waxing poetic about our stadium environment as late as the Weis era? They were not impressed by the non-winning and non-existent national championships or our lack of Heisman trophy winners. They were impressed that we were still something pure in a sea of sleaze and crass commercialism. I just met a VT fan who said getting to ND Stadium was on his bucket list. I told him he should have crossed it off a few years ago.
If college stadiums were pretty much the same in the 1960s, they certainly did not stay that way. To the extent they all turned into NFL light, then we were the only ones that did not. When we played at Miami in '87, they had a Jumbotron, cranked rap music, had their cheerleaders delivered on to the field in an Alamo Rental Car shuttle bus, the game ball was driven out onto the field by a guy dressed up as the Dominoes pizza 'Noid driving an ATV, and they ran out through their smoke machine. They had a sweet stadium locker room with couches and the Playboy Channel. Our guys looked on in horror, saying at least we are Notre Dame and don't stoop to this schlock.
No one is going to write any more articles about how unique their trip to Notre Dame stadium was. A guy like Bill Walsh isn't going to walk into the Notre Dame locker room and express awe that he is in the same space that Knute Rockne was in, because they gutted it like NY gutted Penn Station. To borrow a line, Rudy would look like "a schmuck" getting up on his stool and giving his little speech in that pimptastic stadium locker room on which we spent a small fortune to impress somebody for 10-12 hours a year. You should have seen how sweet SMU's facilities were when we used them for the bowl game. They had no use for them at the time because they were so very focused on just winning.
If ND stadium is just about about championships and Heisman Trophy Winners, then lets all bend the knee to the LA Coliseum, which has just as many of both. Forget how they got them, it doesn't matter. We cannot be greater than USC because they have just as many NCs and trophies. That's what its all about. I just want to win, baby. Win, baby, win. Roll Tide! I was unaware that what ND special was always just about winning. And if we have to do it with ineligible players, then sure, who "could care less," and screw the NCAA because everyone else is cheating, or at least 80 percent. If the Michigan and Ohio State fans would not have a problem with it, then why should we.
I had the keys to that place, spent a lot of time in that locker room and that tunnel and on that field, and I don't view it the way you did through the glory years of 2006 through 2009. I guess I never understood what made us unique. It's funny how they guys back then would be able to walk from the church, change into their uniforms and walk out onto the field with a fire in their eyes that I haven't seen in decades, even with all the bullshit that has has been prioritized of late over quality coaching.
Now where is my Walking Taco, and my bar because I didn't get drunk enough in the parking lot to watch a Notre Dame football game, and where is the Jumbotron because I never so much as threw a Nerf football and have a hard time figuring out what just happened. Welcome visiting fans, and please turn your attention to the large screen, so you can see videos of what you showed up too late to experience.
The only thing that made us great was winning all the time and winning Heismans, and we last did that in the Reagan era. Enjoy the game.