Week 4 - Michigan at Notre Dame
Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
23Trip End Nov 26, 2012
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Since hotels in South Bend are ridiculously expensive on game day, we ended up staying about 35 miles away in Michigan City, Indiana. Since it was a night game and we had just driven 8 hours, only Jason was going to this one. The day didnt start off well for sitting at a football game. It was cold, windy, and rainy in Michigan City. We were getting similar reports from South Bend. After freezing in a Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot after lunch in the 47 degree wind and rain, I decided I wasn't prepared to sit at a football game in this weather for 3-4 hours. You can handle any weather with the right gear, and I didn't have it. So, after a quick stop to pick up some long-johns and gloves, it was off to South Bend. On the way there, it seemed like the luck of the Irish was kicking in. About 10 miles from South Bend, the sun came out, and it got 7 degrees warmer. It turned out to be perfect football weather!
Anyway, now for the ratings.
Stadium - Notre Dame Stadium is pretty interesting. When you get through the gate, it is very obvious that there was a pretty large expansion at some time. You can clearly see where the exterior of the stadium used to be
Tailgating - The Notre Dame fans know how to tailgate. Any parking lot or grassy area within a mile of the stadium was full of people grilling, playing games, and enjoying some adult beverages. I'm sure I would have had a different report if the rain and 47 degree weatherh had kept up, but with the sun shining, it was a great atmosphere. Rating - 9 of 10.
The Game - Much was expected for this game, and it didn't disappoint. Although it was a low scoring game, it was a very well played defensive game for both teams.
The Band - There is a bonus this week, since the Michigan band was there, too. Since they played first, I'll start with them.
Michigan Band - The Michigan band did a lot of straight line, high-step marching very much like we did at Iowa State in the early 90's when I was there. Their sound was pretty solid. Their marching, however, could have been more precise. Since they aren't a corps-style marching band, I would expect their lines to be straight as they move to the next formation. In most cases, they were not. That's a minor knock, though, and overall they were pretty solid. Rating - 8 of 10
Notre Dame Band - This is the second time I've seen the Notre Dame band this year, with the first time being in Dublin. I was able to witness more of the pregame pageantry this time, though
Fans - I was very impressed with the Notre Dame fans in Ireland, and I was wondering how they would act at home. I have to say, they are some of the best fans I've ever been around. There was no negativity in the stands around me, and from everything I saw they were gracious hosts to the Michigan fan. For such a big game against a big rival, that is quite impressive. Rating - 10 of 10
Best Player - This one was an easy one. There certainly wasn't anybody on offense who deserved it for either team
Overall - Well, I was really looking forward to this game, and I wasn't disappointed. The fans were great, the game was close, I had some fantastic company, and we didn't have to sit in the rain. A special thanks goes out to my hosts, Michelle Massarini and her family and friends! Rating - 10 of 10