I saw some “You Gotta Believe” signs when I was in Chicago during the time of the playoffs last week. Ain't it the truth.
For ten years since I've been out of college I've wanted to go to an SC v Notre Dame football game in South Bend. For those of you who don’t know, I went to the University of Southern California and got degrees in Journalism and Communications. I had been to South Bend twice before when I was a cymbal player in the Trojan Marching Band. Enough backstory, the Notre Dame football game is the best place to watch an SC game, hands down. Sure some people might prefer the UCLA rivalry, but not me. I love the Irish at Notre Dame. They are a class act and it is my favorite game of the year.
When I heard that my tour for Sand in My Bra would take me out here during game time, I had to work it out so that I could go. Tickets on Ebay were selling in the $250 range so that was not an option. I was told by other band alum that it would be easy to get tickets at our Friday night Rally or even at the stadium on game day. Great, sounded good to me.
Well there must’ve been 2000 SC fans in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on rally night. As far as I could see there were only people holding up signs saying they were looking for tickets.
On the drive out to South Bend the next morning, I still kept the faith that we’d get in. Didn’t even doubt it. When we got there I was surprised to see so many people walking around with their two fingers up. They weren’t doing the SC victory sign, either. Every few steps leading up to the stadium and encircling the stadium were fans from both teams looking for tickets. Scalpers wanted $250. We went to Will Call where they sold tickets if there were extras.
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I stood in line while Leigh checked out the scene. A Notre Dame man in an official looking get up said that there were no tickets and should leave. I still believed we’d get in, and stayed while half the line left. Leigh found a room where we could watch the game on big screen. The game had already started, but I wanted to wait in line for fifteen more minutes. There were lots of SC people in the line ahead of us so she went to see if we knew any of them. Sure enough, they were band alum and had marched with her sister. She was able to stay with them and they got us two tickets at face value, $48 ea. Good ole Trojan family coming through like always. The booth only had 60 extra tickets to sell so it was doubtful we’d have gotten in where I was standing.
Regardless, we went in and had a blast. The funny thing is that the Irish are so well mannered that Leigh and I had to heckle our own band. We just couldn’t believe that the for the half time show SC did a routine to Gloria Estefan. I was embarrassed for them and shouted, “Who cares?!” The Irish played some old song too and needed their sheet music to do it. But the everyone in the crowd was singing when they played Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.”
Here are some pictures from the game and post game.
All in all is was a great experience as anticipated. I was happy to be there, excited to get into the game, and even happier that we won. The band sounds better than in recent years, especially the drums. I thought about going up to the cymbal players but figured I was too long gone for them to have heard any stories about me. The only thing that would’ve made the game better was beer and a diamond vision. The best thing about the game was that the sausages were only $3.00!