Happy St Paddy’s day!!! Over here in Indiana, St Paddy’s is a pretty big celebration, with Chicago hosting one of the worlds largest events, filled with parades, and green stuff. Notre Dame has an adopted Irish heritage, so often many Americans decide to be Irish for a little while. There have been all sorts of green paraphernalia in the shops, with green food items, green rinks, green clothes and green decorations.
Our neighbour has consistently had some kind of decoration all year around, and the green glittery shamrock has adorned their door for a little while.
Last week Kiwi and I took advantage of the many sports available on campus and went to see a live basketball match. I don’t know a great deal about basketball, I’ve played a handful of times but have played lots more netball and Korfball. I expected a fast paced game and a high score. The basketball court is extremely shiny, and the spectator stands are vast. Obviously there were marching bands to lead on the start and at every interval.
The fighting Irish – and I wiki’d this whilst watching the game, turns out haven’t really got a good background story as to how they became the Fighting Irish, or any strong ties with Ireland. They had many monikers but eventually the fighting Irish stuck, due to having a president with Irish links at the time and some press coverage, or it could have been as the area was known for a high population of Irish soldiers. They play in blue and gold, whilst the supporting marching band wear green, and there is always at least one person dressed up as a Leprechaun. The court is decorated with a large shamrock.
The Irish were playing Boston college or better known as the Eagles, the first half went pretty heavily in ND’s favour, but the Eagles fought back for a pretty close match towards the end. Watching the game was interesting, the coaches – all male! were aggressive and shouty, and lots of time outs were called where chairs would be brought onto the court, and players would sit in a circle, presumably they had a pep talk and pointed out some improvements.
At half time my favourite part – the marching band didn’t disappoint with a quick performance. This was swiftly followed by actual Irish dancers. About 30 females and 1 guy waltzed onto court and performed very energetic Irish dancing all dressed in black and wearing what I can only describe as ‘mop’ hair, wigs that reminded me of Rosie from Rosie and Jim *. The Irish dancing was pretty eventful if not a little bizarre. There were also lots of cheerleaders performing some impressive routines, and several students who had giant faces in the crowd – actual faces, blown up like a poster cut out, being waved around. Oh and the actual game was pretty interesting too, although I think I prefer to watch ice hockey!
* A random English kids tv programme about two rag dolls who lived on a barge boat – obviously
One great aspect of living in a university town, is living in one where the university is one of the most prestigious and definitely the most expensive in the country. This means there’s usually all sorts of things going on and lots of exciting sports. The facilities at the university are pretty impressive for the number of students, and the standard of matches is fairly high. We went along to Compton ice arena and instead of ice skating watched a game of ice hockey!
Neither of us had watched live ice hockey before at a proper venue, and it was certainly over the top and spectacular. There was a marching band – I’m beginning to think these are mandatory at all sports events. They gave lots of life in between random commentary and the game itself. The fighting Irish were playing New Hampshire and both teams were pretty good. In the end the Irish took victory although New Hampshire looked the stronger team for the first two periods. Having played field hockey for many years it was interesting to watch, I may even give it a go and learn how to play on the ice.
We also had a treat of some South Bend Chocolates and a pretzel, this time without the weird gloopy cheese and enjoyed watching the fast paced game and people bashing against the sides of the walls.