Your Winners for the HLS Giveaway!

Well October is done and that means the giveaway that we ran last month has come to a close and I have selected the winners. We had some great entries and the winning ones can be found after the jump.

If you are one of the lucky ones, be sure to check the email that you put on the entry so you can send me your shipping info!

NCAA ’13

Oh man did we have two solid entries for this category. One was…I don’t know how the dude is alive… The other was easily the worst gameday housing situation that I could ever imagine. Be sure to use Rent Like a Champion in the future, folks!


During the first weekend of November in 2005 I was wrapping up a work conference in Chicago. My buddy secured a few tickets for the Tennessee game, but I was unsure if I’d be able to make it since I was responsible for the van a few coworkers and I took to the conference. It turns out all of the coworkers got flights home that Friday evening so I was in the clear. My friend came up and met me on Friday before the Tennessee game, and we proceeded to tear up that city in an epic manner.

My last memory of the evening (morning?) was riding a mechanical bull at 4am at some bar.

I didn’t put much thought into where we were sleeping that evening, but as it turns out we made do. Sort of.

I woke up in the drivers seat of the work van at some truck stop in Gary, IN with a screaming hangover, vomit on the dash, more vomit on my friend, several burrito wrappers scattered throughout, and no idea how I got there.

The worst part was it was already 130pm, and the game started at 230pm. My first instinct was to gun it and sober up on the way. Luckily (I guess) we needed to get gas. I pulled up to the pump, got out, and marveled at the destruction I had caused to the van. It turns out I must have side-swiped a guardrail or something the entire length of the white van. Except it wasn’t white on that side anymore. It was grayish, blackish, whitish, pukish, everything badish.

The worst part of the whole ordeal was my friend’s car was still in Chicago. Somehow in all of our alcohol fueled wisdom we had decided to leave the city without it. We had to go back, get it, and then drive to Pennsylvania all with a borderline champagne/wine type of hangover. I couldn’t tilt my head to either side for fear of the pain that accompanied any movement of my head. Neither of us remember anything after the mechanical bull. That might be a good thing. Plausible deniability and all. Needless to say we missed a pretty decent game.

I only missed my bed. And a shower. And a breath mint.

I read this and thought you were writing a script for the Hangover. Please, please never repeat this ever, Brendan. Seriously, for everyone’s safety. I’m glad it was only the van that saw issues.

I must say, I feel weird rewarding this, but I asked for the worst possible gameday crashing situations and this definitely qualifies.


On the floor, or a Michigan frat house. Easily the worst.

In 2005, I was an enthusiastic junior excited for the era of “schematic advantage” and “nasty” football with Charlie Weis to begin. I wanted to make the most of the season and going up to Ann Arbor for the game seemed like the right decision. Of course, like many of my decisions during that time – I committed myself first, then tried to scramble to figure out the details.

Fortunately, there were a number of people from my dorm in the same predicament and, someone, somehow had spread word that there was a place a bunch of us could crash with for free. Sounds too good to be true, it was. We made it in late into Ann Arbor and were trying to find some address on Packard street. Of course, when we finally found it we were faced with a genuine UM frat house. We decided it best not to meet the residents (especially without our mutual connection there yet) and went out to make merry and see what fun could be had that evening.

We eventually made our way back when our fixer was in town and got let in. Of course, the only space they had was the floor in their beer soaked living room that smelled of lowered expectations and stale keystone. Fortunately we were all chemically desensitized enough to pass out easily though.

The next morning we were woken up at probably no later than 5am with ping pong balls being thrown at us while others kept yelling “GO BLUE, GO BLUE”. We gathered our wits, beat the residents at beer pong and made our way to the tailgates/game. Of course, the game was an awesome victory and it was entertaining to walk back through Ann Arbor with cars stopping by to send some colorful language our way. On our return, we were obviously not welcome to stay another night and we made a very tired, but triumphant ride back home. We went right into the belly of the beast and we won – it was awesome.

Sweet Jesus, Michigan frat house?! You probably could’ve stopped your entry there and won

However, dear sir, you walked into the frat house, kicked skunkbear ass at bear pong and then proceeded to watch the Irish break their hearts. Hero.

Always Fighting Irish

I loved the stories that I got here. Some really great ones were sent to me. There were two that stood out.


When I was 8 years old, my dad and ’82 alumn finally hiked up some cash and led my twin brother, mother and myself up to his first ND game since I was born, and my and my brother’s first ND game. For 8 year olds, my twin brother and I had great sports knowledge. My fandom of sports in general grew that summer as the Cubs made the playoffs for the first time since ’89, and my appetite for all sports, including ND football, grew insatiable.

The Irish were hosting Air Force on a crisp fall day, and I got to see the dome, the marching band, Touchdown Jesus, and all the other ND images that were inscribed in my brain by Saturday afternoons watching NBC. The game got out to a great start, and the Irish went into halftime (and I believe the fourth quarter) with a 3 TD lead.

In typical ND fashion, they Irish faltered in the fourth, the Jarious Jackson-led offense sputtered, and all of a sudden, Air Force had a force a tie ball game and had a chip shot FG attempt to win.

The ’98 team wasn’t great, but I was old and ND-educated enough to know we didn’t lose to the academies. The stadium was tense. The kick went up… and BLOCKED by a solid ND surge. Overtime.

The Irish stifled the Falcons on their opening drive and kicked a field goal. On third down on the ensuing guide, Jackson tossed a reverse to my favorite Irishman to this day: Joey Getherall. Joey found a seam and dove for the pylon. TD. Mayhem.

That day was the day I decided that no matter what, I was coming to this magical place. It was my official motivation in school from first grade on, and in August of 2010, both my twin and I arrived for Frosh-O, he a new Zahmbie, myself an orange-clad Juggerknott. I still – and will always bleed blue and gold – thanks to Bob Davie special teams, bubble screens, and Joey Getherall.

This is awesome. I’m actually jealous of this story. I never had a moment of “I have to come here” by going to a game so young. I wish I did, seriously.


It sounds twisted, but my best ND memory was the weekend after my father passed away during my sophomore year.

I remember being pulled into my rectress’ room after coming back from NDH (yes, not wonderful South Dining Hall) with a Grab and Go bag filled with five boxes of apple juice (which I’m pretty sure went against some rule), one of my roommates bringing me a suitcase she must have packed for me, and realizing how small the South Bend airport was when I went to fly home.

After all the usual wake, funeral, and unpleasant events that have to happen when someone dies, I realized Fall Break was going to start and that I was still in charge of a group going into West Virginia for an “alternative” break with the Center for Social Concerns.

So I flew back to ND and just went on the trip because I wasn’t sure how staying home would help. And because we all know “God works in mysterious ways”, my RA just happened to be in the group I was with and knew what the past week was like for me, so she definitely kept an eye on me, and helped me lead the group. When we got there…well, it was Appalachia…it was a type of community I had never been in, a community that needed our help, and I got to stop thinking about me, my loss, and feeling helpless.

Now you’re probably wondering, “What does this have to do with ND football?” Well, Notre Dame just happened to be playing West Virginia that weekend. And there just happened to be a wonderful alumni association who hosted us at a tailgate and got us tickets.

I actually went to look up some info on the game before writing this, and it was bizarre (and somewhat disappointing) to read about Matt Lovecchio and Bob Davie (God, Bob Davie ruined so much of ND football for my time at Notre Dame). But on that day we won and I was happy…I was happy I went on a trip for service through Notre Dame, I was happy it met the alumni out there welcoming us, and I was happy that I HAD Notre Dame…I had Notre Dame in my life and that was what helped me get through a difficult time in my life.

And watching them win, might helped a little too…

This isn’t twisted at all. This is a perfect example of what it means to be a part of the Notre Dame family. Football at Notre Dame has always managed to find its way into situations that you wouldn’t expect like this one. Very awesome.

Spirit of Notre Dame

I must say I didn’t know what to expect here. Pleasantly surprised with the two winners.


pre-game/tailgating – One of the Irish Marching Band CD’s

Kickoff – Something by Drop Kick Murphys

Third Down – TV Timeout – Theme from Jeopardy since they take so long and come at the worst times.

Defense Takes the Field – Imperial Death March

Offense Takes the Field – Theme to Silverado

Post Game Celebration – Alma Mater

I won’t lie, the Jeopardy theme made me die laughing. Well done.


Pre-game/Tailgating: Wake Up by Arcade Fire, Ready to Start by Arcade Fire

Kickoff: Kick out the Jams by MC5 although leave out the X rated parts, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, Thunderstruck by AC/DC

Third Down: When the Levee Breaks – Led Zeppelin, Hell’s Ditch by The Pogues, I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty, subbing We for I

TV Timeout: Whip It by Devo, The Pogues – “The Irish Rover”

Defense Takes the Field – Rock You like a Hurricane by Scorpions, Helter Skelter by the Beatles, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica. The Pogues – Eve of Destruction or Barry McGuire Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Offense Takes the Field: Born to Run by Springsteen, subbing We for I. Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Post Game Celebration: Glad All Over by Dave Clark 5, Na Na Goodbye by Steam (cliched but still a great song), Glory Days by Springsteen

Dude, ND needs to hire you. This is badass.

Many thanks to everyone that entered. This was a lot of fun and hopefully we will be able to do more of these in the future!

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