Welcome, everyone, to the weekly One Foot Down listicle! Each week on Friday, Pat Rick and I will alternate providing for you all a listicle of the greatest/top/best Notre Dame Fighting Irish-related things we can think of. They might be more serious, but mostly they will probably be wacky (what else would you honestly expect from the two of us?). We are AMPED to provide these for you each week.
This week is a random throwback to the top events I have attended in ND athletic venues that were not Fighting Irish sporting events. Every so often (especially now with a renovated Notre Dame Stadium and Joyce Center) there are events on campus that are not sports games. There have been a few that I have attended, so let’s break them down.
Top Non-Athletic Events Matty G Has Seen on Campus*
*These are going to be in chronological order, minus the honorable mention here.
Honorable mention - Seth Meyers Stand-Up; Location: Stepan Center
I mean this is pretty much an athletic venue. Even when I was at Notre Dame, the Stepan Center was used for the Robotics Football competition, and of course there are still basketball hoops below the taped ceiling.
My freshman year the weekend of the first home game, Seth Myers, still of Weekend Update fame at that time, came to Notre Dame to do a stand-up routine. I actually had to watch it outside of Stepan as they had a video feed fed out onto a projector screen. It was an A-list comedian in an election year, and his set was pretty funny. It was a quality time.
2006 Notre Dame Commencement; Location: Joyce Center
This is the year that my sister graduated from Notre Dame, but it had a pretty legendary cast of people that attended. Before commencement ceremonies were held in ND Stadium, the attendance was more limited and they were held in the JACC. This was before the renovation of the JACC, so I was up in those brown-orange bleachers above the wool seats with different colors (IYKYK).
Firstly, this was Fr. Jenkins’ first commencement ceremony as President of the University of Notre Dame, as he began his first term in the 2005-06 academic year. Next, the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, was the commencement speaker (NBD). Finally, and probably one of the coolest parts for me, was that Harper Lee received an honorary degree from Notre Dame that day. Of course Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, probably my favorite book of all time, so this was boss.
2016 Notre Dame Commencement; Location: Notre Dame Stadium
This is my list so it goes on there. Being able to graduate from Notre Dame was a lifelong dream of mine. It was a really early wakeup, and it was about 40 degrees with wind that morning in the middle of May, but I had an excellent time. It was a day and memory I won’t ever forget. I was fortunate to have this in one of my favorite places on Earth, Notre Dame Stadium. A joyous day.
Rudy Watch 2017 (First ever Flick on the Field); Location: Notre Dame Stadium
This was truly a cool thing. It was kinda cheesy, but I loved it. In 2017 when the stadium renovation was completed, the first “official” thing was that the University invited all in the community to watch Rudy on the new JumboTron. Dusk turned to nighttime, and we got to watch the beloved movie in the stadium. It was a surreal, very cool event. The students really got into it as well, and I thought it was a blast.
Chainsmokers Concert; Location: Purcell Pavilion
This occurred in April of 2018 as a part of Notre Dame’s IDEA Week. I was super pumped this happened because in the spring of 2016, my senior year at ND, The Chainsmokers were supposed to perform in South Bend, but it fell through. This is a very millenial thing to like this duo, but they are great. They put on a fantastic concert, and it was really cool to see a popular artist in Purcell Pavilion. Also this was memorable because they sold BEER in Purcell.
Garth Brooks Concert; Location: Notre Dame Stadium
Talk about memorable. Garth kicked off his Stadiums tour at Notre Dame Stadium in the bye week of 2018. It was October 20, but there was some of the worst weather you could imagine for that date. Rain, sleet, and full on snow right before the concert started. But, it was an absolute blast! The show was just plain awesome, and Garth was loving being at Notre Dame. Such a cool event to be a part of and witness. A ton of friends in low places that day! Beer also sold that night too.