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University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football at Notre Dame Stadium

A Saturday in South Bend, Indiana, is the quintessential sports experience. The Notre Dame Stadium was designed by the same firm, Osborn Engineering, that designed the original Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. It was built in 1930 thanks to the lobbying of none other than Knute Rockne, the most famous of all coaches. Watching over the proceedings is Touchdown Jesus, the nickname given to the mural — Millard Sheets' The Word of Life — on the nearby Hesburgh Library.

There's much more to Notre Dame football than the game itself. Check out the pep rally the night before and the marching band's midnight drumline, or high-five the team during the Player Walk through campus, which happens a couple of hours before kickoff. 

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football History

From the Four Horsemen to the Gipper to Rudy to "Theismann for Heisman," Notre Dame football is thick with the lore of the sport. The NCAA gives the school 13 national championships in all (as of the 2019 season), but even that doesn't begin to measure the shadow the Irish have cast across the game. There was Knute Rockne, coach from 1918 to 1930 and loser of only 12 games in that span. It was Rockne who delivered the famous halftime speech in which he invoked the deathbed plea of a former player, George Gipp, to "win one for the Gipper." There was Paul Hornung's do-everything season in 1956 that scored the Golden Boy a Heisman Trophy, and Johnny Lujack's win-everything career in which he netted one Heisman, three national championships and zero losses. There was the "Game of the Century" in 1966 in which the 9-0 Irish, under coach Ara Parseghian, played the 9-0 Michigan State Spartans to a 10-10 tie. There was Joe Montana and the Chicken Soup Game, and there was Tony Rice running the option offense all the way to a national championship in 1988. Even the committed haters of the Fighting Irish — and there are many of them — acknowledge that college football is more fun when Notre Dame is at the center of it all.