When you grow up around South Bend, you learn a phrase from a young age: “Ann Arbor is a … ”, well, you know the rest.
It’s a brotherly hate between these two programs. Neither one will ever say anything nice about the other, but they’ll always want to play.
While the three-year hiatus of the series is coming to an end, the hate never stopped. Quite frankly, next to winning, the second best thing to happen on Saturdays is watching the rival lose.
A ticket to the Notre Dame versus Michigan season opener is going to set you back a few months rent, but that’s nothing new. This matchup always sells tickets.
Known for playing in the “Big House”, Michigan had some trouble finding guests for their games in 1968. Average attendance at a Michigan home game was just under 68,000. Mind you the capacity was 101,000.
Looking to fill those seats, Michigan knew bringing Notre Dame in would be a sure sell-out.
These two programs have redefined what primetime meant. For both schools, the first game under the lights was against each other. For Notre Dame, that day came in 1982. The Wolverines took a little longer to get with the times, but in 2011, they welcomed in the Irish for the first night game at the Big House.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
It’s never really been about trying to sell tickets. It’s about hard-nosed classic football and the fans love it.
In 1988 the Notre Dame crowd was so loud that they received a penalty for it. Yes, that is a thing that actually happened in a D-1 college football game. This being the same game that Reggie Ho knocked in four field goals — including the game winner.
In 1992 we saw just how bad these teams wanted to win against each other. Reggie Brooks capped off a crazy run as he unconsciously fell into the end zone. He literally took a hit so hard he went unconscious and still found a way to score.
More recently, the hate has been about disrespect. Once Notre Dame came to an agreement with the ACC, some games had to give. Michigan happened to be one of them.
Brady Hoke took to the issue saying that Notre Dame was “chickening out”. The last time the Irish played at Michigan, the Chicken Dance was played at the stadium.
Of course, Notre Dame got the last laugh, as the last time these two met — in South Bend — the Irish faithful chanted, “Na na na na, Na na na na, Hey hey hey, Goodbye!”
While a last-second score was taken away from the Irish and the scoreboard read 37-0, Notre Dame had to settle with the 31-0 victory.
Notre Dame fans continue to remind Wolverine fans that Michigan hasn’t scored on them in five years.
Let the bad blood return September 1st.