In almost 50 years of attending Notre Dame games, I’ve never experienced the rain that occurred Michigan Game Day Sept. 13, 2008. Heavy rain preceeded the game starting the day before. My friend Tom and I got thoroughly drenched Sat. morning walking around campus. This was Tom’s first game so we did the traditional; Bookstore, rub Rockne’s nose, Grotto, etc. Many campus walks impassable due to flooding and ponds appeared in several lawn areas.
We took refuge in one of the porch swings on Sorin Hall’s porch for awhile and parked in front of one of the big screen TVs at LaFortune along with Starbucks Coffee to warm us up. Then we proceeded to the Joyce Center to watch BB scrimmages. The ladies team was finishing up and then the men’s team took the floor. Luke Harangody is ripped! He looks very trim and muscular and graciously took time to sign programs and pose for photos. Some observations; 1. Luke Zellar played good defense down low on LH, forcing him to alter shots or kick out the ball sometimes
2. Kelly, the 6′-10″ recruit played well, going strong to the basket for dunks and showing good quickness around the rim
3. Tory made some sensational passes along with a few hot dog ones…his quickness and penetration adds another dimension
4. Transfers Martin and Hansbrough will be great additions when they are elgible after next season.
Tom and I walked over to Bond Hall to listen to the band. Miraculously, the rain stopped and we were up close and personal for a Bon Jovi musical tribute along with the traditional favorites. We re-joined the band by the Admin. Bldg. as they played ensemble versions of Irish songs. Then we followed them to the stadium for the game.
You all watched the game so I won’t go into detail. Seating was very generous for a change as the weather obviously discouraged some ticketholders from attending. Very mysterious how our vacant 2 adjoining seats gradually filled in during the game so we ended up with people tight against us by the half. Pre-game featured the Special Forces paragliders landing on the field. Rain started up again by the halftime and increased steadily the rest of the game. Water poured down the stadium steps and there was about 4″ of water in all the concourses.
Seating thinned out again during the 4th quarter but the survivors mostly stood in the warm rain thoroughly enjoying the play of the Irish on the field. Speaking of the field, last year with these conditions, it would have been a sea of mud and divots. This year, after the new grass and Thoma’s groundkeeping wizardry, the field looked great! Great atmosphere in the stands after the initial apprehensions and nervousness. Still not sure how good we are given the opponent’s turnovers and our offense basically navigating short fields. Guess we’ll have to enjoy the moment and let future games define how good the Irish truly are.