Welcome back to another season of Notre Dame Fighting Irish game recaps from me, an ND Class of 2016 alumna and borderline obsessive Irish fan. If you read any of my recaps last year you know that I mostly poke fun at Doug Flutie, make gifs of Brian Kelly doing outrageous things on the sideline (like kissing Brian Polian) and try not to get too caught up in the existential dread I feel every time a game is about to kick off.
I had the pleasure of traveling to South Bend for the extended weekend to watch Notre Dame-Michigan, but more importantly to tailgate. But first things first, we have to talk about GameDay.
Lee Corso has leprosy?
Since Notre Dame-Michigan wound up being the only good game on Saturday, it was a no-brainer for GameDay to show up in South Bend. Thanks to One Foot Down editor Joshua Vowles, I was able to go behind the scenes and check out the set in the morning. I’ve only been to two GameDays in person before (Times Square in 2017 and Clemson in 2014) but the crowd looked great and there were a lot of entertaining signs.
“Michigan is just redneck Canada” was my favorite GameDay sign but “Ann Arbor was a horse girl in grade school” was a close second.
September 1, 2018
SAVAGE pic.twitter.com/0NH3wYFcMw— Jessica Smetana (@jessica_smetana) September 1, 2018
Unfortunately due to my appointment with a bottle of Tito’s at 12pm I left before Corso made his pick, which I now regret because it seems as though every single person in the crowd was completely baffled by his Hunchback of Notre Dame costume.
Is corso a:— Matt Stephenson™ (@Mstephenson_8) September 1, 2018
C)dementor from Harry Potter
D)hunchback of Notre dame #NotSoFastMyFriend https://t.co/wBcBByNHiP
I really wish I could have seen the looks of confusion in person. It was probably the first time in their lives that Notre Dame kids didn’t understand an 19th century literary reference. Or maybe they were all Mendoza kids, who knows?
Lee Corso as Quasimodo caused serious confusion among Irish faithful at GameDay site. Hunchback was certainly French and ND was founded by French priests. But, few folks got it until the Leprechaun showed up on set to do a jig with LC. Smallest outdoor ND GameDay crowd, imo.— elevennc (@elevennc) September 1, 2018
Another thing I noticed at GameDay was a substantial quantity of Jesus-related posters. Not ones that were punny or football related, but ones that looked like they would fit in appropriately on a billboard along I-65. I even heard one lady say to her friend, “Are there always this many Jesus posters?” No lady, there aren’t.
@CollegeGameDay I’ve seen more posters for Jesus on 3 hours of #Gameday than I did in 16 years of Catholic school— Ryland Salsbury (@PagingDrSteak) September 1, 2018
I would be remiss not to mention that Luke Bryan was the guest picker on the show. I understand that he had a concert at Wrigley this weekend or something but they couldn’t get someone with more of a connection with Notre Dame to do it?! I guess they are really putting the *country* in God. Country. Notre Dame.
Irish (mostly) wear green
The green out thing was actually successful this weekend, except for when the actual team didn’t wear green. We can save that debate for another time. Never you worry though, there were still reasons to complain.
Only at Notre Dame can a University promote the hell our of a Green Out, sell gear for the game, beg people to wear it and then not even splurge for a freaking rally towel. FAIL.— UHND.com (@uhnd) September 1, 2018
My former classmates had no idea that there was a green out because they don’t use twitter or follow the team on social media. Next time, I think ND should invest in some type of bat signal to let everyone know what colors to wear.
the moral of this game is that notre dame needs to figure out its colors like r u blue or gold or green PICK TWO HONEY— Melina Glusac (@LeminaGluestick) September 2, 2018
It would be easier of course if Notre Dame actually had a set color scheme, but then again 90% of the games are too cold to prepare for anyways so unless we all invest in Kelly green parkas there’s really no point.
Speaking of colors...
Once the game actually started, everyone was MAD ONLINE at NBC for using yellow behind the score bug. Since I was at the game (humblebrag) I didn’t notice it, but let these advanced twitter graphics tell the story for me.
Who confused this down & distance bar for the yellow bar for a thrown flag? #MICHvsND #NBC #CollegeFootball #CollegeGameday #Mogulsonsports ¯\_(ツ)_/ ¯ pic.twitter.com/LWQhxrWD7p— Dom Ali (@alithenoble) September 3, 2018
@NBCSports please change the football down and distance background color to anything but this yellow you currently have. It always looks like there’s a flag on the play. @SNFonNBC @nbc pic.twitter.com/chVHvafsJz— Brock Chipman (@BrockTheChipMan) September 2, 2018
That time a Michigan man got MOSSED
Chris Finke is for sure on Bill Belichick’s short list now.
September 2, 2018
While we’re talking about Chris Finke, he took advantage of the new fair catch rule by waving a catch around the 9 yard line. My entire section stood up and started screaming at him for being an “idiot”. I screamed back at them all that there is a new rule this year that advances the ball to the 25 on a fair catch inside 25 yards. Finally, Mike Collins explained the rule to everyone over the PA system and people turned around and thanked me. I’m not saying that I was a hero on Saturday, but I would lose my voice again in a heartbeat to defend Chris Finke.
Notre Dame fans here almost had a heart attack when Chris Finke fair caught that kickoff at the 9...new FC rule advances the ball to the 25.— Carter Karels (@CarterKarels) September 2, 2018
It wasn’t a good night for Jim. Half of Michigan fans want him canned and the other half are reminding themselves that he’s not the one who almost lost to App State (*cough cough* James Franklin). If you want to read some great Michigan fan posting, look no further than this post by SB Nation’s Alex Kirshner (it’s worth your time).
Braylon Edwards’ actually got suspended from Big 10 Network for his comments about the game, but his no-apology apology really shows the state of Michigan football. I guess that’s what losing to Notre Dame twice in a row does to a fanbase.
I would like to address the tweet from this past Saturday. I should not have attacked Ruiz and Patterson that hard or period individually. I apologize as a former student athlete and NCAA analyst. With that being said UM football still needs to step up so no apologies there.— Braylon Edwards (@OfficialBraylon) September 3, 2018
Like I said, really tough day for Jim.
September 2, 2018
All in all, Saturday was a perfect day in South Bend, IN. There was sunshine, coolers full of cold seltzers, and chants of MUCK FICHIGAN echoing off of the hallowed walls of Notre Dame Stadium. Saturday night was the loudest I’ve ever heard Notre Dame Stadium, which I can personally take some credit for since I haven’t had my voice back since. I am cautiously optimistic about the rest of the season, as long as we can iron out the kinks in the run game and figure out how to tackle on special teams. But first, for the love of God, let’s beat Ball State!