Georgia Teaches Notre Dame About Home-Field Advantage… AGAIN

In last night’s six-point loss to #3 Georgia, the home crowd played a role in Notre Dame’s ultimate demise.  The largest crowd ever to watch a football game in the state of Georgia created a real home-field advantage for the Bulldogs because unlike Notre Dame fans two years ago, they didn’t sell-out their team for a few bucks and barely let in any visiting fans by hoarding their tickets.  Just like an elite team’s fanbase should.

From the first play of the game last night, the home crowd had Notre Dame rattled.  For all the talk all week long about practicing with noise and adjusting to a silent count and all of that, Notre Dame still jumped offsides repeatedly last night.  The Georgia crowd was loud from start to finish.

Of the 93,246 fans packed into Sanford Stadium, a small percentage of them were cheering for the visitors.  It was a stark contrast to the crowd in Notre Dame Stadium two years ago for Georgia’s first-ever trip to South Bend.  That September night, Georgia fans invaded Notre Dame Stadium and might have accounted for half of the 80,000+ in attendance.

As a Notre Dame fan in the stands that night, it was sickening to see another team’s fanbase pretty much take over Notre Dame Stadium.  And remember, that game just the second game ever played in Notre Dame Stadium following the completion of the massive Campus Crossroads project.  All that money, all that hype and the second game of the “new” stadium and another team’s fanbase made national news for taking over the stadium.

I saw a lot of self-righteous tweets from Notre Dame fans talking all high and mighty about how it never occurred to them to go the game in Athens as though going to an away game was beneath them.  Well, sorry, but anyone trying to use that excuse if full of it.  Notre Dame fans showed two years ago that even when there are big games in Notre Dame Stadium, there is something more important to them than wins and losses.  Money.

That shouldn’t be too surprising either.  Money is essentially the same reason there isn’t a home-field advantage inside Notre Dame Stadium even when another team doesn’t overtake the stadium.  Do you think there were a lot of fans being yelled at last night in Sanford Stadium to sit down?  Probably not.

That kind of home-field advantage doesn’t exist inside Notre Dame Stadium mainly because the administration has not done much to cultivate one.  Sure they have been doing the “Irish Wear Green” initiative the last two years, but until the “down in front crowd” is addressed, there will never be an environment inside the House that Rockne Built like the one we all witnessed last night.  That is something that won’t be addressed because most of that crowd also donate a lot of money.

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It was fun to imagine an environment like that inside Notre Dame Stadium watching the Georgia fans continually harass Notre Dame into false starts.  That used to exist at Notre Dame in the late ’80s when the crowd was famously flagged for a delay of game penalty for being too loud when the stadium held 20,000 fewer seats.  Nowadays, you’re lucky if you don’t get told to sit down if you’re standing on anything other than the most critical third or fourth down of the game.

It was also extremely impressive to see how few Georgia fans sold their tickets to Notre Dame fans considering how many Irish fans sold their tickets in 2017.  Tickets to last night’s showdown weren’t exactly cheap either.  It was one of the most expensive tickets in all of college football this year.  The Georgia fans that sold their tickets apparently sold them mainly to Georgia fans.  There was even some red inside the small section of the stadium that was reserved for Notre Dame.

In a game decided by six points, having a crowd like the one Notre Dame played in front of last night can create a clear advantage for the home team.  It did last night. More than one drive was impacted by false start penalties that put the offense in negative down and distances.

Will Notre Dame ever be able to create that kind of home-field advantage?  Tough to say.  The last time Notre Dame Stadium was even close to that level was 14 years ago for that epic USC game.  Since then there have been a few times the stadium was rocking a bit, but nothing like last night.

Hats off to Georgia and their fanbase for not only providing their team with a home-field advantage that made a difference but also in protecting their house and not letting the Irish fanbase, which does travel well, even put a dent into that home-field advantage.  That’s twice now that Georgia has taught Notre Dame a lesson in home-field advantage.

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26 Comments

  1. Well we were embarassed by our fans a few years ago who scalped their tickets to Texas and Georgia. What a disloyal and traitorous thing to do! Murf

  2. I made a comment on a Facebook page about taking my daughter to a game. I live in PA so it’s about a 10 hour drive with 50 in tolls. I was looking at the BG game. Tickets were reasonable at 75 a piece. Hotel minimum stay two nights, food, bookstore and you are talking about a 1G weekend. If I were to go to a local PSU game, (I hate PSU), even a big time white out game would cost me about 600.

    ND needs to understand most of their fans will travel to see a home games, but taking a family four to a ND Vs USC game would be about 3G. If you pander to the wine and cheese crowd you will get a wine and cheese crowd. There is no home field advantage. Remember 88 Michigan or 88 Miami, the crowd was so loud they were going to call a penalty against ND. Not do much anymore

  3. Wrong Dave. The faculty, staff, administrators, and clerical workers always sold massive amounts of tickets. Even my Dear Old Dad scalped some, much to the dismay of my mother and I. The difference is that today they scalp to opponents! In the old days they never did.
    It has nothing to do with National Championships. Nebraska’s last one was decades ago. Georgia’s last one was in 1980. Michigan has won ONE NC in my lifetime. One, pal. Yet those stadiums are monochromatic, as we all know.
    I’ll give you one answer: have the ushers collect the stubs of anyone in red, or whatever opponent color at the gate. Those guys know the stadium inside out. They know what sections are and ARE NOT opponent sections. If you are dressed in flaming red and your ticket reads Section 25, take the stub. Believe me, those ushers are true blue fans. They would be delighted. to do it. Then hire a ticket manager with the stones to eternally revoke those ticket rights…no exceptions, NO APPEAL, no lip service.
    And no whining that “I gave them to my nephew…I never dreamed he’d sell them.” Eternal LOSS of all ticket privileges.
    Second: You might try pulling one big game out of the season ticket package each year, make that the green out or blue out game, and give 4 tickets to every student to sell to family or personal friends (at face value, of course). Those ain’t goin to anyone wearing anything but ND colors!
    Then add in what you want, what we all want, a team competitive at the elite level (we’re darn near that now anyway). Problem solved. There are other, probably better, solutions as well. Ask the student body for ideas.

    PS: I never scalped a ticket in my life…sold plenty at face value to friends or neighbors or colleagues…never scalped…not even once.

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. Oh. Sorry. I forgot to mention one of the largest sources for scalped tickets: The Graduate students. They would NOT be any part of the 4 ticket package I spoke of.
      Also, though this must be obvious, the ushers need to look at the ID’s of the confiscated ticket holders and record them. They will NOT be delighted to do that, but they’ll probably only need to do it on a large scale one or twice. So it’s workable.

      BGC ’77 ’82

  4. Sorry bro, Notre Dame fans aren’t the same as Georgia fans. For one, they are smart with their money, two then tend to be educated. Half the stadium at the Georgia game had a GED. It’s all they have in life. As far as the hype of the stadium, lights ex. well they are morons. Morons are attracked to bright things and sounds. Notre Dame can be better than Georgia on the field if they want, just lower academic standards to spelling your name and allow felons to play for pay. It’s simple.

      1. David, for the third time ever, I agree with you. I remember being at an ND pep rally the night before the Nebraska game and some ignorant student “leader” gets up to the microphone and goes on and on about how academically deficient Nebraska football players are. I just thought to myself “why don’t you check out the number of Academic All Americans Nebraska has turned out before you further embarrass your University.”

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. David, chill bro. Your response is way more harsh than his comments which are hyperbole. So many people nowadays are so Oversensitive!! There’s some truth in what he is saying. He is just using over statement to make a point. I dont know how you survive in this world. We are not all winners. We all learned that in kindergarten kickball. As we should. :-)

      3. Really Blake? Which statement is somewhat true? (other than that the lights are bright?)

        BGC ’77 ’82

      4. Blake, this makes you an even bigger a-hole…..you read what was wrong with that RRShole’s opinion, and still defended it. Utter idiot.

  5. well, you answered the question yourself. An ELITE team’s fans … well, put an elite team on the field!!! In the late 80s it was different. There was a championship team on the field. Don’t blame the fans for selling their tickets. Blame the university for failing to put a championship team on the field. That’s what gets us excited. Not “money and hype”. Who cares? The ‘17 team was coming off an eight-loss toilet flush. Same situation in the Nebraska game in 00. Build a championship program and I guarantee people won’t sell their tickets. Blame the administration for failing to live up to the standard established here 100 years ago. There’s no excitement around the program right now and there hasn’t been since the early 90s.

  6. That Georgia game from 2 years ago still reeks. A game where we lost by 1 point–where a home field advantage maybe, just maybe would have made a difference. It wasn’t only sickening, it was embarrassing. The biggest regular season game of the year at home for ND….and the home fans couldn’t have bothered.

    But this is the crux of the problem at ND really. The true powers that be will continue to mouth off that they want NC’s. But really the only thing they care about is that the money keeps rolling in. As long as the Irish win most of it’s games, maybe the occasional bowl game very so often, and the money keeps rolling in, that’s all that’s really important to them. A NC would be nice I’m sure–as it would help bring in even more money. But I would say they are largely satisfied where ND football is right now.

    We’re not. We want NC’s. But the real powers? Nah. As long as they field top 25 teams I don’t think they really care.

  7. Each person decides what they do with their own tickets. And each such decision makes up the market.

    Georgia fans got lots of tickets at ND.
    ND fans did not acquire many tickets in Athens.

    …..and messageboard debate and outrage over this issue is worth exactly what IT costs, too.

    1. Free markets David? In what country on what planet? In our country you could be right (about ND tickets and anti-personnel weapons) but not much else. Can each neighbor of mine decide what they do with their own soybeans? Or how much wheat to grow on their own property, and at what price to sell it, and to whom? As an elderly person, can I decide to buy my prescription drugs in Canada? Can a Canadian decide to sell scrip drugs to me? How about aluminum or steel, David? Health Insurance? Surely you don’t really believe there are truly free markets, do you? You know David, if I were made ruler in this country a lot of things would change – but one of the first would be to make almost all markets FREE and OPEN. Truly David, not in some bogus way, or some Kudlow way. The next day, I would be killed.

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. You are right David. I get outraged when somebody from D.C. tries to portray themselves as free marketers or fiscal conservatives. There is only one genuine free market guy in this country – ME. There are two genuine fiscal conservatives – John Kasich and ME. All the others are total frauds. And that’s all the non-football stuff I have to say.

        BGC ’77 ’82

      2. Diamonds David? Energy? First Class Letters? Where is this “free market” David? It’s in your mind buddy – not in the world of humans. Be a good man David – tell your kids the truth…or at least expose the Tea Parties, the Kudlows and the Phil Grahams for the laffers that they are.

        BGC ’77 ’82

  8. I mentioned over the years about ND playing away from home WAY TOO OFTEN. The administration trying to appease the alumni
    ,the corporate elite and others who graduated from ND 10-20 yrs ago. Stop playing in Ireland. Stop playing in Yankee Stadium.
    Stop playing Navy in San Diego. Play in front of the student body as often as you can. That is where you build up loyalty and goodwill.
    You ever see Alabama, Clemson, Ohio St playing on the West Coast ? Only when they are playing NewYRDay Bowl or for the NC.

  9. Notre Dame sellouts will have a field day with next year’s home schedule: and don’t even ask if that includes the Clemson game…it will especially be Clemson. What you miss, Frank et al, is the many THOUSANDS of tickets that go to faculty, staff, and corporate sponsors…most of whom don’t give a hoot about much of anything that matters to the posters on this site. Fixing this embarrassing mess has to start with taking “automatic” ticket privileges away from those groups, and others.

    Nonetheless, I believe we are going to win it all next year…but no thanks to our over privileged season ticket holders! Of course the ND Administration will throw up their hands and say “but we have tried everything and it doesn’t work. We can’t find a way to solve this problem.” That response, which I’ve heard in person as well as in the SB Tribune is interesting. With all the pure brain power on staff, in the student body, and in the Alumni organization, and these pathetic insects in the sports department “can’t find a way to keep tickets out of the hands of the greedy.” Why don’t you ask your own student body for the answer?

  10. I think that is what I am most angered about. Our prima donna crowd is too comfortable golf clapping our good plans and depending on our band, who has a poor sense of timing, to revving us up on third down. Our home base is a joke as far as intimidation goes and it is a huge factor. Those false start penalties are most definitely attributable to the Georgia fan base showing up proud. I am not mad at them but we sure could have used that home crowd advantage in 2017. I hope we show up for “Sunshine” in 2020. I think it is a part of the politically correct way our university seems to be grasping. How sick!

  11. Frank:

    In one of your earlier posts you called out BK for not preparing the Irish for the home crowd at Sanford Stadium. There’s very little you can do to effectively prepare for that type of fanatical home team
    environment ND faced last night. UGA fans are like that when play Vandy! This article recognized the
    difficulty the Irish encountered. You could have stated that in your earlier article.

    You are correct about the relative indifference exhibited by the ND fans at Notre Dame stadium. It’s in the DNA. Controlled Enthusiasm. It’s the exact opposite in Athens, Baton Rouge, and other SEC football
    venues where football is a passion, not entertainment.

    Regards,

    Fitz

  12. ND football has more past than present or future.

    Weak fans that live in the past, settle and make excuse for mediocrity, sell their tickets to opposing fans, etc. Just wait for the thumbs downs and self-righteous retorts to this post!

    An administration that couldn’t care less about the present or future of ND football so long as they can profit from nostalgia.

    An average coaching staff that is always exposed in big games against elite competition.

    And finally a team that lacks elite play makers and depth and has over-rated O and DEs.

    This is the reality of ND football and has been for almost thirty years.

    Just sad, very sad!

  13. Seems to me that if I stood up at some point in the game and someone told me to sit down, I might say “suppose you stand up instead and support these boys when they need it.”

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