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How to Watch an Away Game

Mary Claire O'Donnell | Friday, September 9, 2011

Football Saturdays are some of the best days at Notre Dame, without a doubt.  But even that doesn’t mean the weekends we don’t have home turf advantage can’t be just as epic.  Whether you are watching the game in South Bend, the Big House or any other venue, here are some tips to make your weekend memorable and amazing.

What to Eat

Sustenance is a hugely important part of any day, but especially game days, when you might be tailgating in triple-digit temperatures or sitting through a rainy game.  The right food will help keep your energy up during the whole game and help avert rough Sunday mornings.  And don’t you want your strength for the pushups we will all hopefully be doing in excess tomorrow?  For those of you staying home and watching the game, chili is a great option.  This delicious stew is a great crowd-pleaser and easy to make for all the friends gathered in your living or common room.

If you are heading to an opposing stadium, pack your grill and brats.  Tailgating is a fantastic way to meet rival fans and engage in friendly competitions to prove the worth of your team.  Furthermore, the proximity to enemy fans provides excellent opportunities for heckling them — in a friendly manner, of course — for their poor taste in sports teams.  Food inside the stadium or at nearby restaurants may be expensive or subject to long lines, so tailgating is the way to go.

Where to Watch

If you are headed up to the Big House with a ticket this weekend, or to any away game this season, you are one of the chosen few.  Enjoy your time in enemy territory and keep up the spirit even amidst rabid opposing fans.  For those without a ticket, going to a local bar is a great alternative.  This option may only be for those 21+, depending on the rules of the pub. However if that is you, going to bars is a great way to enjoy all the fun an away game has to offer. You can meet the locals, still engage in some friendly taunting and watch the game from inside if the weather goes foul.

If you are staying in South Bend for the away game, don’t fret; you can still have a fantastic Saturday.  Gather your friends in your apartment or dorm room, if space allows.  If it doesn’t, rally the troops in one of the lounges in your dorm.  Assign different people different snack items to bring, from chips to salsa, soda to brownies.  As long as your friends and delicious snacks surround you, you will have a great time — sure to be even better if the Irish do well.

How to Watch

If you are headed to the game, make all of us proud with your cheers, jeers and Irish pride.  Wear The Shirt into the stadium.  Fly your ND flag from your car.  Sing along to the band.  Whatever you do, just make sure the opposing team knows the Fighting Irish faithful are there en masse.  And if you are in enemy territory but not necessarily inside the stadium, make sure your fellow bar-occupants are fully aware of your allegiances.  Do push-ups inside the establishment if necessary.

If you are at home watching the game on TV, don’t let your enthusiasm wane even though the team can’t see it.  Wear your favorite memorabilia to show your Irish pride.  Decorate your dorm room or apartment with Irish-themed ornaments from the local Dollar Store or Christmas Tree Shop.  The team may not be able to see your fanaticism, but they can feel it.  Keep up the spirit in and outside your domicile.  Don’t let it fade even if they Irish suffer a rough half.

Contact Mary Claire O’Donnell at modonne5@nd.edu