Friday, September 2, 2011

The Long Walk On Game Day

Today's edition of Retro Friday is being interrupted by another Football Week 2011 post ... The Long Walk On Game Day!

One of the most anticipated events on campus at Notre Dame on a football game day is the walk the players take, following Mass, from the Basilica to the stadium. But starting with the 2011 football season, this is all changing. I am not sure who's brilliant idea this was, and who knows ... maybe once I see it I will love it, but at this very moment I am not a big fan of this change.

I know that change in life is inevitable, but a big part of what people love about Notre Dame football is the mystique, lore, and TRADITION. Call me crazy, but why on earth would you want to change one of the most well loved of the Notre Dame traditions?!

Okay. The original football walk consisted of the Notre Dame football players walking out of Mass at the Basilica, and walking through the "God Quad" and onward through campus to the stadium. The fans line up in masses to high five and cheer the players on their journey towards the stadium. It is one of my favorite traditions to share with people who have never been to Notre Dame for a football game. (Below is a pic of the band making the same walk to the stadium)

The new journey to the stadium will involve the following path: Following Mass at the Basilica, the players will exit through the God-Country-Notre Dame doors and then the team will walk back to the buses. They will board the buses and turn left on Holy Cross Drive, towards St. Mary's Lake and the Grotto, and follow Holy Cross Drive all the way to the parking lot south of Notre Dame stadium. They will then drive the buses THROUGH the south parking lot so that the tailgaters get a chance to experience the football team (I don't know ... but a bus driving through the parking lot is not really "experiencing the football team" ... but maybe that's just me?) and then will continue on to "The Gug" where they will finish game day preparations.

After pre-game preparations are completed, the players will walk from the Gug, past the Jordan Hall of Science, and over to the Hesburgh library, which is where the official walk to the stadium will start. For a 3:30pm game time, this will happen about 1:15pm. The team will walk over to the statue of Father Hesburgh and Father Joyce in front of the Hesburgh Library, and then they will turn and make the walk to the stadium, next to the reflecting pool which reflects the mosiac of "Touchdown Jesus." The team will then enter the stadium through the Knute Rockne gate on the North end of the stadium and head into the locker room.

Do you want to actually SEE the walk? Well, you're in luck ... it's on YouTube and here it is!

Here's to a wonderful(?) new tradition!


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