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Things People Forget About Notre Dame Football: Truly Random Online Trivia

There is no theme today

NCAA Football - Purdue vs Notre Dame - September 30, 2006 Photo by Sandra Dukes/Getty Images

This week in things people forget about Notre Dame Fighting Irish football: no theme, just a random trio of factoids that came across my mind as I fought off the shakes with Week 0 so tantalizingly close. Kickoff at Aviva can’t come soon enough. In the meantime: people forget...

Trick Shot Monday

Beginning as part of the 2012 Notre Dame team’s charm offensive as they went from unranked to no. 1 (and then stayed there because there was of course no postseason), this weekly video series put out by the fledgling FIDM gave fans a fun look at locker-room camaraderie. The focus? Irish players shooting ping pong balls into cups off increasingly improbable sets of obstacles.

Coming during the first semester of my freshman year - when I myself was first gaining an appreciation for the joy of shooting ping-pong balls into cups - this was electric dorm-lounge content. Although it became less regular over time, the series was actually reprised as recently as the 2018 season.

125 Years vs. Team 127

The 2012 season was also heavily promoted as a celebration of 125 years of Notre Dame football. Like all self-respecting Irish fans I know the team’s first game was played in 1887 against the Michigan Wolverines, so that checks out. Notre Dame celebrated the anniversary with a massive tribute campaign, including a series of video retrospectives on 125 great moments in the program’s history:

While this was fun, it also produced a funny bit of seeming contradiction when during my senior year in 2015, the team branded itself “Team 127.” The 2012 season marked 125 years, which would suggest it was actually played by the 126th team - so how could “Team 127” have played three seasons later? Shouldn’t this have been “Team 129?” Desperately obsessed with this mathematical enigma, I researched tirelessly. I searched high and low, from the heights of the Hesburgh Library to the darkest recesses of the Gug in a desperate search for answers.

Many sleepless nights and existential crises later, I finally arrived at an explanation: Notre Dame did not play football in 1890 or 1891, making the 2012 team - the one that celebrated 125 years - in fact the 124th team in program history and the 2015 team, sure enough, Team 127.

Why did Notre Dame not play in 1890 or 1891? That’s a mystery for you to solve - I only warn you not to let it consume you as this one consumed me.

Brady Quinn’s Moment in the Sponsorship Sun

Back in the pre-NIL days, Brady Quinn was the kind of star who really missed out - as a telegenic, established star quarterback of one of the nation’s best-known programs, he would have surely been a fixture of ad sponsorships a la Bryce Young in 2022. How do I know this? Once he was free of the NCAA’s constraints, multiple brands jumped on the sponsorship train with Quinn before he ever took a snap in the NFL:

Considering how Brady’s journey with the Cleveland Browns went, it’s a good thing he cashed in on these opportunities when he had the chance.