Yesterday I toured Corbett Family Hall and attended the New And Gold Game … what an awesome experience! The Notre Dame Crossroads project started in November of 2014. After two years and 9 months, the construction equipment is gone, the three buildings are complete and there is a new fresh look around “The House that Rockne Built.” There was a sense of excitement in the air at the stadium, and the stadium rebirth could not come at a better time. With Team 128 coming off a tough season, a new season means a fresh start for Team 129. For those who have been to Notre Dame, you understand the magic that surrounds the place. The magic of being at a certain place and getting connected to folks you least expected to see. There was no exception to that yesterday (I will chat about that later).
(Post by new Her Loyal Sons contributing writer, George Bashura)
Corbett Family Hall Tour
My tour was of the Corbett Family Hall. The Corbett Family hall resides on the East side of the stadium. A quick elevator ride to the seventh floor gets you to the Downes Club. The view and the construction just blows you away. From the ND engraved wood to the view of the stadium, it’s just breath taking.
The all glass wall runs from one end of the floor to another. The entertaining area includes high end stools to watch the game from inside, to a full seating area including bar service. The amazing views include the Basilica, the Dome and the Hesburgh Library (Touchdown Jesus). I was glad that I cleared some space on my camera phone. The next stop was the Ninth Floor, which is called Northeast Terrace Nine. View overload once again. There is even a better view of the Basilica, the Dome and the Hesburgh Library from that vantage point. And that’s because you have access to the outside terrace.
There are couches and chairs outside for your entertainment pleasure as well. If you get a chance, get out there and spot yourself in the “money shot.” I almost forgot “the fishbowl” in which the video board operators reside … it’s just amazing. You can view it as you exit the Corbett Hall. It was technology overload.
New and Gold Game
After walking through the Corbett Family Hall to the Ara Paraghian Gate, it was time to head in the newly renovated stadium. Folks, once again, just amazing. I was upset to see from pictures that the “Gold Seats” were gone, but that was short lived. OMG, the seats were blue leather cushioned seats. That’s what I am talking about. The newest addition is the enormous video board. That was just an awesome experience. It was like being at home and watching the game on your TV in the living room. The sound system along with it was awesome as well. The only problem I experienced was at the concession stand. That took a while. They were experiencing food delivery problems and some folks were getting flat soda. Like the football team, there are still some things that need to be worked out. But that’s why you have a dress rehearsal. Simulate Game Day and make your corrections before you go live.
As far as the game itself, it is what it is, a game simulated practice. Brandon Wimbush is the real deal and he carried himself very well. He had some big throws and all in all he just wants to lead this team to victory. Ian Book did well as well. EQ and Dexter Williams made some spectacular catches, but the play that stands out in my mind was Tyler Newsome’s 58-yard punt that was downed on the one-yard line. Special Teams will hopefully be better than last year. The team seems to be ready and excited for the season.
The MAGIC of Notre Dame
Now let’s get back to the MAGIC of Notre Dame. It happened while waiting with a friend for another friend to come out of the post-game press conference. My friend and I were chatting and we looked up and thought we saw Coach Elko. Well, it wasn’t Coach Elko, but it was Coach Quinn. He is the Sr. Offensive Analyst. I introduced myself, asked him if we could take a picture with him, and told him that I truly believe in this team as they prepare for the season. Coach Quinn thanked me for the support and then he gets his coach on. He dives into the science of preparing players. It’s just not about the physical aspect of training, but the mental portion as well. Coach says, “You have to be mentally prepared, and it’s not just what happens on the practice field, and in games, but also applying it to the classroom.” Then, I drop this on coach “If this team plays for each other, the love of the game, and the love of Notre Dame Our Lady, the ceiling is endless.” Coach looked at me and said “you’re absolutely right.” We chatted for about 15 minutes, what a great guy.
In closing, the New and Gold Game was a huge success all the way around. The stadium is ready, and the team is focusing on Temple. This team can do great things if they just let themselves. I believe in the team, the team needs to believe in themselves and play one game at a time and not look ahead to a team on the schedule, that’s called a trap. #Team129ChangesEverything #GoIrish