Saturday, October 4, 2014

Touchdown Jesus

As former Hoosiers, Evelyn and I still enjoy watching Notre Dame football on TV. Today they beat Stanford, against all odds. The Irish were trailing 10-14. It was 4th and eleven, with 61 seconds left on the clock, when Everett Golson threw a 23 yard touchdown pass to Ben Kayack, who caught it in the end zone. What a thrilling moment! But what happened afterward was even better.

Notre Dame's Hesburg Library was the biggest university library in the United States when it opened in 1963. The side of the library facing the football stadium is covered by a giant mural of the resurrected Jesus with his arms raised in the same fashion a referee would signify a touchdown. Visible from many stadium seats, it's nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus."

Does the iconic mural affect the outcome of games? Probably not. But the attitude of Notre Dame players might. After each victorious home game, the fighting Irish don't rush to the showers. They gather with arms on each other's shoulders to sing their Alma Mater. Fans also stand with arms on each other's shoulders and sing along with them, slowly swaying from side to side. Here are the lyrics. If you've never seen such a post-game ceremony, click this link to watch and listen.

Notre Dame, Our Mother
Tender, Strong, and True
Proudly in the Heavens
Gleams Thy Gold and Blue
Glory's Mantle Cloaks Thee
Golden is Thy Fame
And Our Hearts Forever 
Praise Thee, Notre Dame
And Our Hearts Forever
Love Thee Notre Dame

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