The pep rally at the stadium this evening was, IMHO, somewhat lame. The crowd seemed less, uh, peppy than usual, the Leprechaun seemed drunk or confused, and the atmosphere just wasn’t as electric as it generally is when the rallies are held at the JACC. The open-air stadium allows more people to attend, but it also takes something away; last year’s unbelievable pre-USC hype made up for that effect somewhat, as did the presence of Joe Montana, Rudy and other big names, but this year there was nothing to offset the negative side effects of the stadium, so the result was… eh.
The atmosphere on campus tomorrow will no doubt be electric, however, and the game itself promises to be awesome. Speaking of which, did I mention, “GO IRISH, BEAT LIONS!!!“? Ah, yes, I did mention that. Good. :)
Anyway… here are my photos of the weekend so far, which at this point mostly means photos of the pep rally. Enjoy!
And now, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow begins with breakfast & beer at Meg’s from 9:30 AM until 11ish, followed by four solid hours of tailgating before gametime at 3:30 PM. Woohoo! Go Irish!
For an idea of the craziness at Notre Dame this football weekend, check out this article, which ran on the front page of Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:
At Notre Dame, where the college-football tradition of Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen and the Gipper has a mythic aura, alumni and fans have long filled the stadium and packed hotels within 50 miles on Saturday game days. But the frenzy for home games this year is extreme even by Notre Dame’s manic standards.
Ticket requests for home games hit unprecedented levels. Prices online for everything from pregame parties to game tickets and rental houses have soared: A mere parking pass for the Penn State game recently sold on eBay for $500. Another eBay buyer spent $3,200 for two $59 tickets to the same game. To cater to well-heeled Notre Dame alumni, the regional airport has added parking space for up to 100 more private jets.
About those private jets… we’ve been seeing them approach the airport all day, recognizable because in many cases they’re larger than the planes that usually land in South Bend:
Anyway, the article continues:
[R]ates for many of the 4,015 hotel rooms in the South Bend area are skyrocketing. Two weeks before the start of the season, the Comfort Suites here was asking $245 a night, with a two-night minimum, for the Penn State weekend. That’s up from $109 a night on non-football weekends. For the Sept. 16 game against the University of Michigan, the South Bend Marriott is charging $649 a night for a double room. That’s more than the price of a room at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The Marriott’s regular weekend price is $149 a night.
The craziness is fueled in part by hotel, home and ticket owners using the Internet to reach the highest possible bidders for scarce resources. It is also propelled by championship-starved Notre Dame fans driven into a speculative frenzy by media and Internet hype about a season billed as a “return to glory.” …
Each year, the school conducts a lottery to parcel out the 30,000 seats available to contributors, former athletes and parents in the 80,000-seat stadium. Saturday’s game against Penn State fetched 66,670 ticket requests, topping the previous record of 59,368 requests for a game against West Virginia University in 2001. Three other home games this season rank among the 10 most-requested Notre Dame tickets ever, according to Josh Berlo, director of ticket operations in the athletics department. Once all the tickets were allocated for the season, the university refunded $11.7 million in deposits, more than twice last year’s refund of $5.2 million.
A university spokesman says Notre Dame “is pleased to be an economic engine” for the area but would not judge whether businesses are behaving fairly. …
On a campus where a mural of Jesus overlooks the stadium and about 10% of students spend a year after graduation working with the poor, business owners’ efforts to cash in on high demand causes some consternation. “It is an act of moral abdication” for businesses to pretend they have no choice but to charge as much as they can based on supply and demand, says Joe Holt, a former Jesuit priest who teaches ethics in Notre Dame’s executive MBA program. Mr. Holt intends to use the hotel rates as a case study this fall for a class on business and values integration.
“It is the economic version of ‘The devil made me do it,’ ” he says.
Still, he’s wrestling with the dilemma himself. Last year, he rented out his South Bend home to two couples for a total of $1,000 during a home-game weekend (he spent the weekend at his other home in Chicago). This year, three couples offered him $1,500 to $1,800 to share the house for the Penn State game. He ended up asking $1,500. He says he bought a new mattress and linens for an empty third bedroom so he could accommodate all three couples. He jokes he’ll even put mints on the pillows.
Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Lee Ann.)
P.S. Side note… the Goodyear blimp is here, and has been since Thursday.
We just finished Rudy, in time to catch the tail end of The Trouble With Tribbles on TV Land. Which made me think of a line that really ought to be included in the 40th Anniversary edition DVD:
“I have… had it with… these m*****f***ing… tribbles… on this… m*****… f***ing… spaceship!!!”
1L year, I watched Rudy the night before ND's home opener, and ND won. 2L year, I didn't watch Rudy the night before ND's home opener, and ND lost. Therefore, we are now watching Rudy. :)
Authorities capture Ralph 'Buck' Phillips, who was being sought in connection with the death of a New York state trooper and the wounding of two others, sources tell CNN. Visit CNN for the latest.
Guns don’t kill people, pissed-off nurses with really strong grips kill people.
The stadium looks a little less than half full… perhaps a slightly smaller crowd than at last year's USC pep rally, but not by much.
On first reading, this seems entirely right to me:
“If the country seriously intends to prevent terrorism, then spying at home, detaining terror suspects, and conducting tough interrogations are practices that the government will need to engage in for many years to come. Instead of making proper legal provisions for those practices, Bush has run the war against jihadism out of his back pocket, as a permanent state of emergency. He engages in legal ad-hockery and trickery, treats Congress as a nuisance rather than a partner, and circumvents outmoded laws and treaties when he should be creating new ones. Of all Bush’s failings, his refusal to build durable underpinnings for what promises to be a long struggle is the most surprising, the most gratuitous, and potentially the most damaging, both to the sustainability of the antiterrorism effort and to the constitutional order.”
P.S. If only the Democrats actually presented a viable alternative…
Not exactly packed yet, but the campus is definitely buzzing with activity on this Gameday Eve.
I haven’t been blogging about the ongoing kerfuffle regarding ABC’s “Path to 9/11″ miniseries, because frankly I find the whole thing somewhat boring. But if you want to get up to speed, just visit Drudge; it’s his top story, and he’s linking a whole ton of articles about it — including this one, which quotes Variety as reporting that “sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini [series] altogether.”
On a tangentially related note, just a friendly reminder that the Discovery Channel’s excellent documentary Inside the Twin Towers will air again tomorrow night at 9pm and 1am Eastern and Pacific. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it! Also, Ted Koppel’s The Price of Security, which looked quite good in the commercials during Inside the Twin Towers, debuts Sunday at 8pm (and airs again at midnight that night). Other relevant Discovery Channel shows in the coming days: The Flight That Fought Back, tonight at 9pm and 1am; Anatomy of a Collapse: Learning From 9/11, tonight at 11pm; and W.T.C. 9-11: Stories From the Ruins, tomorrow night at 11pm and Monday at noon.
Another interesting 9/11-related programming note: CNN’s online broadcast stream, “CNN Pipeline,” will air CNN’s 9/11/01 broadcast in real time, as the events unfolded, starting Monday at 8:30 AM EDT.
Oh, and locally:
The Notre Dame ROTC units would like to invite the Notre Dame community to a September 11 Memorial Service to be held Monday, September 11 at 7:00 AM. The service will be located at the reflecting pool in front of Hesburgh Library. All are welcome to attend.
And President Bush will address the nation at 9pm Monday.
The bad news: “a saloon-style striptease at an Australian government-sponsored conference on global warming left some scientists and government officials hot and bothered.”
The good news: the stripper was not Al Gore.
I realize that pretty much nobody at Notre Dame is thinking about basketball today, but it’s worth at least a passing mention that the Irish men’s hoops team announced its 2006-07 schedule yesterday. In addition to the Preseason NIT, which we already knew about, the Irish play Maryland in D.C. on December 3, then host Alabama on December 7. (But who will Becky root for?)
A total of nine games will be nationally televised, which seems odd to me; why would a national audience want to watch the train wreck that will inevitably be Mike Brey’s last season? (Ah, optimism…) Oh, well. GO IRISH!
“Have a good weekend. The case is short. You can read it during halftime.” –Prof. Mayer, in Election Law
“You can tell it’s a football weekend. You can feel it in the air.” –Becky (channeling Galadriel)
And not just any football weekend, but the biggest football weekend ever, by some measures anyway.
GOOOOO IRISH, BEEEEEAT LIONS!!!
P.S. Also: GOOOOO SUNSHINE, BEEEEEAT SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS!!!