101 Things You Should Do on a Football Weekend

Author: Notre Dame Magazine


Light a candle and say a prayer at the Grotto, and leave double the suggested offering “just to be sure.”

Go to the second-floor rotunda of the Main Building and look up at the mural on the inner dome. Be there at 4 p.m. on Friday when the band’s trumpet section heralds the coming of football.

Buy a steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus food stand. Or a blackened brat from student grillers.

Shout to student managers spray painting helmets in the stadium on Friday nights, “Is that real gold?”

Make yourself a waffle for breakfast in the dining halls with a leprechaun imprint in the middle.

Take a campus tour and ask to see the Nude Rockne.

Visit the new bookstore; get a crick in the neck scanning the palatial lobby with faux marble walls.

Spend 30 minutes selecting one hat from among the 800 available styles. Spend 35 minutes waiting in line to pay for it.

Dispense free beer to thirsty students who visit your tailgater, but only after asking if they’re 21. Card them.

Paint your face, your fingernails, your bare torso, and dress ritualistically — plaid pants, mum corsage, tam-o’-shanter or this year’s version of The Shirt.

Wear a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button but don’t really expect anyone to.

Do the Bob Wave (formerly known as the Lou Wave) by flapping your arms and making lower case b’s and d’s with your thumbs and forefingers when the band plays the 1812 Overture at the end of the third quarter.

Point out Monk’s room in Sorin to campus visitors. Tell them he encourages people to rap firmly on his window “just to say hi.”

Negotiate with a scalper, offering $200 each for two tickets then, when he produces the tickets, say, “Oh, gee, sorry. I thought you were selling tickets to the ‘Keenan Revue.’”

Sing America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner loud and proud during the pregame ceremony, even if you know you’re tone-deaf.

Count aloud the number of push-ups the leprechaun pumps out after another Irish score.

Go to Mass in the Basilica or Stepan Center right after the game.

Go instead to the bookstore after the game and hear the Undertones, the student pop a cappella troupe. Promise God you’ll attend Mass tomorrow.

It’s tomorrow. Attend the 11:45 a.m. Mass in the Basilica and enjoy the Folk Choir.

Take first-time visitors on a campus tour, stop behind Corby, and tell them that the man who is possibly the most honored person in academia, Father Ted Hesburgh, lives in that little room there right above the dumpster — which is true.

Wait for the team to emerge from its pregame Mass in the Basilica on Saturday morning and help form the tunnel they’ll follow across campus.

Head to the band concert at noon on the steps of Bond Hall, then stay for the drummers circle and Irish Guard inspection.

Try to get photographic evidence to verify the widely held conjecture that Irish Guard members wear nothing under their kilts.

Feel a surge of pride as you see all the visiting team’s fans walking around campus in awe.

When you see visitors posing, volunteer to take their picture so everyone in the family can get into the photo in front of a campus landmark — Touchdown Jesus, Fair-Catch Corby or No. 1 Moses. Be sure to include the little girl in the blue and gold cheerleader outfit.

Take the “Jump Mary, I’ll Catch” photo from behind the Sacred Heart statue of Jesus looking up at his mother atop the Dome.

Join the gang for the 10-minute shuttle bus ride after you’ve paid for “campus” parking.

After shoehorning into your seat in the stadium’s lower bowl, repeat the old joke (to the stranger you’re now scrunched thigh-to-thigh with) about how they “expanded” the stadium some years ago by repainting the numbers on the bleachers an inch closer together.

Play the nine-hole Notre Dame Golf Course or play all 18 of the new Warren course.

Read Father Sorin’s letter to Father Basil Moreau near Old College. Read Tom Dooley’s letter to Father Ted at the Grotto.

Attend the Notre Dame Football Luncheon (formerly the Quarterback Club Luncheon) on Friday in the Joyce Center.

Follow the band as it winds through campus from the Band Building to the pep rally at the Joyce Center Friday night.

Go to the pep rally. Complain that they aren’t as rowdy or fun as they used to be. (But then neither are you.)

Eat at Pat’s Colonial Pub in Mishawaka, where The Notre Dame Victory March is played every few minutes.

Stop by the Joyce Center fieldhouse three hours before the game, bump into old pals and see the Glee Club, Shenanigans, the cheerleaders and other groups perform as part of the alumni association’s hospitality program. Check out the guest book to see which classmates are on campus somewhere.

Search for creative Notre Dame vanity plates in the parking lots.

One football game not enough? Catch interhall football on Sunday afternoon at Stepan Fields. Or try a new sport. Attend a volleyball or soccer game.

Enjoy an intellectual massage at a Saturday Scholar Series lecture, brought to you by the College of Arts and Letters.

Go to bw3s, Corby’s, Coach’s or Club 23 and talk about how much you miss Bridget’s, the Commons, Louie’s, Franky’s, Nicky’s or The Library.

Just for the wanton hell of it, provide the new Corby’s with a new Naked Kahuna.

Tour a special exhibit or watch a movie at the Snite. And if at any time you feel yourself getting cultured, remain calm. The stadium is less than 600 feet away.

Have a Super Pub Burger and waffle fries with barbecue sauce at C.J.’s.

No tickets? Pull up a lawn chair and watch the game on a portable TV in the shade of an RV in the parking lot. Or go to the Huddle and watch it there.

Make a band member laugh during inspection.

Park your vehicle in a prime tailgating location the night before the game with all your non-perishables already aboard.

Buy a soft drink so large it comes with a handle so you can carry it like a bucket.

Insist that they throw to the tight end.

While waiting in line to get into the bathroom, take a moment to contemplate the “condiment udders” near the concession stands.

Celebrate a victory or forget a loss by dancing ’til 3 at the ’Backer. Oh what a night!

Try an early-morning group jog around the lakes and through campus, starting and ending at Studebagels.

See a car that can go 140 miles an hour with no gasoline — the engineering college’s Irish Racing Team electric vehicle.

Visit Rockne’s grave in Highland Cemetery on Portage Avenue west of campus. Give thanks to the legend, take a shot of whiskey and leave one for him.

See a piece of the plane that Rockne rode to his death (and a lot of other memorabilia) at the Sports Heritage Hall on the Joyce Center’s mezzanine.

Visit the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend. Wonder why they didn’t put more Notre Dame stuff in there.

Go to the Eck Visitors Center and watch the movie about Notre Dame.

Rent Rudy.

Rent Knute Rockne, All American.

Slide the NFL Films’ Wake Up the Echoes video into a VCR and turn up the volume. Following several lovely shots of the campus in its autumn splendor, complete with birds chirping, John Facenda’s famous voice fills the house with, “Time, and its passage, changes all things. One place, however, has sustained a spirit and a tradition for so long that its story has evolved into legend.” This is followed by the rising crescendo of the marching band’s drums. If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, you’re either dead or really serious about Notre Dame’s Ivy League aspirations.

Complete the entire good-luck, statue-rubbing sequence — Rockne’s nose, Leahy’s foot, Moose’s championship ring — then sit on the bench next to Moose and try to explain to him “power ratings” and the Bowl Championship Series format.

Kegs and eggs.

After the game, scavenge at least 50 commemorative cups to use at your New Year’s Day bowl-game watching party.

Visit your old dorm. Lament that it’s changed genders. Marvel at the array of computers, TVs, stereos, video games and other electronics.

Visit an empty dorm chapel and say a prayer for friends gone by.

Buy lemonade or hot chocolate or flowers from the kids selling them in front of their houses in Harter Heights. Ask them if they have any souvenir “Oust Faust” or “Dump Devine” bumper stickers for sale.

Visit the Notre Dame gallery at the Northern Indiana Historical Society’s Center for History in downtown South Bend.

Walk everywhere on campus on game day just to enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie and magical feeling that you are united with everyone you see by your sheer love of the school.

Watch the kids dressed in their Notre Dame jerseys playing football on the South Quad.

During the game, turn around and correct someone who is mistaken about who made that catch or what the penalty was. This is not rude. It is a public service. And how else are they going to learn?

“May I have your attention, please? This is Tim McCarthy of the Indiana State Police. Don’t let your day go down the drain by not heeding my silly safety plug.”

Enjoy a quart of beer and a pizza at Rocco’s.

Feed the leftover sandwich bread from your tailgater to the ducks in Saint Mary’s Lake.

Support the arts. Use the bathroom in the Snite. (They keep a count of everyone who comes through the doors of the museum. The higher volume helps on grant applications.)

Visit an old professor and ask him to guess your occupation and salary. And name. Then thank him for all he did.

Test the refurbished stadium plumbing with a synchronized 40-man flush. Station a monitor with a walkie-talkie in the basement of the CCMB.

Be in the dining hall at 6 p.m. on Friday when the Glee Club, having dined together, stands on their chairs and gives an informal concert.

Go to the laboratory/library.*

Shop at Martin’s grocery store while no one else is there.*

Enjoy a quiet walk on campus while everyone is at the game.*

Stay as far away from campus as possible.*

*The preceding suggestions were presented in the interest of equal time in behalf of those who don’t get it and was brought to you by the Committee for the Advancement and Support of Boring.

Stand up between plays and shout as loudly as possible to the section next to you, “Hey, Sully!” See how many people turn around.

Try to revive the “Silent Cheer.”

Celebrate a win with a full-body splash into the Stonehenge fountain.

Be grateful in November that the seating in the lower bowl gives you license to maintain body contact with up to four warm strangers at once.

Go to the bathroom, buy a hot dog, finish Christmas shopping, read James Joyce’s Ulysses and still be back in your seat before the end of a TV timeout.

Smuggle a dummy into the stadium. Pass a few students up to the top of the stands, then have people in the lower rows start the dummy on the same journey. To chants of “over the top, over the top” flip the mannequin over the wall. Enjoy the gasp of horror from the distant reaches of stadium.

Contemplate the meaning of the Columbus murals in the Main Building. When that gets boring — which will be quickly — go looking for the belly dancer, fishing lure, bowling pin and Kermit the Frog painted into the “fringe.”

Have a post-celebration breakfast at 3:30 a.m. at Fat Shirley’s — a cheeseburger with fried eggs and bacon on top.

Somehow, some way make the USC band stop playing that damn “Tribute to Troy” processional every 18 seconds.

Climb to the top of the Dome and hang a bedsheet banner. Jungle-gym your way to the top of the Stepan Center, the other golden dome, and then wonder why you did so.

Mingle in the tent behind the Morris Inn or buy a round for everyone in Leahy’s bar inside. Check out the football there signed by some of Leahy’s lads.

Try a smoothie at Reckers.

Hang around in the stadium after the game until all the school songs are played and the band disappears into the tunnel.

Enjoy the Candlelight Buffet in the North or South dining hall on Saturday night. No waiting, no parking, great variety, and all you can eat for $12.60.

Note the futility of an airplane hauling a banner for the Showgirls strip club above a stadium filled with priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and a uniformly pious laity.

Try to spot the walk-ons on the sideline who have to share a uniform number.

Keep the local Catholic grade schools solvent by buying a $2 chocolate bar the size of a flashlight from children selling them outside the stadium.

Visit Sorin’s grave and the graves of all the other late CSCs you know in the Holy Cross community graveyard above Saint Mary’s Lake. Pay your respects also to another legend buried there: Frank O’Malley.

Link arms with someone and sing Notre Dame, Our Mother — the whole thing, not just “Luuhv thee Noe-Ter Daaaaayme!”

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