Notre Dame Trying to Make Stadium Harder on Opponents
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame is trying to turn up the volume in the "House that Rockne Built," put some fight back in the Irish fans and make South Bend a tough place to play again.
The university that prides itself on tradition -- the Irish Guard, the "Notre Dame Victory March," the alma mater after the final whistle -- has thus far eschewed Jumbotrons and other high-technology glitz to get fans fired up.
But the school where ushers have warned fans about being too loud -- yes, too loud -- has also started to take a few steps aimed toward moving the fan experience into the 21st century, or at least the late 20th. Last year, it began pumping a little Dropkick Murphys and classic rock into Notre Dame Stadium for the first time.
And the university is trying to find other ways to make the venue a little less hospitable for opponents, with good reason.
Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick has talked about the need to make the stadium more difficult for opponents, saying he's tired of hearing other athletic directors tell him how much they enjoy bringing their teams there.
Notre Dame began trying to change the staid atmosphere last year in the stadium's first night game in 21 years, playing Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" over the P.A. system when Southern California was facing a third down. It didn't help the team much. USC converted on 7 of 15 third-down opportunities and won by two touchdowns.
Notre Dame officials thought there was more electricity in the air, though, so they're continuing to work to get the crowd involved. When the 11th-ranked Irish (3-0) face No. 18 Michigan on Saturday they will be looking for their fourth straight home victory.
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