Requested by @Waddy
Great LR, @Waddy! Especially this week as college football fully kicks off over Labor Day weekend. Still time to hop on the ND bandwagon....
  1. They're one of the original college football programs.
    Their first 🏈 season was in 1887.
  2. They have a long, storied history in college football.
    11 National Championships, 7 Heisman Trophy winners. Knute Rockne. The Four Horsemen. The Gipper. Ara Parseghian. Lou Holtz. The list goes on and on....
  3. Their uniform is a simple, clean look - and iconic.
    No names on the jerseys, interlocked ND on the shoulders. Except for the one "Shamrock Series" game every year where they wear some God-awful setup. Blech.
  4. Look at that helmet.
    Designed to look like the golden dome. Beautiful. Some don't like the new "glittery" finish but I think it looks 👌🏼.
  5. They have the greatest fight song of any team, ever.
    The Notre Dame Victory March. Listen here: . I'll wait.
  6. A cool (real) mascot.
    The Leprechaun is a student chosen every year - no big-headed caricatures. Or animals in cages. Or trees.
  7. They have the first university marching band.
    And they're awe.some. Led by the Irish Guard they burst out of the tunnel onto field before the game and play phenomenal music while marching into patterns on the field at halftime. Traditions that go back decades (my fave is the playing of the 1812 Overture between 3rd and 4th quarter). One of the coolest thing is to hear the trumpets play in the library on game day, listen here: . Gives me chills.
  8. They're underdogs.
    They started out as underdogs, had some major success and over time are back to being underdogs. No National Championships since 1988. The campus is in a tiny town in Northern Indiana (terrible winter weather, no nightlife), with facilities that are lacking compared to most top programs. Their players have very high academic standards they must meet just to get into the school, let alone stay eligible to play on Saturdays. They aren't in a conference so with the College Football...
  9. (Continued)
    .... Playoff system they are at a disadvantage compared to the power conferences with a...conference championship game, and thus cannot schedule "easy" games against tiny schools (I'm looking at you, B10/SEC). They travel longer distances to play than most teams, with rivals across the country like USC in California and Navy in Maryland and Miami in Florida. This is because in the early years they were kept out of the Big Ten (🖕🏻UM 🖕🏻) and had to travel long distances to find games.
  10. Walk-Ons
    Not many schools do this anymore, but Notre Dame encourages Walk-Ons - students who come to the school without a scholarship to play football and try out for the team. They likely will never see the field and only practice with the team, but occasionally one will work his way to getting a scholarship and it's pretty special (watch here: or here: ). The most famous Walk-On is Rudy - see next bullet.
  11. Rudy
    No matter what you know about the actual Rudy, or the school, or sports, or movies - this is one of the best sports movies ever made. See the iconic campus, spot Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn (they met on the set), get the feels during the climactic ending scenes. This movie will make you want to cheer on the Irish.
  12. Their student-athletes are real students.
    They live in the normal dorms with other "regular" students (most big-time programs have separate everything for football). And they graduate - always the top school for all academic athletic graduation rate, always top 3 for football.
  13. They play some great games this season.
    Michigan State. Southern Cal. Stanford. Miami. Texas. Virginia Tech.
  14. Local