Pressure is On Notre Dame Football With New Jumbotron

Notre Dame has officially begun to hype the new jumbotron inside Notre Dame Stadium that will be used for the first time in a game on September 2 for the season opener against Temple.  Over the last couple weeks the official Notre Dame Football Twitter feed has been sending out teasers of the jumbotron.

On July 6, Notre Dame sent out this tweet.

On July 13 they sent out this.

Then a day later, they sent out this.

With each tweet, the pressure for Notre Dame to pull this off mounts.

Why is there pressure on Notre Dame with this jumbotron you may ask.  Well, simple.  There is a large contingent of the fan base who has always been – and may always be – against even the idea of a jumbotron inside Notre Dame Stadium.  To some, adding a jumbotron makes Notre Dame just like everyone else and is just another change to the stadium that they feel would have Knute Rockne rolling over in his grave.

Many of these same people will be looking for any excuse to jump on Notre Dame if their execution with the jumbotron fails in anyway.

The Concerns Over the Notre Dame Jumbtron

Just what are some of their concerns?  Some are worried that Notre Dame will plaster the jumbotron with ridiculous ads that litter other video boards throughout the country.  Some jumbotrons look more like the classifieds section of a newspaper when they aren’t on with ads and brand logos plastered all over.  Well if you look close at all of those images, you’ll notice that no such ads or logos appear on Notre Dame’s.

In fact, Notre Dame has made it clear throughout the Campus Crossroads that there still will be no in stadium advertising inside Notre Dame Stadium.

Ok, so with the concern about ads out the window, what are some other concerns.  There’s the programming itself.  Jumbotron content can tend to be a bit fluffy and self promoting.  Well, good luck trying to convince any organization to not self promote on a jumbotron inside their own stadium.  Oh and spoiler alert: there is no way in hell any organization will create content that pleases all of their fans let alone the insanely finickle Notre Dame fan base.

The Defense’s Case Holds Some Water

Concerns with the execution of the jumobtron are somewhat valid.  Remember when Notre Dame introduced music inside Notre Dame Stadium back in 2011?  The sound system wasn’t really set up for it and they played the same handful of songs – Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourn specifically – over and over and over again to the point where it became comical.  When that happened the Notre Dame message boards roasted Notre Dame for not being fully prepared.

The stakes are much higher with the jumbotron though because of how much resistance there still is to it.  With each tweet there is generally a string of responses of groans or messages on the boards bemoaning the presence of such a monstrosity inside Notre Dame Stadium.

Another spoiler alert:  Knute Rockne was an innovator and the arguments that he is rolling in his grave are very likely highly inaccurate.  If anything, Rock just might be upset that it took Notre Dame so long to catch up to the rest of the country in terms of enhancing the in-game experience.  Considering color television was still years away from even being a thing at the time of Rock’s untimely death, making any argument that he would be opposed to having a jumbotron inside Notre Dame Stadium is silly at best.

The fact is Notre Dame has fallen behind the rest of the country in providing an in-game experience that creates a more lively and dare I suggest rowdy environment.  Yes jumbotron haters, it is possible to have an electric environment without one like the 1993 Florida State or 2005 USC games.  All it takes to pull that off is the latest edition of the game of the century.

For games like Temple or Miami of Ohio – games that are necessary nestled around marquee matchups – ya need a little bit extra to get the crowd fired up.  That is where the jumbotron can play a huge role.  And that brings us back to the pressure facing Notre Dame to pull this off.

Benefits Far Outweigh the Concerns

Notre Dame can use the jumbotron to reduce the lull that happens during the lengthy NBC TV timeouts.  Sorry, but honoring the Irish Guard from 1962 or the Badminton team from 1984 during those nap length breaks in the action ain’t cutting it.  Highlights from great Notre Dame victories or highlights from past and current greats, on the other hand could.  Such highlights should be on full display in the moments before kick-off to with dramatic music whipping the crowd into a frenzy as well.

Then there is the whole benefit for those in attendance to actually know what is happening during a replay or when there has been a close play.  How many times have you been in the crowd and felt completely lost on a close play?  The energy gets sucked out of the stadium during any reviews.  If Notre Dame kept showing a play over and over that they clearly know will be going in their favor, however, the energy can build back up during the replay.

Or how about when the quarterback of Notre Dame takes head shot after head shot with no flags like Deshone Kizer did against Virginia Tech.  Think playing those clips over and over and over again will get into the heads of officials who never have to worry that the 80,000+ in attendance will see their screwups?

In the words of Proximo from Gladiator, Notre Dame has to win the crowd with the jumbotron. If the jumbotron is full of kiss cam gimmicks and repetitive video clips, they’ll lose the crowd   If they shy away from using the jumbotron to highlight the mistakes of the officials, they will lose one of the primary benefits of its presence.

With all of the benefits the jumbotron gives Notre Dame the only thing that can give its critics any sort of voice this season is Notre Dame itself.  If Notre Dame sticks the landing here, the benefits of the ‘tron will be so apparent that any remaining complaints will be more than drowned by the sound of dramatic montages clips.

Allllllllllllllllllllllllll aboard!

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    1. Every time I see Bruce Johnson post I am reminded of the church scene in “Blazing Saddles.” And Bruce Johnson says…..

      Actually it was that whore Rockne who started it all by ditching Cartier Field and fashioning a stadium “gasp” modeled after Michigan Stadium, except without the gap-toothed hillbilly dummy on the sideline (that was Fielding “Hurry Up” Yost).

      Then Rockne, 70 years before his time invented the SHAMROCK SERIES, except it was ALWAYS Army and ALWAYS in
      New York.

      John Henry Newman “To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often”

      We need a plebiscite here: How many y’all with Cardinal Newman and how many with Bruce Johnson?

      That’s what I thought…….

  1. I see no problem with a “jumbotron”. Most big time college football stadiums have one —- and these stadiums from the Big Ten , SEC , and Florida State , Clemson from ACC . The Rose Bowl and Colliseum have jumbotrons too. Most of these stadiums were built in the 1920’s and 30’s. Adding a jumbotron has not ruined the history, ambience of the old brick/mortar of these iconic buildings. Speaking of Rockne as an innovator — I grew up in the Bill Veek era–owner of Chicago White Sox. He was the first to realize the importance of a score board to enhance the enjoyment of fans. In 1959 he had fire works explode behind scoreboard after a Sox player hit a homerun. But back to college football — it’s time Notre Dame stadium got up to par with the rest of big time college football. Great post below–on reasons why. I can’t wait to see what transpires on the big screen —to get crowd motivated.

    1. Yeah, I agree. I think if anything has Rockne rolling over in his grave about the changes they’ve made is that it took them this long to implement them. And yes, he’d be upset at the Irish’s lack of success during the D/W/W/K eras.

      Ultimately if ND turns things around and starts winning games again, the complaints about stadium upgrades will start to wane. Winning cures many things. I agree with Frank’s article, that it can be used to their advantage, esp. when they is a bad or missed call. Get the fans riled up. Let the officials see they screwed up (no one’s perfect, but maybe they’d be more careful next time).

      At the end of the day, they still need to win games. I have a lot of concerns going into next year, but they all have to do with the play on the field and the coaching.

  2. Yeah, many fans are against the jumbotron.

    But these whiners pervert, rather than honor the traditions of Notre Dame. They are some sort of weird althateright,
    revisionist, neocon Notre Dame Haters. Their self-loathing is remarkable. They were either beaten too much as children, or not frequently enough.

    Rockne? He invented “swashbuckling” The very existence of the Army series, with the focus on New York City (go lightly fake news Notre Dame Hating neocons, because it was sometimes Brooklyn, often the Bronx, not even Manhattan) would have driven them nuts.

    Forward pass? HELLO, mcFlys. (impute a knuckle rap on the forehead) Cedar Point, Rockne, Dorais.

    Southern Cal series. Then there is the (ahem!!) Rockette inspired “Box Formation”

    Had Satan invented the internet and social media in that era, they would have hated that a non-Native (Split norwayt, right) non-Catholic (until later) who was a freakin’ postman in Chicago trashed whatever the hell Harper was running when he
    had Red Salmon. They would have cried that “Rockne is the end of Notre Dame Football” They would have likened
    Grantland Rice to Eric Hansen, and resented the glibness of the Four Horsemen.

    Then, Jayzus!!! Rockne deserted Cartier. The Horror! And he demanded that they clone Michigan Stadium. Imagine the weeping, the gnashing of teeth, the mewing, the wailing the whining.

    Gipp? Ha! Gipp may be the most blatant character as well as the greatest player ever in college football. With all their smug self-rightousness, they would have never understood his poolsharking, his hustling, his card playing, his BETTING ON GAMES AND TALKING ABOUT IT TO ROCK at halftime.

    Then Leahy. He “gasp” (and I hope we can get the esteemed Fred Leahy to weigh in on this) eliminated the “box” and put it the split T. They would have overwhelmed the web with their effeminate protests. But Leahy won a bit.

    Rockne, Leahy, Sorin, Hesburgh. CHANGE AGENTS. NOTRE DAME IS A PLACE OF CHANGE. Change to the Wasp domination of academia and football. Change to conference alignment, scheduling, change to the cozy conformism and good old boyism.

    So now they don’t like the coach, the field, the stadium and the scoreboard.
    Good. They are free to leave. For all those leaving and not using their tickets, please gather up their names and have them proffer and offer. I can always use more tickets for the true believers. But they will have to offer a significant self-loathing, treason discount. They will have to put their (loss of) money where the whiny, chicken little, non-veteran (yeah the biggest Notre Dame Whiners never served-distinguishing them from Leahy, Bertelli, Connor, Parseghian and Devine-and me) self-pitying mouths are.

    This ain’t the Alamo and I ain’t Sam Houston, but I’m drawing a line in the dirt. Are you on my side (with Rockne, Leahy, Dorais, Sorin, Hesburgh, Connor and Czarobski) or with the effeminate self-loathing whiners. Choice is yours. I can’t make it for you.

  3. Spoiler alert – Knute Rockne was a winner. His coaching record was 105-12-5. 13 losses in 13 years. Brian Kelly lost 8
    games in 1 year; 31 games in 7 years.

    I hate the Jumbotron, the piped in music, the fake grass and the huge ugly buildings attached to the stadium, but I hate the poor quality of the football and coaching more.

    I also hate the fact that ND had NCAA sanctions under Kelly for which he accepts no responsibility.

  4. The opinions expressed in this article are flawed, at best. The flaw is believing that the current ND administration has the ability to execute the jumbotron effectively and appropriately, as well as hold true to their promise of no advertising. I do not have faith that there will not be advertising throughout the stadium within 3 years as well as having to sit through South Bend Orthopedics ads during every time out. The current ND admin are salesman, and they are running ND like a for profit business. ND no longer considers us valued alum or fans, but rather, we are all just single sources of revenue. You are buying into the hype surrounding a new, cheaply made, disposable product.

  5. Spoiler alert. Knuete Rockne was a winner. Kelly lost only as many games in 2016 as Rock lost in 10 years.

    I hate the Jumbotron, the fake grass, the obnoxious music, the ugly building tacked on to the stadium.

    I hate the poor football play and terrible coaching more. ND
    gave up 4 double digit leads at home in 2016 losing 3 of those games. They tried to pass in a hurricane and then Kelly blamed the center for poor shotgun snaps.

    Then we incurred NCAA sanctions.

    The coach and AD have job security. We talk about the stupid
    Jumbotron. What a mess.

    1. Well heck, Jim, it’s America, and you are free to hate what you want: Catholics, Muslims, daffodils, pineapple pizza, or
      Notre Dame football. But what YOU HATE has not one iota, not one scintilla, to do with what I ENJOY: rooting for Notre Dame, now my alma mater but a school I enjoyed even before I ever dreamed I could matriculate there.

      Kelly and the Notre Dame team and the FIELD and STADIUM on which they play are RELEVANT to me and MINE.

      You are not. You will not be invited to watch any football games at my place. I find angry, miserable people boring.

  6. I have said since it was first brought up a few years ago that I think it’s tacky and I don’t like it, and I STILL think that.

    The paragraph about color television makes no sense at all, bringing Proximo in on this makes no sense, overall grade on this promo – 85%.

    Apparently most aboard – not all.

    I am not a hater.

  7. You nailed it Frank
    Id be curious as to who will program the tron.
    Would they ever take suggestions from the public as to music…videos etc.

  8. I think a Jumbotron can be used to “suggest” to a sleeping replay team of officials that a review is in order. That alone would make it worthwhile.

    Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

  9. At least the players will be used to seeing themselves on a jumbotron and not have that deer-in-the-headlights look when they see one in an opponent’s stadium or post season bowl or the first time..

  10. I do love the “Rockne rolling over in his grave” comments. I agree with Frank. Don’t think for one minute that if they had the technology back when he was coaching and he thought it could help ND he would not have been one of the first to advocate for it. We’re talking about one of the most innovative coaches in history. The same with all the other changes. If it would have given ND and edge he would have absolutely supported it.

    As long as they use the jumbotron appropriately I don’t see anything but positives coming out of it. I think they’ve done a good job of threading the needle with updating the stadium while respecting the history of the program. It is possible to do both.

    Having a classic, nostalgic, old-school feel is ok, good in fact, and ND should always keep that in mind with all their updates. But just being old is not ok. That can loose you some recruits.

  11. I absolutely agree. When I began reading your article, the first thing that came to mind for me when you made the “Knute Rockne turning over in his grave” comment is that he himself was an INNOVATOR. Anyone who doesn’t think that he would jump all over the technology provided to him during his time in South Bend is delusional. He, after all, was the one who came up with the idea for the Irish to travel coast-to-coast to play a national football schedule and shove it to the Big 10 at the time.

    This is going to be a great addition. The people who don’t want a jumbo-tron are more than likely the typical fan in the stands who would rather sit down in their seat rather than stand up and cheer. I’ve even been told to sit down myself. People don’t understand that the fans actually CAN have an impact on the game. If there is a way to get the fans more involved and make ND Stadium a more hostile environment for opposing teams and fans, I’m all aboard.

    In short, I’m sick of hearing older ND (mind you, I’m 30) tell me how “Man, the Irish never lost in my day. We would never lose to Tulsa.” but then continue to sit there quietly like you’re on your living room couch and have the audacity to ask me to sit as well. You need to buy into the atmosphere, or stay home. Please.

    Go Irish!

    1. Some of us old farts are also tired of being told what to do…when to stand, what “T-shirt” we ought to wear at the game, and not to grill with charcoal, etc., etc., etc. You get sick of it, you know? You really do. But one thing IS for sure – we damn well would NEVER have lost to TULSA (or DUKE) or NAVY, etc., etc., etc.

      And I will stand when I want to (usually on third downs for our “D”, or during the entire fourth quarter in a close game) and sit when I feel like it, and I’ll wear whatever damn color shirt I feel like wearing that morning!

      And I won’t tell you or yours what to do (or not to do) either.

      Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

  12. “There is a large contingent of the fan base who has always been – and may always be – against even the idea of a jumbotron inside Notre Dame Stadium. ”
    How can you make a statement like this? How do you know that? Have you done a survey? Is there data behind it? Or is it just your opinion? You lose all credibility when you make sweeping statements, not backed by factual information. Kind of like of like fake news.

    1. Do you read any of the Notre Dame forums or follow any sort of Notre Dame social media chatter? It is well known that many fans were against the jumbotron and have been for years. It’s not fake news. Click through to any of the tweets that were embedded and read the comments left to them. I’ve only been following this debate on Notre Dame message boards for the 18 years I’ve been a part of UHND though.

  13. Why would anyone be against this? They were dead set against stadium expansion too, yet, those extra 25k season tickets got sucked up pretty quick, didn’t they? Some people need a reason to complain, so why not this, right? Welcome to the 21st Century ND!

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