Sep 10, 2014, 10:50 PM EST
Notre Dame. Michigan.
Two college football heavyweights battling it out for the final (scheduled) time. The series dates back to 1887 and the first game in Notre Dame football history. Since that historic meeting 127 years ago, the Fighting Irish and Wolverines have produced some instant classics, with both sides earning their share of memorable victories.
But to the delight of Irish fans everywhere, there was no drama to be found in the 42nd meeting. For the second week in a row, Notre Dame won by 31 points, following up its 48-17 win against Rice with a 31-0 thrashing, and sending Michigan home to Ann Arbor with its first shutout defeat—to any school—since 1984.
Across the country, Notre Dame – Michigan was expected to be one of the most sought after tickets in college football this season, so unsurprisingly, there was a huge contingent of Monogram winners back on campus and a number of big events taking place throughout the weekend.
The Monogram Club Musings return with a look back at Michigan!
Michigan Game Notes
- The national colors were presented by Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the nation’s highest ranking military officer. Gen. Dempsey is the principal adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council.
- Following the flag presentation, the sellout crowd welcomed the U.S. Navy Parachute Team into Notre Dame Stadium. Known as the Navy Leap Frogs, their entrance made for a rather memorable pre-game moment.
- In celebration of the 50th anniversary of his Heisman Trophy, former Irish quarterback John Huarte (’65, football) was honored on the field during the second quarter. Huarte was joined by Monogram Club Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball), as well as representatives from the Heisman Trophy Trust. During his visit to campus, Huarte also sat down with Fighting Irish Digital Media in their studio, so be sure to keep an eye out for that video in future FIDM productions.
- Other on-field recognitions included the 2013-14 women’s basketball team and the Fighting Irish men’s athletics programs. Women’s basketball made its fourth consecutive trip to the Final Four earlier this year, and in July, the Fighting Irish men’s programs were presented with the University’s first Capital One Cup at the ESPYs. Several recent graduates including managers Kelly Harmon (’14) and Megan Golden (’14 SMC) and student-athletes Ariel Braker (’14) and Natalie Achonwa (’14) took part in the women’s basketball recognition, and Irish head coach Muffet McGraw, a 1997 honorary Monogram recipient was also honored for her Coach of the Year distinction. Deputy athletics director Jim Fraleigh (’88, manager) joined student-athlete representatives from several Irish men’s teams in accepting the check and trophy from Capital One.
- As always, 2010 honorary Monogram recipient Sgt. Tim McCarthy delivered a signature end of the third quarter traffic safety pun: “Remember, any horsing around could become a nightmare.”
Sightings Around Campus
- Dozens of former Irish football players and managers gathered in the Monogram Room on Friday evening for the fourth annual Lou’s Lads Foundation Reunion and Scholarship Dinner. Head coach Lou Holtz made a quick trip to South Bend, taking part in the pep rally and dinner, before heading back to Bristol, Conn. for his ESPN duties. Holtz also filmed segments on campus for Feherty, the Golf Channel show hosted by former professional golfer and current television analyst David Feherty. For more photos from the Lou’s Lads event, click here.
- Among those back were Rick Mirer (’93), Tim Brown (’88), Jerome Bettis, and Renaldo Wynn (’96), who was on campus for a home game for the first time since graduating.
- Members of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse family returned to campus to watch the Irish in their first practice of the fall at Arlotta Stadium. Monogram Club staff set up a table at the practice, and caught up with a number of alums including Sean Rogers (’12), Bobby Smith (’12), Matt Miller (’13), Devon Dobson (’12), Kevin Lynyak (’95) and Chris Sforzo (’94), to name a few.
- ESPN college basketball analyst, Monogram Club dad, and Irish superfan Dick Vitale returned to campus for the game. His daughters Terri (’94, ’95) and Sherri (’96, ’98) are tennis Monogram winners, and Terri serves on the Monogram board as the Club’s second vice president. As always, Vitale was sharing tons of photos and tweets from campus on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
- A whole bunch of Notre Dame football young alumni were spotted on the sidelines for the big game, including Mike Golic Jr. (’12), Danny McCarthy (’12), John Goodman (’12), Chris Stewart (’09), Trevor Robinson (’12), Eric Olsen (’10), John Ryan (’10), Sergio Brown (’10), Robby Toma (’13) and Evan Sharpley (’10), who appear in this great photo from McCarthy’s Twitter account.
- Former Irish fullback and recently appointed Monogram Club board member Marc Edwards (’97, football) joined our own Reggie Brooks (’93) and 2013 honorary Monogram recipient Jack Nolan on the Official Notre Dame Post-Game Show.
Monogram Club Events
Once again, the Club invited members to stop by the office on Friday afternoon to say hello, check out Monogram gear, try on the Irish football helmet, and enter to win exclusive Under Armour merchandise. The “Monogram Kickoff” will continue throughout the season, and members are encouraged to come by before heading to the pep rally!
On Friday evening, the Club welcomed dues-paying football Monogram winners and their guests to the Schivarelli Football Players’ Lounge at Notre Dame Stadium for a post-pep rally reception. Nearly 500 guests took shelter from a stormy night by visiting the “Schiv Lounge” to enjoy a selection of appetizers and cash bar, hit the Play Like A Champion Today sign, and take photos in the locker room.
On Saturday, almost 1,000 Monogram winners and their guests came by the Club’s pre-game reception in the Monogram Room to enjoy a tailgate-style lunch. The Notre Dame cheerleading squad and leprechaun also visited, and softball head coach Deanna Gumpf, a 2011 honorary Monogram recipient, spoke briefly about how the Monogram Club has had a positive impact on her program.
Gumpf’s team has earned The Trophy Award at each of the past two O.S.C.A.R.S. for the program’s commitment to community service, and through the Monogram Club’s team hosting program, enjoyed numerous cultural experiences while traveling.
While many campus Masses took place at 4 pm due to the later kickoff time, the Monogram Club kept with tradition, and held its annual “midnight” Mass following the night game. Rev. Mark Thesing, C.S.C. (’81, ’85, ’92) presided as nearly 200 guests wrapped up an incredible weekend, still giddy from what they had just witnessed in Notre Dame Stadium. Perhaps the scoreboard sums it up best.
Make sure to follow @NDMonogram on Twitter for all the updates throughout the fall. Go Irish.