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What your stadium arrival time says about you

Jordan Gamble | Friday, September 3, 2010

9:30 am – You’re trying (and failing) to buy a ticket for your friend from Purdue from the ticket window. You leave the stadium and go take pictures with your roommates jumping in the air in front of Zahm’s “Here Come the Irish” banner until the crepes line opens at North Dining Hall. Later, your Purdue friend pays an ungodly amount to the scalpers stationed on the corner of Douglas and 933.


1:30 pm – YOU LOVE NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL SO MUCH, but you forgot about Daylight Savings Time. The gates aren’t even open yet, though you rattle them in desperation. You want to enter your cathedral of college sporting tradition, but the sanctuary is not yet willing to rescue you from the real world. You spend the next hour circling the stadium, kissing the feet of all the coaches’ statues. For the Lou Holtz one, you climb up onto the pedestal and just kind of hug him for a few minutes.


2:30 pm – YOU LOVE NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL SO MUCH. You are the first student at Gate E, and you give all the ushers high-fives and you stare in awe at all the banners and Heisman winners and … then you see how far you have to hike up the ramp to your seats in section 34. You buy an overpriced hot dog and a Commemorative Stadium Mug and wait on some steps for all your friends to show up.


2:45 pm – An hour before, you were camped out by Sorin, hoping for a glimpse of studly student-athletes in suits strolling from the basilica to the stadium. Now you’re glued to your seat, wearing your artfully-cut-up The Shirt with pride. You’re not a jersey chaser or anything, but you like to watch the team stretch.


2:50 pm – You are a band groupie. You love the music and pageantry and marching and funny spats on shoes, so you follow the band through the Law School Arch. You give the marimba guy a wink. He looked pretty cute at drummer circle last night.


3:00 pm – You’ve filled up on free food from tailgates (the alumni giving it are possibly related to your freshman-year roommate’s cousin’s roommate) in the stadium lot, so you join the rush of people streaming into the various gates. You consider yourself a dedicated Notre Dame football fan and would under any other circumstances be there at 2:30, but man, you liked those hamburgers from Mr. Dorm Donor ’71.


3:05 pm – You make it just in time for all the patriotic and school-spirited ceremonies before the game. You are also a little bit tipsy, but you are so patriotic and you love Notre Dame and have superb balance, so you can stand on your wooden bench and belt out “America the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner” with ease. You even perfectly time your fist-pump during the Victory March.


3:15 pm – Football is fun. So is the shuttle bus from White Fields. So many new friends! Woo college! Purdon’t! Haha, get it? Purdon’t? Let’s go Irish! Go Irish, beat Trains! That’s what a Boilermaker is, right? A train?


3:30 pm – The security personnel at the gates confiscated your vuvuzela. Jerks. You even spent 10 minutes trying to conceal it in your pants and now you’re left without anything sufficiently obnoxious. You trudge in, disheartened.


3:37 pm – You catch kick-off and yell politely along with everybody else. You like football, you really do. Maybe. It’s just so confusing. You also like to sit down during time-outs and text a lot during key defensive moments. Some student section purists yell at your for being a lackluster Irish fan, but you don’t really care.


4:00 pm – You left your ticket booklet on your dining hall tray and just spent the last three hours digging through trash cans in South. The ushers manage to scan the barcode around all the scrambled eggs caked on the Purdue stub.


4:15 pm –Well, you paid $245 for the season. Might as well see what’s going on. Looks like a good time. You don’t think the benches look too comfortable. You ask an usher where the grad student section is.


Never, because you don’t have tickets – You are an international student who thinks American football is kind of ridiculous. You stay at home to watch soccer/futbol matches streaming on your laptop and do some of your homework. When your roommate comes home and collapses on the futon after a four-hour marathon of screaming and standing and jumping and touchdown push-ups, you ask how the weather was today.