Behind Enemy Lines: A UGA-ND look at Football Game Day

At two of the biggest football schools in the country, the traditions surrounding gameday are sacred ceremonies held in the highest esteem of fans around the country. Each campus becomes a mini country each Saturday, with populations increasing by the thousands and a sort of energy that permeates even the most boring of lectures on those Football Friday afternoons. So what happens when you go to an away game- effectively entering enemy territory? That’s what UGA HerCampus Writer Kendall Lake experienced this past weekend when she made the trek to visit friends at Notre Dame. We may not be able to agree on the outcome of the game, but we can both definitely agree that when the traditions of our two schools mix, it can be pretty cool to watch.

Pre Game Vibe

HCUGA: Notre Dame is a classic college campus with beautiful green quads everywhere you turn, but on this particular weekend, the land of the Irish was completely infiltrated with red. However, because I was with a senior student at Notre Dame, I got a taste of the campus before the red shirts swarmed in. Getting to see Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome in person after seeing them in so many pictures was great!

HCND: This game was particularly interesting because although it’s pretty typical to have a ton of visitors on campus, this week it seemed like half of Georgia showed up for the game. There was so much red everywhere you looked, which I’m sure was pretty intimidating to our football guys. It was definitely fun to see all the opposing team fans marveling at how pretty our campus is though. It’s a good reminder that we live in a pretty cool place.

Traditions: HCND: Notre Dame has some pretty cool traditions like Midnight Drummer’s Circle and the band’s march out in the morning. They’re the type of things though, that once you’ve seen them, you stay far far away.  I definitely avoid those areas on a game weekend due to the insane amounts of people.

HCUGA: My Notre Dame friend has some of the best school spirit I’ve ever encountered, so we definitely took part in some of ND’s most popular game day traditions. We even spent an hour sitting on the ground to get seats for the Midnight Drummer’s Circle, an event that kicks off the start of game day with a crazy performance by the marching band’s drum section.


HCND: Tailgating at a home game is always a blast because I have a pretty set routine for a successful game days. I know which tailgates have the best food and I make those my priority. Basically tailgating at home involves me just hopping around looking for the best snacks.

HC UGA: Tailgating in South Bend was a very different experience than in Athens. Back home, streets, lawns, and parking lots all across town are absolutely covered with bulldawg fans. Everywhere you look, there’s a tailgate, and some of them might be pretty far from the stadium. I’ve been known to walk over a mile to a good cookout! On the other hand, my family did a tailgate with an RV up in South Bend, and my friend said the five-minute walk was “too far away.” At Notre Dame, because most of the students live on campus, the tailgating is more enclosed. A couple of parking lots become absolutely packed with fans tailgating, but they don’t spread out as much across campus.

Cheering on your team

HCND: Ideally, a home game means that your side cheers the loudest, is the most put together. This week was bit tough with UGA fans taking up a good number of seats. I have to hand it to them, that cellphone light thing at the end of the third quarter was pretty sweet.

HC UGA: Cheering on the dawgs from among the Irish was an awkward experience, but I absolutely loved getting to take part in another school’s football traditions. I did an Irish jig in the stands, helped someone do push-ups in the air after a touchdown, and fake-laughed at a safety pun in memory of a beloved police officer. But don’t get me wrong--I rooted for my team! I wore my UGA button with (secretive) pride, sang along to our band, and cheered while we lit up the field to kick off the fourth quarter.

The AftermathHCND: Losing at home. It’s the worst.

HC UGA: Nothing beats a win over a huge football rival. However, watching your team win from the middle of the opposing student section is a bittersweet experience; I could feel their disappointment because I’ve been in their shoes. But that certainly didn’t stop me from cheering, chanting, and flaunting our victory to my ND friends.

Stay Cheering Collegiettes, XOXO


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Images: 1, 2, 3, 4 (provided by authors), 5