Notre Dame’s home football weekends begin with the Friday night pep rally. The rally for the Michigan game was unique for quite a few reasons.
In addition to Coach Kelly and the team addressing the students and fans that came early, those in attendance also enjoyed free Hawaiian leis to support Manti, a live performance of Warriors, college basketball sportscaster and basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale emceeing the event, and a backdrop of Touchdown Jesus.
Here is a photo recap of the event, which will certainly be one of the more memorable pep rallies of my years at Notre Dame.
What’s the best thing to wear the weekend you play Michigan? Nothing is better than this classic.
Here is a view of the stage about an hour before the rally.
Those that arrived early for good spots kill time with the Cha Cha Slide.
Half hour until the rally begins, all of the other dorms file in representing their hall colors and supporting Manti with leis.
Here is a view of the crowd and Notre Dame Stadium from the stage.
Great turnout from both the student body and fans that came early.
The leprechaun and cheerleaders kick off the rally.
Bryce Burton pumps up the crowd with some unfriendly words for Michigan.
Some players from the women’s soccer team reminding the Leprechaun Legion to come watch them after the rally (They won! Beat Pitt 2-1.)
Santiago x The Natural perform for the crowd.
Dick Vitale expresses his love for the University of Notre Dame.
Dickie V stirs up the crowd claiming that the Irish are back in the spotlight.
Vitale introduces the 1977 National Championship team, remembering how they took down the seemingly unstoppable Texas Longhorns.
Ross Browner spoke on behalf of the ’77 team, showing appreciation for the student body’s spirit towards ND football.
Vitale introduces the current squad and embraces head coach Brian Kelly.
Coach Kelly thanks the crowd for support and reiterates that the team knows they are capable of something special this year.
With the crowd holding up “5’s” for Manti, coach gives his star linebacker the mic to address the crowd.
After a moment of silence and fighting back tears, Te’o expresses his gratitude and how happy he is he chose to play for Notre Dame.
Linebacker Prince Shembo is the defensive player who spoke at the rally, cracking up the crowd and the players on stage over his bike seat being stolen.
Tight end Troy Niklas was the offensive player who spoke, warning that in order to get pumped up, he needs to take his shirt off…
…So he did. #SwolePatrol
Niklas said in order to succeed, you have to learn to “Love the Pain”.
The rally concluded with Vitale joining the team and Kelly in the alma mater.