has a cheerleader on an elevated platform with a bull horn pleading for more noise.
      All of this is a shell of support without any real mass in it.

      Win the games, get a reputation for defending the “house”, and there will be plenty of noise coming from all, including my brother and I in the SE Corner, as usual.

      Get the best surface for football and I don’t care if it’s piled elephant dung.

      ND fan for 67 years and counting.

    30. Old people cant except change, that is why it fun to go to a ND football game amd be yelled at by a 75 year old lady to sit down and shut up. If they want to sit and read a book instead of cheer for the team then go home and watch it on TV.

    31. FearlessFlea says:

      This Shame-rock Series baloney makes me want to vomit. Is adidas running our equipment room and our athletic department? I guess so! The reason we can’t win is that we’ve turned onto a bunch of sniveling, candy-assed wimps that won’t stand up and knock the USC bastards on their asses on the first play of the game (Mike Townsend, or was it Tim Rudnick, to Lynn Swann in 1973). But now we’re too sophisticated, like Stanford ( who will drill us when we go there), we’ve got more women than men on campus (and judging by their athletic prowess, they’re tougher than the men), and we can’t plow our opponents under the sod even when we’re should. We barely beat Wake Forest, by a touchdown. Wake Forest! They play football? They used to have a golf team. And we used to have a football program. Teams used to fear Notre Dame. That’s enough.

      • SonOfAnAlum says:

        Wow. ND is not winning football games because there are more women than men on campus??? Nonsensical drivel. Candy-assed whimps? I would love to see you say that to any one of the ND players. Maybe they could knock some send into you.

    32. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      After seeing a photo of the “Shamrock Helmets” I think the “noise” issue will be solved: They are so hideous, so completely a violation of ND football tradition, and so inexplicable that the crowd reaction to them alone will be enough to render any number of jumbotrons completely unnecessary.

    33. Thank you for clarifying that this site is only for crotchety old alums.

    34. Mike Honcho says:

      Many of the replies to this post were written by people who should have stopped at the first paragraph and read no further. Because again, it is mostly lazy analysis, false choices, and a clear misunderstanding of what it is that many on this site seek to preserve.

      I think it’s an “either you get it or you don’t” situation. Full disclosure: I am a former member of the AssClown Posse who backed Weis for too long, and I was so-so on Kelly’s hire. But I, like virtually all of NDN, want him to succeed because I want ND Football to succeed. Sure, if you read the gameday board, we get a little hyperactive with the “Oh no, Navy’s about to come back” sort of talk, but so what?

      No one wants to take a stab at El K’s point that the nearly two decades of mediocrity is not due to lack of new helmets, jumbotron, etc., and that bringing these changes about won’t make the team great. That’s telling that you keep your mouths shut on that point, talking past it with, “I just care if we win” talk. Yeah, we do too.

      Finally, read the original post CAREFULLY. It addressed the majority of the points being made here, and preempted most of them in the first paragraph.

      • SonOfAnAlum says:

        Of course two decades of mediocrity was not because a lack of new helmets, jumbotron, etc. It was mostly because ND couldn’t land the best players. So maybe it is more about what the players want than what fans perceive the answer to be. No one is making the argument that theses changes automatically mean more wins. They are considering these changes because the student-athletes WANT them. Therefore, changes = more interested recruits = better players on your team = better chance to win football games. You want the best players? You better know EVERYTHING they want as part of their college experience. I trust BK, the guy who makes a living off knowing that very thing, has a better idea than the rest of us.

        • El Kabong says:

          Again, please name one player who chose a football program based on its video screen.

          Or, to put a finer point on it, how did we manage to get players like Tuitt and Te’o and Floyd and Lynch and all the rest without those things?

          • SonOfAnAlum says:

            Again, not the argument I am making. Of course no player chooses a school based on a video board. Just like they don’t choose a school for a sign in a locker room. How many recruits have chosen ND because they have a “Play Like A Champion Today” board in their locker room? None. But it certainly is a PART of their decision. It is a FACTOR in their choice. It is judged on the overall impression of the school and where a kid wants to spend 4 years of his life.

            And you shouldn’t be worried about why the players on the roster chose ND. Even though it took quite an effort to land Tuitt, Lynch, and Williams, the players named liked what ND had to offer. The players you should be concerned with are Shaun Cody, Seantrel Henderson, and the litany of blue-chip recruits that DID NOT choose the Irish. And why didn’t they go to South Bend? It wasn’t SOLELY because of a lack of a video screen or the presence of a locker room sign but I guarantee those aspects played into their decisions. And I trust that Brian Kelly, a guy that does this for a living, whose success depends directly on winning football games, which is directly related to the talent of his football players, knows a lot more than you or I on this subject. I have seen enough improvement in the football program to trust that he knows what these kids are in to. So if he wants to figure out ways to attract more recruits and have a better chance at winning football games, lets work with him on ways to do that.

            • What’s more likely to attract the players you listed: A video screen, or winning football?

              Quality football is the ice cream. A video screen is the whipped cream. You can put as much whipped cream on it as you want, but if the ice cream is bad, ain’t nobody eating that sundae.

              So how about we improve the ice cream and stop worrying about the whipped cream.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              I agree, the best ice cream is the goal. But to improve the ice cream we need the best ice cream makers. Maybe giving those ice cream makers more toppings to work with will entice them to be a part of the ice cream shop. ND has the best ingredients (tradition, academic excellence, national exposure, the Gug, etc.) What’s so wrong with offering whipped cream and sprinkles? It’s not like we are all of a sudden going to forget what awesome ice cream we have. As long as the toppings are used judiciously, it may be the perfect sundae. And what ice cream maker doesn’t want to make the perfect sundae?

            • El Kabong says:

              I understand that. Too much whipped cream, though, ruins the sundae. If a video screen increases the chances of getting a blue-chipper by one or two percent but ruins the game-day experience for a lot of people, is it really worth the cost?

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Well if you get that blue chip recruit hopefully your gameday experience will include beating USC instead of losing to Tulsa. And I don’t know if you can quantify the percentage these changes will have on a recruit. Maybe some kids will say “That garbage that Coach X from the University of Y was saying about ND being old and out of touch doesn’t seem to be true.”

              Agreed that too much whipped cream will ruin the sundae but I think the emphasis should be to tell the people in charge to go easy with the toppings. We don’t need a cup of sprinkles (aka being blasted by ads) and if that is the plan for the sundae, I don’t want it either. But if we can get a few extras without ruining the sundae, why not?

              Also, while it may not enhance your personal gameday experience, what about the people that it will? Shouldn’t their opinion weigh as much as yours? The case stated in “It’s not yours” said that we all have a say in the direction this thing goes. Was that meant just for the people who are against these changes?

            • El Kabong says:

              The same people you’re going to tell to go easy on the toppings sponsored the video that was done last year, put Quiddich scores and “RUIDO!” on the current scoreboard, and are, in its second season, putting ridiculous things on the Joyce Center screen during basketball games. I’m not confident they have the taste or the restraint.

              If Coach X from the University of Y says we’re out of touch, we can show that player the Gug and the expanded Stadium and the locker rooms and all sorts of stuff. If he still thinks we’re “out of touch”, he’s not smart enough to play here.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Maybe the discussion should be how to make those people use the video board to celebrate ND. Don’t you think a montage of all the past glory would be interesting? I guess if you have no faith in those people the argument is moot. But if there is this much conversation of the possibility of a video board, couldn’t there be equal conversation of how it is used? Is there any way to keep them accountable?

              Also, please do not start saying kids that are interested in ND are not smart enough to play in South Bend because they care about things that you do not. Being “out of touch” is much more than facilities. It is completely ignoring things that kids are interested in. You agreed, albeit nominally, that these changes increase the chance we get more blue chip recruits. Why then automatically dismiss even the possibility of these things having an positive impact on the football program?

              What do you think of the comments from BK about the unifrom changes?

            • El Kabong says:

              They don’t answer to anyone, and our coach is on record saying the only opinions that matter are the players’. So how do you suggest we hold them accountable?

              That’s exactly why I don’t want one.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              BK said that about the uniform changes, not the video board.

              Also, I find it a bit of a cop out to say that they don’t listen to anyone. MAKE them listen. You have a great site to garner support for your position and IF this video board becomes a possibility, use that support to create a voice so loud it cannot be ignored.

              No opinion on the “out of touch” comment?

    35. Brian Kelly “all show and no game” Hate to say it because I’m a Kelly fan.

    36. Ghost of Paul Failla says:

      I love the drawings. I think that would look amazing, though I imagine the cost would be huge. I think that the video screen (staying away from the bad connotation that comes with “jumbotron”) fits in well. I think that this could be accomplished in a way that fits in with teh architecture and feel of Notre Dame Stadium.

      I think it is a must, though. I am strongly opposed to advertising, noise metters, etc. but we need it. The last home game I attended was last year (2010) against Pitt. In the final minutes of play, Sunseri was taken down in the South end zone. Unfortunately, i was in the North End zone corner just behind the student section (sophomores). From where I was, you couldn’t tell if it was a safety, an incomplete pass, a fumble…to make it worse, the play got challenged and the wait began. It was one of the most exciting and pivotal plays of the game and I had no idea what had happened and how it was going to play out. The idea of waiting for the clock to run out, to do some post-game tailgating with old roomates, drive home and watch it on DVR to see what really happened was not very appealing either.

      I do not want to trash our Stadium or our tradition, but a replay would be nice; especially in an expanded stadium where you cant see everything from everywhere. In fact, for the ticket price, I’ll go as far as to say I deserve to see what happened even if it is on the board.

      Go Irish!

      • Tom Hammond's Forehead says:

        I’m actually curious how many people have had the experience of sitting at home, watching the game, and having a friend/relative who is at the game call them to ask what happened. I would guess that it is very common, particularly in cases of plays being reviewed. Given that we are now in the 21st century, that seems sort of ridiculous.

    37. So long as the team wins and does it without cheating, I’m content. If these “changes” contribute and increase the possibility for the team’s success, I’m all for it. After all, our traditions haven’t done squat for us since 1994 (not being a part of a conference is a huge reason for that imo).

      I will say though that I never see Alabama or Oklahoma change their home and away uniforms. But both stadium do blare loud music.

      And none of you actually get to run out onto the field and contribute to the team’s success. The players do that. So what does synthetic fake grass or real grass matter to anyone but the players?

      Just sayin.’

    38. It’s so sad that’s so many Notre Dame “fans” don’t get what makes us special, I’m 29 yrs old and have watched this team since I was 5, and I mean religiously watched since 5. My step dad told me then what makes this place so great and unique. Sad to think so many other children missed that speech…..

    39. Waterbeds waterbeds waterbeds – where waterbeds are our middle name. (Coming to a jumbotron near you!)

    40. So you’re not opposed to change… prove it. Besides a team that wins consistently, which we all want, what else would you change? You’re opposed to every other change that’s been proposed.

      “I want a louder stadium,” you’ll say. “And we’ll get that with a winning football team.” That circular logic goes around and round. I’m proud of the fact that my university is thinking proactively about how to get things jump started in all aspects of our football program — from the game day experience to the product on the field. And yes, I believe in Brian Kelly.

      Now go ahead and critique my grammar.

      • El Kabong says:

        How is that circular logic? The stadium will be louder if the team plays better. The team will play better if they are talented players who are well coached. QED.

        • Respectfully, my question to you is still: what would you change? The title of your post states that you think change is sometimes good. Besides changing the team into one that consistently wins, what would you change? I have not heard you say what it is that you think should change besides the wins and losses, which we all agree on. I would add a jumbotron and field turf and I’d keep the piped in music and once-a-year uniform change for neutral site games because I think they contribute to the overall image of a forward-looking university grounded in tradition that I think will appeal to recruits. What would you change?

          • El Kabong says:

            I can handle the piped-in music, although I don’t like it and would rather hear the band play those songs.

            The season’s uniform is the season’s uniform, pick it and wear it.

            No screen under any circumstances.

            Natural grass-based playing surface, up to and including the system the Packers use (which, I’m led to understand, is highly successful).

            • Thank you. I will respectfully disagree with you on the uniform and jumbotron. However, I would be open to an alternative natural grass solution — we can both agree that the field needs to change. I was a band member and I stood on that grass after some rain storms in November. We marched through inches of mud. I don’t know how anybody could run well in that slop.

    41. As a 24 year old life long fan of the Irish and someone who attends at least 1 game every year (went to the navy game, going to BC as well), I guess i’m a crotchety too cause I agree with just about everything here.

      I could not be more against ND adding a jumbotron. Went to the game at purdue and was both shocked and disgusted with how many adds were just blasted at you the entire game. Heck it was even worse at the colts-falcons “game” i attended at lucas oil this passed week. If ND ever starts doing that I’d have a real hard time convincing myself to buy tickets anymore. If i wanted to watch adds all game, I’d stay at home and watch it on tv.

      I will admit, I liked the under the lights jerseys and helmets. I’ve always been a fan of throwbacks and thought they did a real good job with those. However, this is something that should be done no more than once a year. We’re not oregon. We don’t need to be wearing different jerseys every single game. Heck the jerseys have changed styles like 3 or 4 times in the last 2 coaches already, add the green ones, the under the lights, now the shamrock series. Purely revenue based and just messing with tradition. Throwbacks once, green if a game truly deserves it, otherwise just wear jersey you said you were gonna wear all season.

      I will say that I actually did enjoy the music a lot more than I thought I was going to. I was rather upset when it first started, however shipping up to boston before kickoffs was pretty good. It was a bit overused, but the stadium was really quiet without it. Like dead quiet. Then again, it was the Navy game and after the first drive that was no longer competitive so we’ll see how it all plays out. Seven Nation Army needs to stop. Every freaking school is doing seven nation army now. Let them have it. Stick with our irish music and the band and leave it at that.

      I’ve played on both natural grass and field turf. Turf hurts a whole heck of a lot more than grass does to go down on i’ll tell you that right now. However it is also a whole lot faster to run on so if Kelly ever gets the team up to speed (sorry), it could be a nice (albeit hopefully unnecessary) advantage. But until then, I’m a purist and I happen to love that we still use grass.

      The whole ‘it doesn’t matter as long as we win’ mantra is total BS. Notre Dame is and has been about something more. The fact that I can turn a Purdue alum and fan into a huge ND fan just by having him set foot on campus and watch a game in that stadium speaks miles to the tradition this school holds. Nothing against changing for the better, however a lot is change for the sake of change and that’s never right.

      Anyways, those are my thoughts as someone who happens to be in the same age group of those kids who love this stuff. If you agree, awesome. If not, oh well. You’re not gonna hurt my feelings and everyone is welcome to their own opinion. Oh, and…

      I’ve been reading this site on an almost daily basis for years and have no intention of stopping. Keep doing what you’re doing guys. GO IRISH!!!!

    42. The only way a jumbotron would look good is if ND renovated the stadium like in the link above other wise it’d just look terrible, love the new helmets (not the ones vs Maryland) and I like the music over the PA’s there just needs to be more songs in the playlist and they could/should split at least 50/50 music and the band was always pumped when the band played Celtic Chant on 3rd downs never got annoying like crazy train did, it all can be done tastefully but it can also be done half assed, hopefully ND will go the tasteful rout

    43. Ghost of Paul Failla says:

      To all the video screen naysayers, your disdain for in-stadium advertising is not a good argument. There is no reason to believe that, if we were to install a video screen, we would need to run advertising. Other schools must feel the need to do so in order to generate additional revenue. Between the NBC contract, licensing, etc. I refuse the believe Notre Dame would “need” to run ads on a vide screen before, after or during a game. They may choose to do so, in which case I would be very dissapointed (however, having repaly available may still outweigh not having a video screen), but I don’t think that advertising is a reason to be opposed to the video screen until one hears the schools intentions were they to put up a video screen or unless you asume it is inevitable.

      I am for a video screen with ND football highlights, replays, etc.

      • El Kabong says:

        Screens like you describe cost millions of dollars to run, not to mention are extremely not green (bad energy footprint).

        Where will the money to operate it come from?

        • SonOfAnAlum says:

          How did they pay for the Gug? Maybe pay for it the same way they did for that multi-million dollar facility.


          Get millions from a BCS game and then it might be a possibiliy.

          • The Gug was financed through a multi-million dollar donation. To fund a Jumbotron that way, you’d need to ensure a multi-million dollar donation for that purpose every year, which means another effort that requires donations like need-based scholarships may have to go without. I can’t imagine that’d be a very popular policy, particularly with the harder-to-fund efforts on campus.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Fair enough. How much does it take to operate those on a yearly basis? I would think that the majority of the cost would be the up front construction. As you proposed in the article, how about those luxury boxes? Those would probably pay for themselves and could be eventually be used as part of the funding. I still think that until ND continually makes BCS bowls these will be on the back burner.

            • El Kabong says:

              I believe I recall reading the screens at a typical NFL stadium, similar to what ND would install, need about $1.5m or upwards every year for maintenance, employment of or contracting for the people who can do that maintenance, power usage, content creation, etc.

            • SonOfAnAlum says:

              Any thoughts on how else to pay for it? Luxury boxes would go for an incredible amount of money? Would you be more willing to get on board if millions were rolling in from BCS games?

            • El Kabong says:

              Well, we only get $4m from the BCS payout, a lot of which is reinvested in the cost of attending the game.

              Luxury boxes raise money, but not that much. And again, the needs-based scholarship folks will howl that there are better uses than a giant television screen.

      • I would love a jumbotron if and only if it was just used for replays/highlights. however considering the fact that jumbotron was brought up as a new revenue source, and the high costs of running it, i find it very hard to believe that ND wouldn’t use it for advertising. It was absolutely awful at both purdue’s stadium and at lucas oil because there was no point while i was in either stadium that i wasn’t getting blasted by advertisements. I don’t remember our jumbotron at Bowling Green State ever being anywhere near as obtrusive. There were more ads shown to us during the game than I would see watching it at home. The screens were there to show ads. Ads that would occasionally be interrupted to show a replay, then go right back into another ad. It detracts from the game and the experience.
        If ND would dedicate it to just showing replays/highlights, a jumbotron would be a welcome addition. However if they go the route that everyone else is seeming to, no thanks. I’ll sit contently not knowing whether or not a fumble happened until the booth is done reviewing it.

    44. I think ND should consider reorganizing season tix and have ‘sitting only’ section(s) in which all the quiet and sedate people can congregate and share stories of the depression, rationing and doing the charleston (if they ever did get off the wall). Soccer stadiums frequently make it known to potential ticket buyers that some sections allow standing during the game and others don’t. By gathering the non-standers it allows them to ‘enjoy’ their game and the rest of the place can make more noise, have fewer ushers handing out blue cards etc.

      If that happened and noise could be created without as many artificial simuli there would be one less argument, and I suspect it is only one of convenience, for a jumbotron.

      • If everyone recalls Notre Dame tried a couple of years back to have alumni sections where tey would stand for the game. It was next to the students. But there was very little interest and was discontinued.

    45. So, if I’m reading this right, change is good, unless you say it’s bad. Or, change is bad unless you say it’s good? Please, tell us what changes are pure and what changes are defiled. Too many change ethics police at ND, if you ask me. I have druthers. I would rather not see turf and the helmets for this week are off in my opinion…but I’m not about to make this a good vs. evil post about what changes are wholesome and what changes consitute selling out. I enjoy buying creative uniforms, I’m glad I could pick up a nice #5 UTL one this year. I guess I’ll go read another blog.

    46. I have been going to Notre Dame games for years and I have noticed that just because the stadium is bigger, does not make it better in terms of wins. Coaching has a lot to do with it and since Coach Holtz’s departure, things have not gotten better. Coach Holtz understood what Notre Dame is all about. It is first and foremost faith. Notre Dame (Our Lady) and it is named Notre Dame stadium to honor her. There are not advertisements except for the NBC logal on the score board. It reminds me of what the Olympics used to be before that went commercial too. I love Notre Dame and all she stands for. We do not need artificial turf and jumbo trons and as the priest said in the movie “Rudy”

      Notre Dame is not for everyone. I love tradition and am not opposed to change, but there are some things that are sacred and when you mess with that, then it opens up a can of worms. Let us win football games and do it the right way and not have to cheat to win aka USC, and others I will not mention by name.

      GO IRISH beat Maryland and keep the faith everyone. I still have a bumpersticker that says: “GOD made Notre Dame #1.” Well God did make Our Lady number one and Mary is the queen of all saints! God bless and have a great weekend.


    47. jjwilliams says:

      New reader to your site and I love it. The strength of the fanbase is the fact that we can have this discussion at all. Most would not be here if they didn’t have a real, intense interest of what goes on at ND. The institution that gives up traditions, rarely makes new ones. If the only thing that mattered was competing on the field with LSU or USC, then do whatever the hell will get you there. But then, you just will have another USC out there. I believe it is DIFFERENT here. To stay different, you need to be different (from everyone else that is). Go slow on the change.

      • I want to be different as well, in a way that matters. I just don’t see what old uniforms and a stadium without a jumbotron get us.

    48. Paul Hass says:

      Your continued objection to a jumbotron is lunacy. When I go to the game and a close play occurs, the 82,000 people at the game are the only people IN OUR WHOLE COUNTRY that cannot see what happened (if they have the ND game on; and who doesn’t). That is insanity. I went to my a game at the NCAA Div II at which i played and they had a mobile jumbotron on which i could see every play as needed. I also have spoken to numerous college and HS players that LOVE, absolutely LOVE the new surfaces available. As a Chicago Bear and ND fan I have always been against the astroturf fields. The new fields are totally different and you are wrong. Just plain wrong. I love your site; and you own the site, but I am sorry that you are pushing this agenda.

      • Of course they can see what happens. They were there and they just saw it happen. Granted, they can’t see it over and over and over and over and over again, like some folks in the short-attention-span generation apparently can’t live without. But when the cost of that over and over and over and over and over again is going to be advertising and tacky crowd shots and all the other things that will come with a screen, you bet your ass I’ll keep “pushing this agenda”.

        And if you doubt my previous sentence, as I’ve invited others, go to a basketball game at the Joyce Center and see what they’re doing there on that screen. Remember that these are the same people who posted Quiddich scores and RUIDO on the current screen, and green-lit that Freekbass video. Then tell me how classy they’re going to be if we give them a 100-foot television to work with.

    49. This is stupid. Its just a little bit for the 21st century. I am a 29 year old alum, and this will soon be my regime when you “old farts” go away. You had your time, now it is ours. I understand and respect the tradition and what ND stands for. None of those things have anything to do with modernizing a bit and having harmless fun. If you dont keep up with the times the rest of the world whomis changing will eat you alive. Ask any business about change and you will get the same.

      Again, these things are harmless changes. Its not like we painted the golden dome multi colored, or made touchdown jesus into dance dance revolution jesus. If you dont know what that is you really are too old. Time to throw in the towel and retire. If you want this great thing to survive then just accept that change is good.

      I am ND, and proud of the tradition and the ability to recognize what year we live in. You should be proud of that to. Dont think that ND is better than everyone else, because you sound that way, and that is not the catholic way.

      Harmless people. Its harmless.

    50. Ohhhh, yeah. Anybody who takes the time to complain about a website they’re too good to bother with has a TON of credibility. You all sound like Jack Lemon sniveling about the leads in Glengarry Glen Ross.

      Boo friggin hoo, you pansies. Somebody’s website is so wrong and so opinionated and so ….whatever….that you very bravely decide to take your 2nd place set of steak knives and go someplace where you can cut it. Someplace where you can complain all you want about posters you’ll never have to face and arguments you’ll never have to defeat. Yeah, OK.

      Enjoy your steak knives, wherever you post. Like it matters.

      • I find your complaining about complainers completely ironic. So we’re idiots for complaining about opinions of people that we’ll never meet…you’re SO different than us idiots!

    51. I have often thought, and said, that ND might be better off without football, but that it needs the revenue to continue to become one of the world’s great universities. One can also wonder if without football it would be Notre Dame. I’m not sure, and would like others’ opinions. I’ve been a Noter Doter since 1944, and received a degree in 1958. Why Noter doting? Football.

      I think Rockne cursed us with success and a mission born partly of the urge to let the WASPS know that this immigrant people–Irish, German, Italian–deserved to be here and to be free from prejudice. Because I am of that generation, I still watch ND football with that “I’m Catholic and I deserve to be here” attitude. I know that attitude is out of date; you don’t have to tell me I’m being silly. I share the knowledge of that attitude with you younger ones to give you an idea of where part of your tradition–winning football–gained its strength.

      That attitude will die with me, but when you’re arguing about how the tradition should be packaged–stadium, uniforms, marketing–you may wish to remember that for Notre Dame football has meant much more than just winning. I believe that if the time comes when it doesn’t continue to mean more than just winning perhaps it will be time to close down Rockne’s house.

      But until then: Go Fighting–hardscrabble who-asked-you-to come-here you brawling low-lifes–Irish!

      • Sad Warrior says:

        No football, no Notre Dame. Think back to WW II asnd how Navy saved the University. Football is the cow.

    52. Good article. I agree fully with your comments.

    53. Well written and valid viewpoint. I agree with it almost to every point.

      However, I would love to see a Jumbotron…………..on one condition. It be used only for replay and to promote the University of Notre Dame….and no advertising.

      Realizing that using it to produce revenue rather than enhance the fan experience making the price of a ticket a little more in line with product, I conclude that providing a Jumbotron with only those uses is beyond the capability of the PTB to forego the lure of greed. Hence, in the end, I would prefer not to see one. That does not preclude my desire for a perfect world.

    54. I’m with you vannie. change the grass at ND stadium? Come on man. Change is good and needed to mend broken models. However, read the comments of recruits who have come for games. All you read is they are blown away by the game day experience. We have something special in South Bend. Let’s not screw it up.

    55. Kinda silly post. Do you people think that perhaps you have much less influence than you think. Lazy.

    56. What we really need is a new fight song!

      How about..

      Here, here at new Notre Dame
      Listen to Ozzie blaring all game.
      Watch the Jumbo and then buy
      this week’s pink uni, “a” shirt, and some chai.
      Politely clap, stay seated, that’s all.
      “Get used to it”, else the ushers they’ll call!
      While tradition’s thrown away
      and we fade into history!

    57. The turf used in Green Bay makes the most sense. By the fourth home game every year we see sloppy field conditions. I would also like to see luxury boxes in order to get “down in front” guy out of our way. Standing and yelling should be expected at a football game not shunned. The jumbotron setup at New Meadowlands stadium would work well at ND.




    59. I love this post. Amen.

    60. I like the new Shamrock helmets, and I think the Irish will look great under the HD lighting tonight. Just hope they play great too and come back with a W. As for playing piped in rock or any other kind of music in ND stadium, that is the quickest way to be just like everybody else. Every stadium in the country plays Ozzie’s “Crazy Train”. ND should never strive to be just like everybody else. And what’s up with Kelly ending the pre-game walk from the basilica to the stadium ?

    61. Terrific article. Every observation on point in the view of this crotchety old alum. Too much focus on making money and being “current” with the times. ND is a university, not a Fortune 500 corporation (or maybe now it is). If the traditions need to be pushed to the side, then join the Big Ten and watch how quickly Knute, The Four Horseman and The Gipper fade into oblivion. ND’s great wide receiver, Jim Seymour, once said to me that he hoped ND would not join a conference because we would lose all that history, the way Penn State lost its “Beast of the East” history when it joined the Big Ten. Another example is the Super Bowl – which is nothing more than the NFL Championship Game. Except for the Ice Bowl and the first telivised championship game between the Colts and Giants, everything pre-Super Bowl has been lost to history. Only the Super Bowls are kept alive in people’s memories. That gave me a new perspective. In any event, the article was a wonderful statement that articulated what many alums like myself feel. One of the special things about ND is that it has always embraced its “old school” past. College football is different from professional football. Once ND completes its transformation to an NFL experience, I for one will no longer need to make the 4 hour roundtrip to South Bend. I’ll just go to a Bears game. And if I need something more akin to a college game, I can trave to Green Bay (who modeled their stadium renovation after ND’s and are doing just fine with a grass field). What has made ND special is that prior ADs and coaches recognized that they were only temporary keepers of a great tradition. And they seemed to know that the best way to build on that tradition was to win – not change uniforms, stadium music and playing surfaces at the drop of a hat. Efforts to change these things have a subtle but implicit message that these are the things preventing ND from winning. They are not. Coaches and players determine who wins a football game. Distorted sounding music (because it is played too loud for the quality of the speakers) has not noticably helped our defense stop our opponents on third down.