Hey Mgoblog community,
I am going to my first game at notre dame stadium, and was wondering if there is anything I should expect going to an away game, in a maybe hostile environment
I had some family members go to the 2008 game, and they said Notre Dame fans are some of the nicest they've encountered for opposing fans. Very helpful and respectful.
They sucked as away fans in Michigan Stadium. I thoroughly enjoyed the end of the ND game last year sitting right next to the ND section.
Yes I feel the same way as you do. Being around all ND fans and listening to them complain about Armando Allen's called back TD to hearing them cheer, to seeing the total look of complete misery and disbelief on their faces at the end of the game was pretty intense.
They are the whiniest crowd i've been around. I was at ND-MSU last year and ended up quietly pulling for lil' brother after i heard the millionth ref conspiracy comment.
A lot of the students will be drunk and annoying.
While I did want to add that into what to expect, most that I encountered in my couple of trips to South Bend were very respectful and nice.
I think that detail goes without saying everywhere, except BYU.
I think the crowd at ND home games is vastly different than at aways. A lot of the fans who show up at away games are not affiliated to the school by any other tie than fandom, so there are lots of aggressive drunken louts. Games at ND are nearly all students and alumni, and I've always found them to be relatively friendly and quite knowledgable. Just make sure not to do anything sacrilegious like besmirching the name of Saint Rockne, Saint Rudy or Sait Gipp....
I am going to use the fact that my grandfather grew up in Gipp's hometown to my advantage when I go this year.
You picked an easy first game, at least hostility-wise. The Irish are very welcoming to visiting fans as a general matter, so while you'll catch your fair share of good-natured ribbing, it will only get ugly if you escalate things. Obviously results will vary, and the 9:30 show might be completely different from the 7:30 show, but you'll probably be just fine.
The stadium, likewise, is fairly tolerant. Two years ago I sat in the ND student section in my Maize and Blue. And while I took plenty of shit, it was a cakewalk compared to Spartan Stadium.
If you're looking for some tailgate goodness, I suggest the "C Lot", aka the "Joyce Lot", which is just south of the stadium. My lovely wife just secured tickets to the game as an early birthday present, so I'll be there. If shit gets serious, let me know. I've got your back.
I lived on campus at ND for the last two years, & I definitely second what BiSB says above. ND fans can be really annoying at times, but it's not like OSU or FYS where you worry about stuff being thrown, massive profanity, etc. It's a pretty easy place to go for a road game, as far as taking shit goes.
I have heard of a BISP before, but never a BISB. Very interesting.
Been to ND three times ('88, '02, and '08 for a 0-3 record). In general, I wouldn't worry too much about opposing fans, I've never experienced much more than a few comments tossed my way. There are plenty of private lots within walking distance that are good for tailgating.
Hopefully your record there will be better than mine. Go Blue!
the 2008 game at Notre Dame. Setting aside the final score and the soggy weather in the second half, I had a good experience. I wore Michigan attire around campus on gameday and encountered no problems. It's a nice gameday atmosphere. Their marching band plays a pregame show on the steps of some building. Also check out the usual suspects: the grotto (the night before) the Golden Dome and the library with Touchdown Jesus. ND fans in the stands were pretty friendly on average too. Hopefully you'll walk out of there with a big Michigan win.
One probably unnecessary caveat on exploring the campus the night before. Be sure to do your exploring well before midnight, beccause at midnight on the front steps of the Golden Dome, ND has their version of step show, called drum circle - kinda a mini-pep rally for all the home games. Last year, I was just strolling around campus & wasn't thinking - ended up walking right past that crowd as it was dispersing. Wouldn't have been an issue, except I was wearing a bright Maize hockey jersey! Happily, this was after we'd beaten them, so they couldn't say too much!
It was a motherloving monsoon. I've taken showers that left me less soaked.
But I echo the band part. The arch of the new law building (right by the circle at the end of Notre Dame Ave.) is a great place to catch them as they march toward the stadium.
Agreed. i was there, and it was brutal. I'll be there again this year. My dad went to ND, so I'll probably be going to the pep rally. If I can dig up any dirt/ "inside scoop" I'll be sharing. If I hear any "to hell with michigans" I may even get arrested for streaking through the gymnasium.
Five times. In my case the fans are cool, but obnoxious when they win (like most schools). Tailgate parties are above average although the night life after game is abyssmal. Fans arent real hecklers (a la OSU). In my estimation its a respectful rivalry.
I've been there three times (94, 06, 08) and the fans are actually pretty decent. The only flak I recieved on those trips was some drunken (yet good natured) banter at a bar on the Friday night before the '06 game, and some dude told me "McGuffie sucks" when I wore my #2 Woodson jersey. Overall, not a bad crowd at all, in comparison to other hostile environments like OSU, State, or Wisconsin. One thing I will mention though, is the cops around on gameday are like the Gestapo--they take their roles very seriously. There have been articles written about their handing out drinking tickets like they are haloween candy.
make sure you get one of those pretzels they make on those little grills.
disclaimer: pre-game beers may have made this seem better than it was, so maybe have 7 or 8 of those too.
I've been to two games there but they weren't against Michigan. The away fans I saw never encountered a problem, then again they were Syracuse and San Diego State fans. The stadium is pretty cool. It's very old school, no video scoreboard and you'll sit on wooden benches. Be prepared for the Sheriff to make his public announcement after the third quarter. It's tradition and his punch lines are friggin hilarious.
I was there for a loss as well (Henne and Hart's first yr)
It was a nice place to see a game but South Bend isn't much of a city.
The people were pretty nice and I was surprised how easy I scalped a ticket.
"Southbend isn't much of a city." You can say that again. I visited there when deciding on grad schools and it was incredibly depressing. No offense to the people there (all my contacts at the school were beyond nice and friendly, and the campus was nice) but that town made me want to die. I visited Ann Arbor the next day and compared to Southbend it was like driving into heaven. Needless to say (I hope), I chose Michigan.
I think technically speaking, Notre Dame is its own town. It even has it's own fire dept.
notre dame is more for the undergrad experience, as a graduate student it would be extremely boring.
Meh, not necessarily. It's certainly an undergrad-first institution, but the graduate school has a lot to recommend it. Of course, Ann Arbor blows South Bend out of the water in every regard, but I always found enough going on on campus to keep from getting too terribly bored.
South Bend has... The Tire Rack. and that one music store. Other than that, though, you're right. SB sucks.
I live about five hours from South Bend and I'm thinking of making the drive by myself and finding a scalped ticket that same day. As I am an unmarried minimalist I have a sizeable Michigan budget so ticket prices are not an issue. From my time at michigan I remember scalpers lined up in every other corner around the Big House, is it the same for South Bend? Anyone else going blindly to the game like me?
I've been to 3 ND - Michigan games in South Bend and have found the ND fans to be the most gentlemanly and friendly fans to visitors that I have encountered. Much like what I think most Michigan fans are like. Of course there are bad apples in every crowd, but on the whole they are cool.
One word of advice - get there early because the traffic into campus is terrible and secondly the town is really boring don't expect to have much fun if you arrive on friday night unless you are young and staying with friends on campus.
Agreed on both counts: there are a lot of similarities between the respective fanbases of M and ND, and traffic on gamedays is HORRIBLE.
When I read this post I immediately read it as though you had a vagina... that is all. Man up and don't worry where you are when you are rooting for our boys!
Someone brought up abysmal traffic. If you are looking to get in your car and move right after the game, you are gonna be paddling upstream. Shit gets real bad real quick. There are two ways to combat this.....
1. Take the bus. For like two bucks you can take a roundtrip public transportation bus from several sites around Metro SB to the game. The ride takes about 10 mins or so each way, but it gets you to your vehicle and out of the horrid traffic fast. I recommend catching the bus at Town and Country shopping plaza on McKinley and Logan in Mishawaka.
2. Park in the $10 lots on the corner of State Rd 23 (Notre Dame Ave) and Eddy St. You will have about a 15 minute walk to the stadium, but you can get out of town fastest this way. When you get back to your car, just head south through town to the US31 bypass. 98% of football traffic stays concentrated on the north side of town and around the Indiana toll Rd. If you park in these lots, you can pretty much head freely through town to 31, which is a freeway that will link you with good roads heading in whatever direction you need. About a 30 minute detour, but way better than taking 2-3 hours to get to the toll road entrances.
If you want a bar, skip the Linebacker. The place is all iconic and crap, but it is an extreme DUMP. Try Mulligan's down the street. They are obviously a big ND bar, but I hang out there a couple times per week, and the owners make sure I don't take too much crap for being a rival fan. If you are eating, try the burger that uses two grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun.
As far as being a rival fan goes, ND fans are not too hostile. Tailgating is a good time. The lots south of the stadium are the easiest to prowl.
The ND band and crap is cool I hear, but I don't get into bands and such, so I have never taken the time to check it out.
Any other specific questions, leave a message and I will try to remember to check back.
Definitely agree re: Mulligans. The owners are good people. It's a newer place, and the floors aren't nearly as sticky as the Backer.
Rumor is, one of the bartenders at Mulligan's is a Wolverine....
Unfortunately, Michigan lost both times. We got some expected post game chatter but nothing over the top..
In general, if you act like a gracious guest, and not an abnoxious asshole, you'll get treated ok from opposing fans. There will be fans that give you the business wherever you go, except maybe Northwestern.
For comparison, I'd say it's probably similar to Michigan's game day atmosphere when ND comes to town.
And if you have been to East Lansing on gameday, MSU fans are far worse.
Thanks for all the input. I did not really expect that the fans would be that bad so the confirmation of that belief is good. Hopefully the team comes out with a win, as they should.
Beware of those bearded little biting bastards.
I've been to South Bend for two games. We lost the first game but the second game was the destruction of Brady Quinn. The fans there remind me of Michigan fans. They'll give you some crap but overall they seemed harmless.
I also recommend yelling "Brady Quinn for Heisman" as often as possible. Even three years later is should still be funny.
Hating touchdown Jesus doesn't make you a bad Christian. If you're inclined to care about such things.