There is nothing quite like Notre Dame football. The pride, the tradition, and the fans’ passion is unmatched. The University takes football very seriously and whether students enjoy football or not, there are always a few tell-tale signs that game day is approaching.
The University of Notre Dame’s first home game takes place on August 31 at 3:30 p.m. against Temple University. Go Irish, Beat Temple!
Landscaping and beautification of campus
Students will notice landscapers and construction workers appearing in full force about one week prior to game day. Flowers need to be planted, benches need to be re-stained, and monuments need to be freshened up for the thousands of visitors that stream onto campus on game day weekends. Students may suddenly encounter unexpected construction fences or rolls of sod on their walks to class. Despite the large amount of work that needs to be done before every game, the University ensures that campus is always immaculate on game day.
Walking past the stadium the Friday before a game, one will see two banners flying high above one of the stadium entrances. One banner always represents Notre Dame and the other represents the opposing team. One may also hear the faint sound of the Notre Dame Band practicing the victory march or other familiar pieces inside the stadium. Trucks and employees scurry in and out of the stadium, finishing the final preparations. One cannot help but feel a twinge of excitement for the upcoming game.
As early as the Thursday before a game, one may notice that campus’ demographic has changed. Alumni young and old flock to campus and stroll around campus with their families, reminiscing and marveling at all that has changed. Little kids in jerseys toss footballs to their fathers on the quads students normally study on. Groups of people take pictures in front of Notre Dame’s many landmarks. The crowds may make getting to class a bit more difficult, but nevertheless they help build anticipation for game day.
The “Here Come the Irish” banner
The week before the first game, Zahm Hall (a residence hall) hangs a huge green and yellow banner on one side of their dorm, reading, “Here Come the Irish.” The banner stays up for the duration of the football season. Facing North Quad, countless students, staff, and visitors are sure to see it as they go about their business on campus. The banner boosts morale; its size is definitely representative of students’ school spirit.
Football enters the classroom
The Friday before game day, students may be a bit glassy-eyed or bored in class. It can be difficult to pay attention knowing what lies ahead. Most professors are just as excited for the game and many include a little football into their Friday lectures. It is not uncommon for the last slide of a presentation to include a Notre Dame graphic or a “Go Irish, Beat (insert team name here)!” Students usually laugh and walk out of class a bit more refreshed and definitely ready for the game ahead. It is uplifting to know that professors are just as passionate about football; it helps make Notre Dame truly feel like one, unified family.