Monday, October 24, 2011

Fightin’ Irish forced to shut their pie holes

On the fieldIt was shaping up to be a pretty great International Pie Hole Day on Saturday (along with being Ken’s birthday weekend). Several silly like-minded friends participated, and it was a beautiful fall day: sunny and in the low 60s! A perfect day for a football game! It was the first night game at Notre Dame stadium in about twenty years, so it had a bit of a different feel to it.

We headed out to grab a bite to eat and a couple of beers at our go-to place when it starts getting cooler, Between the Buns. (Decent parking across the street, 32 ounce beers we can take along with us, and a pleasant, not-overly-far walk to the stadium. And TVs at the tables, so we can watch whatever game we want!) When we finished up there, we started making our way to where my sister and her husband were tailgating with some friends. Most of them were women with whom I was in a service sorority for a while, so it was really great to get to see them! They’d been at it for a while, so everyone was exceedingly happy, and we joined right in. They’d managed to leave a little Goldschlager in the bottle for me. Yay!

As we were all talking, Diana pointed out that she was pretty sure one of the guys tailgating next to us was Cheech Marin. (You might remember his movies with Tommy Chong in the ‘70s...although if you were a big fan, you might not!) He was having a bite to eat, so I didn’t bother him then, but when he finished, I had a shot of courage from the Goldschlager bottle and went over and said, “Welcome to Notre Dame!” He asked my name, we chatted a bit, and I said, “I’m guessing you won’t be cheering for Notre Dame, though, right?” He laughed and said, “Well, you know...!” I asked if he minded if I got a picture with him, and he said sure, so Ken got a picture of me and Diana with Cheech! What fun! Honestly, he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. Just super nice, and everyone was kind of chatting him up and being cool and welcoming. He mentioned that he’s working on a new show, so I’ll have to watch for that.
Ken got a couple of pictures when I first went up to Cheech, and I saw later that I was rather glad-handed, putting my hand on his shoulder. I wrote on Facebook that I pulled a Mitt Romney on the guy, but at least he didn’t go all Rick Perry death stare on me! He actually smiled, so I guess it was okay.

Of all people to run into, tailgating right next to you. So funny, and super cool! My goal is still to get a picture with Regis Philbin, but I don’t think we run in the same circles. Ha!
Then it was off to the stadium. We took a sort of roundabout way, so we could stand where the band comes by as they walk into the stadium. It’s one of the best college marching bands in the country, and it was fun to watch them go by. Then we parted ways with the gang and headed to our seats. Best seats we’ve had this season, about 15 or so rows up from the field, right by the student section. (We have even better ones for Boston College, the last home game of the season!) Guess who was sitting in front of us? The men’s basketball team. That’s right. There’s all five-foot-nothing of me, with this six-foot-plus guy in front of me. (Tim Abromaitis, the best player on the team this season, was a few seats down.) I don’t know who the kid was, but he was really sweet, and we all got a laugh out of the situation. He was often trying to duck down so I could see, and he didn’t seem to mind when I stood up on the seat to see over him, bracing myself with my hands on his back.

Alma materThe crowd was loud, the place was rockin’, and the players were sporting their new helmets with the extra-sparkly gold paint. They looked really neat, and yes, they really do put gold flakes in the paint. (Kind of like the Goldschlager, now that I think about it!) The Southern Cal band came along, and they’re also one of the best college marching bands in the nation, so it was a pretty cool night...for a while. I’m sorry to say that the team made some stupid mistakes, and the game ended up being a nasty loss for ND. Coach Kelly is not a happy man right now, and I actually feel sorry for the players this week! But we stuck around for the entire game, including when the team came over to stand by the student section as they all sang the alma mater, and I still raised my fist at the end and sang along: “Love thee, Notre Dame!”

Now, do better next week, guys!


  1. No no no. Stanford and Florida A&M have the best marching bands. OK. And USC gets an honorable mention for their appearance on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk.

  2. No, no, no.

    "The University of Notre Dame Band is the oldest college band (in continuous existence) in the United States and was honored as such by being declared a 'Landmark of American Music' by the National Music Council, the Indiana Music Educators Association and Exxon Corporation during the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial.

    The Band of the Fighting Irish has a long tradition of providing music and pageantry for the Notre Dame football games. It was on hand for the first game against the University of Michigan in 1887 and has not missed a single home game since. It should be noted that the Notre Dame Band was celebrating its forty-first anniversary when that historic first game was played."

    AND they were in an OK Go video.

  3. I love 'Tusk' but I am not sure if that qualifies the Trojans as a great band, at least not one that gets the 'traditional' nod. I felt bad for the Irish because I really thought they would get USC.

    That was cool that you ran into Cheech... and you can never say never about running into the Reeg..! Glad you enjoyed yourselves in spite of the loss...

  4. sounds like a good time was had by all!


  5. Whoopie! I finally figured out how to post comments again. (Thank you Blogger, for being sooooo supportive-NOT) I may not be a football fan but I do know Cheech Marin. Always loved him in movies and TV. I got to know how great he is when his child attended a school where I worked. Glad you had the opportunity to meet him.

  6. It was a fun day, except for the look at the fumble from 13 rows up, the ball bouncing end over end in slow motion, then the scoop and running away from us for the back breaking TD, sigh.....


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