Notre Dame Stadium has turned into an incredibly hard place for opponents to win over the past five seasons. Since 2017, the Irish have only lost two football games inside their home stadium. The first was in that 2017 season against a college football playoff-bound Georgia Bulldogs, and the second came in 2021 against a college football playoff-bound Cincinnati Bearcats squad which ended a 26-game home winning streak.
While on the surface that overall record should be intimidating enough — the two losses saw red invasions and these weren’t Princes of the Church.
Notre Dame loves to be a good and gracious host. I get it — but being a people pleaser is an excellent way to be taken advantage of by those people that don’t love you. For years, Notre Dame has leaned hard into the whole “Irish” thing. From the leprechaun to the songs to the whole vibe — it’s essentially like having a St. Patrick’s Day party six times in the fall.
I like jovial fun as much as the next sap, but if we want to see the intimidation factor go up inside the stadium, Notre Dame is going to have to lean into Catholicism. Being a Roman Catholic means there is plenty of beauty and love to celebrate — but there is also some absolutely horrifying imagery from the past that Notre Dame could use to their advantage.
So let’s do it.
DITCH THE FLOWERS AND SHIP IN THE SKULLS
The mums aren’t really a tradition. That space would be much better served as a place to hold a shit ton of human skulls. If they can do it in the Czech Republic and Portugal — we sure as shit can do it in northern Indiana.
DROP THE SHIRT AND GET A ROBE
Notre Dame’s THE SHIRT is designed to do several different things. One of those things is to help unify the student body. Look — there isn’t much out there that will unify the student body than long brown robes for all of them. And yes... chanting is going to be key here.
A TRIAL BY FIRE
Once again we are back to Notre Dame being way too friendly to the opposing fans with all of the ushers saying, “welcome to Notre Dame.” What they should be saying is something like, “ARE YOU WORTHY TO ENTER OR SHALL YOU PERISH BY THE FLAME?!” as they enter gates engulfed with flames.
Sure — some of our own fans may get burnt a bit, but if you have faith — anything is possible.
ARISE OH LORD AND LET YOUR ENEMIES BE SCATTERED pic.twitter.com/EbU7brHXg7— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) May 6, 2022
BEING MORE DOMINANT THAN PADDY
So maybe we can use St. Patrick after all. Where in the hell did all of those snakes go? Yeah... time to move on to another saint — St. Domenico. Just walk around the stadium like this throughout the game and I think we’re getting the point across.
GARGOYLES AND ORGANS
We’re almost there — we’re almost at full scary catholic. Get a ton of gargoyles up around the stadium and really make them ugly as sin (obviously they are going to need red LED lights for eyes and smoke machines inside them). Also... forget the piped-in music and install the most gothic pipe organ imaginable. It’s all about setting the mood (and freaking out every southern baptist that sets foot on campus).
COULD DO MORE
There are a lot of other things we could do here to bring out the 1462 vibe. Maybe have flagellants walk around or a guy with arrows blasted through him like St. Sebastian — hell we could do a theme every week for a couple of decades and still have 100 years of material.
I’m just saying... lean into it.