Monday, October 31, 2011

The Grotto, The Irish Guard and a Couple F/A-18 Hornets

My Notre Dame/Navy weekend started with a trip to the Grotto.  My folks have made a tradition of lighting a candle before home games.  I've noticed a lot of people get pretty emotional here.  I saw a lot of hugs and a few tears.  I find it to be a somber place too, but not my dad.  He sees it more of a place of spiritual motivation. I think that's the "coach" in him coming out.

The Grotto at Notre Dame, IN
Perhaps I found it emotional because it raises up memories of lost loved ones.  I thought about my grandfather a lot Saturday.  I took a photo in front of Sorin Hall (College) where he stayed when he attended ND in the early 1930's.  I'll post it later once I find the pic of him sitting on the steps.  The place has quite a history.  It deserves it's own post.
My Dad Lights a Candle at the Grotto
Stone from the Grotto at Lourdes, France

The University of Notre Dame Marching Band
The day started off with a bizarre hail storm, but that was short lived and once the actual game started the skies were clear.  They were perfectly blue for the F/A-18 Hornets to fly over Notre Dame Stadium.  One of the pilots was in my brother's class at ND, a fellow 1999 graduate. 

F/A-18 Hornets Flyover
Can anyone tell me about this heckling tradition with the Irish Guard before the games?  It was entertaining.  There were a few students with cardboard hats and some folks who actually got up in the guard members' faces to try and make them laugh.
The Irish Guard and a couple Hecklers
In case you missed it:  The Indiana State Police Driving Warning before the end of the game went something like this... "Make sure your ride home is smooth sailing by not going overboard."

The Irish beat Navy 56-14.  It was the 85th meeting between the two teams.  A tradition that started back in 1927.

Go Irish!  Here's to a good week everyone.

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