Sunday, December 7, 2008

ND vs Syracuse, Part Three

I believe when I last left you Sarah and I were making our way to our seats. We went up when we should have been going down and therefore got to the entrance where our seats were just as the band started playing the National Anthem. We stood in the entrance and listened and just as we started moving again we heard a familiar sound.

We caught just a glimpse of them as they flew over.

We finally made it to our seats to find this at our feet.


Let me just say it was cold. Though I understand from people who moved down in front of us in the fourth quarter it was even colder in the seats above us. I understand why the snow wasn't removed but it really became an issue more than cold feet later in the game. But for now, Here Come the Irish!!


After the players come onto the field they run to the other side of the field and kneel and say a prayer. Knowing now how the game ended, I say there should have been a little more kneeling and praying.


Who in the world could she be talking to?


I think John was really surprised at how plain our scoreboards are. That's the Nd way. No fancy scoreboard, no logo on the field and no names on the backs of jerseys.


John and D seem to be enjoying the game.


Isn't he just a happy little guy? Well, he was until people started pelting him with snowballs. Yes, people weren't content to just stand in the snow, they had to throw it. Many people were escorted out of the stadium that day.


He wasn't the only one used for target practice that day.

Notre Dame football players were pelted by snowballs from fans sitting in the student section during their loss to Syracuse on Saturday.

“To throw snowballs at their own team, I didn’t think that was a smart thing to do. I guess (they thought) it was funny,” defensive tackle Pat Kuntz said after Syracuse upset the Irish 24-23.

South Bend was hit with about 10 inches of snow Friday. While the field had been cleared before the game, there was still snow along the fringes and in some areas of the stands.

Fans at first threw snow in the air, but then quickly switched to tossing snowballs toward the Notre Dame sideline. Defensive lineman Ian Williams got hit in the helmet, defensive end Ethan Johnson was struck on the left cheek and a St. Joseph County police officer on the sideline looking into the crowd got hit in the chest. An NBC camera man also was a frequent target and several snowballs reached the field, although none landed near where play was occurring.

I won't even try to defend the people throwing the snowballs. I understand their frustration about the game, the coach, and the 2008 football season but throwing snowballs at the football players and various other people was just plain stupid.

But one student disagrees with me, here is his view of throwing snowballs that game.

The Associated Press wrote an article entitled, "Notre Dame Fans Shower Players with Snowballs," but this drastically over-exaggerates the extent of snowballage. Let's be real, if you give drunk students snow, anonymous coverage in crowded stands, and the worst football game to date, then they are bound to send some snowballs flying. Truthfully, few snowballs were actually directed at the players, as 90% of them were thrown just within the student section. Cops on the sidelines got absolutely creamed but no one is complaining about that (for good reason). The camera man standing in a large crane in front of the students was hit pretty consistently too, but only because he has intruded on our view of the game for the last four years. But by the end of the game, most of the players that were hit were merely casualties of snowballs obviously intended for head coach Charlie Weis. It should be noted that these snowballs weren't actually made from the snow in stadium, but rather, students collected their own frozen tears and just tried to make Charlie feel some of their pain.

Anyway, at the half we were ahead and it was time for the half time- show. I really enjoyed this song and from the sounds of it so did the rest of the crowd. It's always fun when the whole stadium sings the same song. From the looks of it this was filmed in the student section. If you look carefully you should be able to see us just to left of the goalpost in the upper right corner of the screen.

A half-time tradition is that the seniors throw marshmallows at each other. The administration has tried to put a stop to it the last couple of years but they haven't been very successful. It was better than the snowballs that they had been throwing during the first half.

Things started to go downhill after half-time. Look carefully at the scoreboard.


Second and 47?! That was an omen of bad things to come.

It is now the beginning of the fourth quarter.

"This is Tim McCarthy for the Indiana State Police...

Here is an explanation of that announcement.

"Who wants to listen to a policeman telling everyone to behave themselves?" Tim McCarthy asked himself. He knew the answer.
The year was 1960 and McCarthy had just been promoted from trooper in the Indiana State Police to safety education sergeant. One of his new responsibilities was to make an announcement at Notre Dame home football games reminding people to drive safely on the way home, but after two games he knew people weren’t paying attention.

He decided to change that by adding something to the message.

At the first home game in 1961, the message was about drinking and driving, and McCarthy ended by saying, "The automobile replaced the horse, but the driver should stay on the wagon."

More than 220 stadium announcements later, fans in Notre Dame Stadium fall silent in eager anticipation during the fourth quarter when they hear, "May I have your attention, please. This is Tim McCarthy for the Indiana State Police."

They know what’s coming: a reminder to drive carefully and courteously on the way home, punctuated by an often groan-inducing play on words.

By the end of the game we had seen too much of this.


The final score: Notre Dame 23, Syracuse 24. It is hard to believe but things went downhill from there.

After Saturday's football game, in keeping with tradition, the Notre Dame marching band played the "1812 Overture" as a tribute to its head coach.

For most of the last four years during that song, devoutly loyal students have further honored Charlie Weis by forming a "W" with their hands.

On Saturday, for the first time, it felt like an honor for a goner.

Some of those hands formed into fists. Some cupped around mouths that booed. Some formed around snowballs and flung them.

Only a handful of those hands formed a "W," with most students instead trying to figure out how to shape an "F."

That's the only letter that suits their coach these days.
LA Times, Bill Plaschke

It certainly was an interesting game. I can say I have never been to a football game like that. Let's hope next year goes better than this year. Charlie is coming back but that will be his last year if he doesn't turn this team around. Any predictions?

All in all we had a good time. I wish John could have seen a better game but that just means we will have to take him back. Maybe we can get his dad to come too?

6 comments....porters always have something to say!:

Jock said...

I enjoyed the game too. That second down play might be the longest I have ever seen.

ND will finish 6-6 again next year. I'll have to look at their schedule but I can't believe it will be any easier than it was this year. Brian Kelly will be the next ND coach.

Peej said...

I still can't believe Syracuse won that game.

megawatt miler said...

they werent throwing them at the players

megawatt miler said...

the marshmallow video was awesome, too bad it wasnt taken in the senior section!

Jock said...

John's a traitor.

megawatt miler said...

dont blame him, you would be too!

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