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Gameday noise

Matthew Meagher | Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I am irate. Gameday at Notre Dame, for decades, has been one of the most unique atmospheres in all of college football. What I witnessed during the USC game this past Saturday was barely recognizable as a Notre Dame gameday. Bluntly, the entertainment product trotted out on Saturday was a disgrace.

As a third-generation legacy, I recognize that most of our “traditions” are in flux. Here, tradition is defined by what any particular graduating class experienced. With this understanding, I’m not opposed to change.

However, Notre Dame has always sought to distinguish itself by maintaining a unique gameday atmosphere. If the athletic department is compelled to artificially institute a change to the gameday atmosphere (i.e. not a student driven change), I implore them to introduce creative and unique changes, thus preserving Notre Dame’s legacy, as opposed to attempting to import, wholesale, the atmosphere from Big 10 and SEC schools.

First, I posit that while the crowd was louder when the piped in rock music was played, that this was more due to correlation than causation. Notre Dame fans are savvy. The crowd was loud because the game situation demanded it and not because another Jock Jams song was queued up on the sound system.

Second, the selection of songs was atrocious. Continuously playing “Crazy Train” and “Seven Nation Army” and drowning out the band was initially laughable and later, just depressing. The realization dawned that those in charge of in-game atmosphere don’t truly understand what differentiates Notre Dame from its peers and are either unwilling or incapable of instituting creative changes that don’t ape the cookie-cutter college football gameday experience.

If the piped-in music is to continue, choose appropriate songs (like the Dropkick Murphy’s version of “Rocky Road to Dublin” or Thin Lizzy’s cover of “Whiskey in the Jar”) and play them selectively during the interminable TV timeouts in place of making the on-field, “Please turn your attention to the 20-yard line” announcements.

Leave the between-play atmosphere to the band and students.

Matthew Meagher

alumnus

Class of 2008

Oct. 24