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A History of Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish

A History of Notre Dame – The Fighting Irish

How the school football team gained the nickname “Fighting Irish” isn’t exactly known,some stories say it was back in 1899 others say 1909. Whenever it was the Notre Dame football team has used it as rallying call to victory & by 1927 then university president Rev.Matthew Walsh, C.S.C. , officially adopted the nickname.

During the years 1887-1893 they had no coach yet still had an impressive 7-3-1 record. From 1918-1930 the “Knute Rockne” Years the Fighting Irish had a more impressive record, winning 105 out of 122 games while he was coach. In 1924 Notre Dame won the Rose Bowl over Stanford with a final score of 27-10.That victory was the first of 8 for the school.

Over the years the Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships, produced 96 All-Americans and 7 Heisman Trophy winners. The school itself is independent & plays all of it’s home games at Notre Dame stadium,all of these are shown on T.V. by NBC.

The shool colors are Navy blue & gold with the alternate green/gold jerseys as well.After 122 years of football the school can boast of a record 103 winning seasons. They hold the record of most consecutive wins over a single opponent with 43 against the USNA (U.S. Naval Academy).

In 1913 in the game against the Army, the Fighting Irish unleashed the “forward pass” this move ,although legal for seven years , had been veiwed as risky and gimmicky by most of the Eastern teams. Knute Rockne & QB Gus Dorais helped to popularize the maneuver as a staple of their offense.It worked as ND beat the Army 35-13.

1935 proved to be a good year for the team as a much anticipated game against Ohio State when the Irish came back from a 13-0 deficit in the 4th quarter to an impressive 18-13 victory with seconds remaining.

The official mascot of the Notre Dame team hasn’t always been the Leprechuan,before 1965 when it was formally adopted,the mascot had been a series of Irish Terrier dogs called “Clashmore Mike”.

The colors of the jerseys has always been blue or green although it seems as if green jerseys were bad luck being as almost every time they were worn the team lost.

The rivalry between Michigan & Notre Dame has been going on since 1887 when they lost to the Wolverines 8-0.Of course ND came back to win in 1909 and the Wolverines refused to play them for 33 years after,the ostensible reason;” questionable academic eligibility of Notre Dame’s players”.

Of course the school itself has a long history dating back to 1842 when it was opened as “a school for young men of any religious persuasion”.When the Michigan wolverines decided to challenge the young school to a football game in 1887, they effectivly laid the foundation for not only a long standing rivalry,but an institution of winning which the ND Fighting Irish are known for.Today the school has the most members in the College Football Hall of Fame & is tied with Ohio State for Heisman trophies won.

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