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Irish fans travel to Pittsburgh

Adam Llorens | Monday, September 26, 2011

Notre Dame students who made the trip to Pittsburgh this weekend said they were excited about the Irish win, but unimpressed with the atmosphere of Heinz Field.

Sophomore Kurt Beatty, a Pittsburgh native, said he was surprised by how quiet the stadium was.

“The stadium was quiet, [which] was certainly not something I was used to,” he said. “I do not think Heinz Field, which was built for professional football, is conducive to loud environments like most college stadiums are.”

Senior Kelly Jones agreed and said the Irish fans were the loudest.

“The game was a lot of fun, but extremely unenthusiastic,” she said. “Notre Dame fans supplied all of the energy inside the stadium, which was strange.”

Sophomore Quinn White, who experienced his first away football game this weekend, sat in the Pittsburgh student section with a friend from high school.

“The Pitt student section is nothing like the one found at Notre Dame Stadium,” he said. “Being in an NFL stadium and having students that did not cheer the entire game proved to be detrimental to the atmosphere.”

White said the Pittsburgh students weren’t as energetic as the Irish fans.

“The students go to the games because they feel obligated to,” White said. “They sat down during television time-outs, did not cheer the entire game and most left before the conclusion of the game.”

He said the influx of Notre Dame fans created a pro-Irish atmosphere near the end of the game.

“After Eifert scored the last Notre Dame touchdown, a chant of ‘Let’s Go Irish’ broke out from the upper deck and echoed around the stadium,” White said.

Jones said she was surprised to hear the Pittsburgh Marching Band play Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” for their halftime show, a song Notre Dame students have already heard both from the Band of the Fighting Irish and Michigan State University’s marching band.

“The Band of the Fighting Irish definitely performed it the best,” Jones said.

Jones said that besides seeing the Notre Dame game, it was fun to explore a new city.

“My friends and I took the incline up Mount Washington to get a view of all of Pittsburgh,” she said. “We also met up with a lot of Notre Dame students at a traditional German restaurant called the Hofbräuhaus, which was a lot of fun.”

Beatty said he enjoyed the opportunity not only to see his school play on the road, but also to visit friends and family.

“This trip was special for me because I got to go home,” Beatty said. “Sleeping in my own bed and being able to see a lot of old friends made the weekend memorable.”