Posts tagged ‘Trojans’

October 25, 2011

Rudy and Touchdown Jesus – Field trip to South Bend.

Written Ramblings by DJ

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Fortune: Hey kid! You’re not supposed to be here!
Rudy: Hey this place is really somethin else huh? Someday I’m gonna come out of that tunnel and I’m gonna run onto this field.
Fortune: Well it ain’t gonna be this day …

Rudy certainly cared more about Notre Dame than I do but nobody should turn down an opportunity to check out the Golden Dome. My buddy JS’s boss gave him two tickets for the Notre Dame – USC game on Saturday for face value. Attending a game at Notre Dame wasn’t that high on my bucket list of college football items but it is still a good one to get under my belt. Some of the other college football bucket list items include:

1. Attending a night game in Happy Valley (Penn State) for a “white out.” My team (Illinois) wouldn’t stand a chance on the road against JoePa’s crew during a whiteout but the trip will be worth it.

2. Rose Bowl, Pasadena. Illinois makes the Rose Bowl every 23 years, so I might have to wait until 2030. After a 20 year wait, I’ll fly out to Pasadena to see the Illini get hammered on ABC by Oregon or USC.

3. Michigan – Ohio State. This one is realistic … probably will check out over the next few years.

This is a short term list mainly focused around the Big Ten. Do I have any interest to check out an SEC game? I’ll wait until they come up to play a Bowl game in 20 degree weather in Soldier Field. So we headed out on Saturday afternoon towards the College Football Hall of Fame and arguably the Mecca of college football.

We stopped by a gas station before the St. Mary’s parking lot and I couldn’t find any liquor for tailgating. Being hopped up on DayQuill all day wasn’t enough for me so I figured all I needed was three to four beverages. It was a dry gas station. Uh oh, is it really a dry campus?? That is only a myth right? I guess we were about to find out as we headed towards the stadium. The campus certainly had an “Ivy League” feel to it. There are a ton of trees around and the dorms looked like they were part of The Social Network movie. We followed a crowd towards the stadium and most of them had Montana jerseys. Joe Montana is obviously a legend but I wonder if most of the fan base wasn’t upset about his kid not getting much playing time as freshman. It was smart on his part to transfer out of the program because there was no way he could leap Rees or Crist for playing time. There were also a ton of Bears hats within the crowd. There is a reason why ESPN Chicago always shows Notre Dame as one of the “Chicago teams.” The campus is only 90 minutes away from Chicago. Indianapolis is over 3 hours away from South Bend so one could argue that most of the locals would root for the Bears over the Colts. I am not sure I agree with that logic but it makes sense geographically. It is analogous to the folks from southern Illinois that root for the Cardinals and Rams over the Chicago teams. We finally make it to the Dome and check out the numerous tents set up for pre-gaming. There are usually three aspects of a program that are interesting to me when I go on the road.

Outside the stadium

Yep, Notre Dame is NOT a dry campus. I knew that but I had to find out myself. The tailgating scene outside of the stadium isn’t huge but it does exist. There is bar called “The Legends” right outside the stadium and this was the only one we found around there. I asked one of the folks on the shuttle from the parking lot about liquor stores and she said there aren’t that many around the campus which isn’t surprising.

Overall the lot outside the stadium reminded me of Ryan Field (Northwestern) in terms of the size. The crowd certainly seemed more into it with some music and much bigger grills. Talking about grills, we walked over to the “2 for 1” signs near a tent that was grilling brats and burgers. My buddy wanted to get a brat and a burger right before we went in. The guy at the cashier said the deal only applied to burgers or brats but you can’t mix the two of them. Now I was curious even though I wasn’t hungry. I looked at the prices listed and both of them were $4. They seemed to have the same amount of both items. I asked him why we couldn’t mix and match when they were priced the same. His response: “Well that’s the rule.” Did I mention that this tent was set up by the School of Business? He had an “MBA 2011” tag on his shirt. Of course my Notre Dame hatred came out for the first time that night when I said that “business school was clearly not helping” if they price these items the same way but didn’t allow the customers to buy one of each. Something didn’t add up with that system. My buddy asked the girl who was working the grill if that was possible and she gave him the brat/burger combination. Anyway, I took some more pictures of Touchdown Jesus and we headed into the stadium.

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