Where do I start? This is going to be one of the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write. Not because it’s difficult…but because there is so darn much to include. I am going to give it a shot. I will be including a full gallery of my own later today or tomorrow but here is my journey through what was one of the most special and unique days of my life. Here is Notre Dame.
We got up about 7 a.m. (not by choice, thanks snoring Chris) and got some breakfast and started our trek to the holy grail of College Football. If you have never been to a game at Notre Dame, be sure you get there the next time we play there. Magnificent. Immediately myself, Steve, Chris and Joey were in awe at the sights and sounds of South Bend. “Welcome to Notre Dame” began to be a song lyric that just is repeated over and over and over again. “Have fun but not once the game starts” quipped one of the security guards. We spent about 20 minutes exchanging stories and pleasantries once we got to the gates at 10 a.m. We ran into their mascot who insisted we take a picture.
We then went to check out the beautiful Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus.
Truly breathtaking. There will be a lot more pictures in my Gallery later. One of only 2 places during the entire trip a negative word was uttered. But that’s because people were talking loud and the lady just wanted them to shut up since they were in church. lol. We then moved on to see the Grotto. From the ND website:
The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is one-seventh the size of the famed French shrine where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette on 18 occasions in 1858. Visiting the site on one of his many trips to his native country, Notre Dame founder Father Edward Sorin vowed to reproduce it on the campus of his new university. A gift from Rev. Thomas Carroll, a former theology student, made it possible in 1896. Boulders from surrounding farms, most weighing two tons or more, were used in its construction.
A small piece of stone from the original grotto in France is located on the right-hand side of the shrine directly below the statue of Mary. To Notre Dame students and alumni, the Grotto is a special place to spend a few quiet moments, and especially during football weekends and finals, you might have difficulty finding a candle to light. Hundreds of students have proposed marriage here; outdoor Masses are celebrated regularly; and the Rosary is prayed every day at 6:45 p.m., every day of the year, rain or shine.
This is history. It felt like a bowl game atmosphere with all of the special things we were seeing and things that were going on. There were at least 15,000 UL fans chanting C-A-R-D-S the entire time. it was awesome. It was the single most amazing sporting event I have ever been to, including the NCAA Final Four and WrestleMania 23 that I attended. Those are huge to me! We then made it to the Golden Dome and as we were walking in overheard the following exchange:
Fan 1- Nice Hat!
Fan 2- Thanks
Fan 1- Its a unique hat, did you get it up here?
Fan 2- No, I’m a uk fan, a whole group of us came up to cheer against Louisville.
I could see how Fan 1 was confused seeing that the entire group was decked out from head to toe in ND gear.
Yes, that was the group. lol. We then went into the dome where we ran into @CrumsRevenge & @UofLSheriff50. FYI we are 5-0 in big game events and situations were we meet up with them unplanned.
Then we headed over to the Joyce Center for a fan fest. You could have your kids play in football drills, play video game tournaments, eat good food or watch in on ND Volleyball practicing. That was one of my favorite parts. lol. They even had autograph sessions with Notre Dame legends and had the Heisman trophies on display. very nice.
One of them tried to hit me with a ball. I guess it was because I said I disliked that arena. Oh well. It was apparent to the 4 of us that the Notre Dame football fans were way different from the group of Basketball fans we all hear horror stories about. These people were amazing. So kind and nice and you just wanted to hug everyone. It was unreal. We looked through the countless shrines to all of the sports and had a blast. We then made our way to the mecca of the campus, Touchdown Jesus.
It was one of the most imposing, daunting yet beautiful things I’ve ever seen in person. I have been to all 48 continental United States and seen many attractions. This was up there. It was then that we realized it was time for what we call CardMarch. Their version included 2 sides. One for the home team and one for the away team. It seemed like every one of the 15,000 UL fans that made the trip were there. As the Irish brought their recruits in all you could hear was this:
— Chris Brady (@bradychris3025) November 22, 2014
It was nuts!
It’s TD Jesus again but you can never have enough TD Jesus….especially when he is surrounded by CardNation. Well that was my pre game experience. It was amazing. We had a blast. the people inside the stadium were warm and welcoming as well. One gave my buddies some pizza even. The hospitality was unmatched by anything I have ever seen. The flight of the bumblebees, Marshmellow fights, the nice P.A. guy…just everything was what College football should be about. In the end….we came, we saw, we conquered. The Cards won 31-28 and we got home quick. Couldn’t have asked for a better 2 days. Remember I will post a full gallery from the weekend, including the Basketball watch party tomorrow. 55 will drop Tuesday probably instead. Thank you @GoFightinIrish once again and as always…Go Cards!
P.S. I am sure I forgot some things. Check back throughout the week for updates