Catholics vs. Convicts, Jockular and PigTostal

You've heard of the Four Horsemen. The Gipper. Rockne. Any glossary of Notre Dame football would include those terms. But there's another Notre Dame, a campus of Domers and dogbooks. Of Michiana and Mishawaka. Of Bookstore Basketball and the Bengal Bouts. Here then, we present our Underground Notre Dame Glossary. If there's a term we've forgotten, let us know.

31: North-south highway that separates all-female St. Mary's from (until 1972) all-male Notre Dame; along its corridor can be found a bonanza of fast-food joints and hotels.

Third-and-44: Play from the 27-10 loss at Miami in 1989 that lives in infamy; the Hurricanes, leading 17-10 but facing third-and-44 from their own 7, complete a 44-yard bomb; the subsequent Irish loss ended their 23-game win streak and chance at a national championship.

Alumni, Subway: Fighting Irish fans that did not attend Notre Dame (ND)

"Alumni Sucks!" (see: "Dillon Sucks!"): Rallying cry of one of the two largest male dorms on campus that are located adjacent to one another. That's a lot of pent-up testosterone in one space.

An Tostal: Annual spring festival (in Gaelic, "an tostal") that includes mud pits, chariot races and the Bookstore Basketball championship game. Last chance for fun before finals.

Notre Dame's dedicated Marching BandJonathan Daniel /AllsportAmong other accomplishments, the Irish Marching Band has never missed a home game.
Band, Marching: Recognized as the oldest university band in continuous existence; has never missed a home game, beginning with the inaugural home contest versus Michigan in 1887; legendary coach Knute Rockne played flute in non-football performances.

Basketball Tournament, Bookstore: World's largest outdoor 5-on-5 basketball tourney; commences each April with approximately 600 teams; games played regardless of weather conditions; player who best embodies spirit of tourney earns "Mr. Bookstore" award while the one with the worst shooting percentage wins "Hoosier Award;" reigning champion U Got a Bad Draw included former Dublin (Ohio) teammates Chinedum Ndukwe and Brady Quinn.

Bouts, Bengal: Charity boxing tournament, held annually since 1931, which allows entrants to go from studying, say, physical science to pursuing the sweet science in the same day. Past pugilists include Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger as well as All-Americans Ken McAfee and Ross Browner, who met in a heavyweight brawl that is remembered as the best in the history of the tourney. Current All-American gridder Tom Zbikowski, who recently won his professional boxing debut by KO, is not permitted to participate.

Brown, Bobby: Former wide receiver who did not win the Heisman Trophy, but did, by catching a fourth-and-10 pass versus Navy and twisting for a heavily (disputed) first down, keep school's now 42-game win streak versus Midshipmen alive.

Brown, Tim: Former wide receiver/kick returner who did win Heisman Trophy (1987); third all-time in the NFL in receptions (1,094) in an 18-year career spent mostly with the L.A./Oakland Raiders; made an inauspicious freshman debut, fumbling and losing the opening kickoff of the 1984 season versus Purdue.

Bun Run: Annual exercise in streaking undertaken by residents of Zahm Hall, the outcast dorm on campus. Brady Quinn lived in Zahm for two years before transferring to Dillon Hall.

Notre Dame fullback Jerome BettisJonathan Daniel /AllsportJerome Bettis finished his collegiate career with 337 rushing attempts for 1912 yards and 32 receptions for 429 yards.
Bus, The: Alias of Jerome Bettis, a lumbering, linebacker-leveling cannonball of a rusher who led Irish to bowl victories in his final two seasons; ended NFL career with win in Super Bowl XL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now an NFL studio analyst with NBC.

Catholics vs. Convicts: T-shirt manufactured and sold by an enterprising Domer before the 1988 contest against No. 1 Miami. Many incarnations since (see below), but none have topped this one in sales or popularity.

Catholics vs. Creminoles: T-shirt sold around campus before the 1993 game against No. 1 Florida State.

Chicks, SMC: Students at all-female St. Mary's College, conveniently located one mile west of Notre Dame's campus.

Clip, The: Questionable 15-yard penalty against Greg Davis that negated Raghib "Rocket" Ismail's would-be game-winning 91-yard punt return with only 0:43 left against Colorado in the 1991 Orange Bowl. Buffs won 10-9. You be the judge: The Clip

Concert on the Steps: Pre-game (and preview of halftime) concert on the steps of Bond Hall given by the marching band a few hours before kickoff; as any attempt to use the restroom at halftime will result in missing halftime show, this is likely the best opportunity to hear them.

Dance Floor, Portable: Infamous tailgating accessory used by a group of ND MBA students before a home game in 2004. It brought shame upon Domers after, a blog run by Gator fans, posted a video clip of the tailgate early in 2006. On the video, one Irish fan even read a piece of dramatic poetry he wrote. The worst part of it all for many, though, was that Tom Mendoza, namesake of ND's Mendoza College of Business, was one of the dancers.

Dancing Irish: All-female terpsichorean troupe that performs during sporting events; will remind no one of the Los Angeles Laker Girls, but then again, they're a lot better than this.

Davieham: Recognizing former Notre Dame coaches Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham, the term used by Domers and Irish fans for the eight years of (unbearable) mediocrity from 1997 through 2004.

Dead Guy, The: Nickname for Matt Doherty after leaving Notre Dame to become North Carolina's head men's basketball coach. Despite claiming that Doherty "is dead to me," many Irish basketball fans could be heard chuckling after his 2001-02 Tar Heel team finished 8-20.

Dillon Pep Rally: Kicks off each football season with its Thursday night humor in front of Dillon Hall before the first home game. "Crackhead" makes an appearance each year by breaking plates over his forehead.

"Dillon Sucks!" (see: "Alumni Sucks!"): Rallying cry of the other of the two largest male dorms on campus that are located adjacent to one another; can't we all just get along?

Dogbook, Freshman: Before there was Facebook, there was (and still is) the dogbook: a photo album of freshmen from both Notre Dame and St. Mary's that is an invaluable resource in foraging for potential SYR dates.

Domer: Any Notre Dame student.

Dorms, Co-ed: Do not exist at Notre Dame; student editorials appealing to the administration for the creation of such residences are published in The Observer almost weekly.

Drambuie: Scotch whiskey; it is rumored to be a tradition among members of the Irish Guard to down shots of this elixir before performances at football games.

Du Lac: Student code of conduct handbook; like the Ten Commandments, only stricter.

Field, Green: Erstwhile vacant lot that, due to its proximity to dorms, was for decades the most popular staging area for tailgaters; now home to modern classroom buildings and a performing arts center; they paved paradise and took out a parking lot.

Fight Song, Dillon Hall: Expletive-laden fight song of much reviled men's dorm; contains 13 or 14 different profanities, depending upon your description of "whorehouse."

Fourth and Inches: Former student comic strip that ran in The Observer and won fans among Domers for its vitriolic attacks on the price-gouging Hammes Bookstore.

Gipper, The: Not the former player immortalized in "Knute Rockne: All-American"; rather, the sobriquet of a gossip column penned anonymously that appears in each issue of the bi-monthly student magazine, Scholastic; fueled by student tips, it is the juiciest read on campus.

Gordon, David !*#@!: Boston College kicker whose game-ending 41-yard field goal in 1993 gave the Eagles a 41-39 victory and toppled 10-0 Irish from No. 1 spot in polls. Earlier in the fourth quarter the Irish had rallied from a 21-point deficit to take the lead.

Grabavoy, Mary Ann: Former NBC sideline reporter was member of ND's first graduating class to include females; in the movie "Rudy," the coed on whom the title character had a crush, Mary, was actually based on Grabavoy.

Grotto, The: Re-creation of the grotto at Lourdes, France, where the university's namesake is said to have appeared to a teen girl in 1858; popular spot for prayers and picture-taking.

Gug, The: State-of-the-art varsity football complex (weight room, coaches offices, plasma TVs, yada yada). Short for Guglielmino Athletic Complex.

Notre Dame's golden helmetJonathan Daniel /AllsportThe Notre Dame football helmets are repainted every Friday night to ensure they shine for game day.
Helmet Painting: Friday night tradition in which student managers work late into the evening spray-painting the helmets with a fresh gold sheen.

Ho, Reggie: 5-foot-5 walk-on pre-medical student who became a cult hero after kicking four field goals in ND's season-opening 19-17 upset of Michigan in 1988.

Hofman, Emil T.: Translucent-skinned former freshman chemistry professor and Dean of First Year Studies who eschewed exams in favor of seven-point quizzes given each Friday morning; effectively killed Thursday evenings for GPA-conscious freshmen for more than three decades; an institution within an institution, Emil has been affiliated with ND since 1950 and still sits on campus benches talking to students daily.

Holtz, Lou: Former Irish coach who was quick to note that "I'm not that smart, I'm short and skinny, I speak with a lisp and I'm not particularly good-looking;" only Knute Rockne won more games at ND; quick-witted with the press but a martinet on the practice field, Holtz guided the 1988 squad to a 12-0 season and the national championship.

House that Rock Built, The: Darkly funny underground web site devoted to Notre Dame athletics (

Irish Guard: Most exclusive fraternity at a school where fraternities do not exist. Each year ten students are chosen to wear the tartan kilts and perform precision marches as the band performs during football games. Applicants must stand at least 6'2". In 2000 the Guard welcomed its first distaff member, 6'3" Molly Kinder.

Interhall: While a good number of Notre Dame varsity football players will someday play on Sundays, many of their non-varsity classmates already do. Interhall football, which is played in full pads, takes place on autumn Sundays between dorm teams. Occasionally an interhall star, such as fullback Josh Schmidt, is plucked from interhall onto the varsity squad. Schmidt started one game in 2004.

Jeffers, Jeff: A Michiana media fixture who has been broadcasting local sports at WNDU, the NBC affiliate which abuts the ND campus, for more than 30 years. And how can you forget a name such as that?

Jockular: Controversial student comic strip in The Observer that has won popularity by ignoring political correctness. Among Jockular's "crimes" are calling SMC Chicks "parasites," mocking Stephen Hawking's ALS and depicting Charlie Weis demonstrating to the South Bend press corps how to turn water into wine.

LaFortune: Student center in center of campus offering fast-food options, Starbucks and oversized couches upon which to sleep study.

Kegs and Eggs: Students flock to this football Saturday tradition at Turtle Creek, an apartment complex across the street from Notre Dame's soccer stadium. At the feast, you'll be quick to find students wearing "Drinking Irish" shirts with a plea on the back to carry them to Notre Dame Stadium if found passed out on the side of the street.

Leep, Gurley: Would you buy a car from a guy named Gurley? Apparently, a lot of folks would, as Leep, with six dealerships and 14 franchises of cars and trucks, is the unquestioned king of auto sales in Michiana.

Legends: Only on-campus bar/club at ND. Legends hosts concerts and contests during the week and nostalgic alumni on the weekend.

Lounge, The Linebacker: The definitive Domer dive bar, located just a few hundred yards southeast of Notre Dame Stadium, on a wedge-shaped corner. Cramped and easy to stumble home from, the Backer specializes in cheesy tunes ("Oh What a Night") and sleazy attractions (anyone remember "Lingerie Night?"). Added bonus: founded by former gridder Myron Pontios.

Marshmallow Fight: A senior tradition, the melee occurs annually at halftime of the final home game and results in dozens of ejections. In 2004, stadium security did not remove any fans from the stands during the fight because of a quote the head of security made in The Observer that was purportedly misinterpreted as giving tacit approval to the fight.

McCarthy, Officer Tim: Pun-tificating Indiana State Police Sergeant who since 1961 has used wordplay to warn fans during a fourth-quarter timeout of the evils of drunk driving. Sample: "Those who have one more for the road may have a policeman as a chaser."

Michiana: Farm-rich region extending along either side of the Michigan-Indiana border that perennially, for some reason, fails to crack any of those "Top 25 Places to Live in the U.S." lists.

Mishawaka: Town directly east of South Bend; home to University Park mall, where Domers can pick up meet high schoolers. Home of the most popular -- and most influential -- Notre Dame football message board on the internet. The Web site's URL uses the term given to Irish fans across the country.

Observer, The: Daily student newspaper on campus.

Overture, 1812: Tchaikovsky's classic piece has been played at the beginning of the fourth quarter of every home game since Lou Holtz was head coach. Students wave arms extended back and forth and, when Holtz was coach, made "L" signals with both hands. Succeeding coaches received their own signals (e.g., "W"s for Willingham and Weis).

PigTostal: The closest thing to a Greek-life tradition at ND; an off-campus party the morning of the spring football game that attracts hundreds of ham-hungry Domers. Students, knowing it wouldn't be a good idea to drive, often take South Bend's No. 7 bus to and from the event.

Play Like a Champion Today: Blue and gold sign posted at the bottom of the stairwell leading from the locker room to the tunnel inside Notre Dame Stadium. Each player touches the sign as he walks past it (Undergrads at Michigan can be seen wearing "Drink Like a Champion Today" T-shirts).

Quarter Dogs: Very cheap Frankfurters sold at LaFortune beginning every day at midnight; leads to long lines at the register and at the restroom.

Rally in the Alley: Notre Dame's biggest party of the fall semester, held at the aforementioned Turtle Creek on the first Friday of the schoolyear. Along with PigTostal, it is home to the most debauchery at ND.

Reckers: Food joint behind South Dining Hall that stays open 24 hours a day for those who like to wake up early -- and those who need to walk off a few drinks before going to sleep.

Regatta, Fisher Hall: Popular springtime boat race across St. Mary's Lake on campus. Boats must be homemade and propelled by manpower, and sailors must remain inside the craft throughout the crossing.

Regis: Popular morning talk-show host whose affinity for his alma mater (class of '53) is OUTTA CONTROL! Responsible for introducing millions of 40-year-old-plus females to Notre Dame football.

Revue, Keenan: Annual skit-based show staged by the residents of Keenan Hall that is performed on three consecutive nights in late January; tickets are free but the 1,300-seat theater is always full; arguably the toughest ticket, football games included, at ND. The guy who wrote the Snickers "Chefs" ad and the FedEx boardroom ("No, I did this") ad got his start writing sketches for this show.

Notre Dame quarterback Tony RiceJonathan Daniel /AllsportTony Rice quarterbacked the Irish to 23 straight victories over the course of 1988 and '89.
Rice, Tony: Run-oriented option QB who led Irish to 23 straight victories in 1988 and '89; appeared on three Sports Illustrated covers in one season ('88); first Proposition 48 student-athlete to be admitted to school; less-than-accurate passer of whom his coach Lou Holtz once said, "If the ball had been a hand grenade on some of our passes, none of our receivers would have been injured;" finished fourth in the 1989 Heisman race but never played a down in the NFL.

Robot Genius: Term of affection used for Charlie Weis by students because they believe no human could possibly design the offensive schemes Notre Dame utilizes.

Rock, The: Abbreviated nickname for "Rockne Memorial Gymnasium," the old-school student rec center located at the western end of the South Quad.

Rudy: Popular 1993 film starring future Hobbit Sean Astin as former walk-on football player Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who achieved his lifelong dream of playing for Notre Dame; dressed out for final game of his senior year, got in on final series, and recorded one sack versus Georgia Tech.

Shark: Nickname of All-American wide receiver and varsity baseball pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
Wide receiver Jeff SamardzijaJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJeff Samardzija excels at both of the varsity sports he plays at Notre Dame.

Shirt, The: Unofficial official student wear for the past 16 Notre Dame football seasons. The Shirt is designed by a new student each year, and sale proceeds benefit charity. The 2005 shirt was the most unpopular shirt ever, featuring a mustard-yellow design with a homer-ific phrase on the back -- a Joe Theismann quote -- that made even the most boastful of Irish fans blush.

Snowball Fight, North vs. South: On the evening of the school year's first snowfall, combatants from North Quad descend on South Quad to engage in snowball contretemps; eventually adversaries band together and stage blizzard blitzkrieg on Dillon Hall.

Stonehenge: Nickname given to the war memorial with a fountain on Notre Dame's campus. Before big games and home openers, students often dye the water in the fountain green. After big wins, students often play slip-and-slide within the confines of the fountain.

SYR: An acronym for "Screw Your Roommate," a dorm-sponsored dance where you set your roomie up with a blind date and vice versa. Heyyy ... What did you think it meant?

Touchdown JesusMatthew Stockman /AllsportFootball is a sport in most areas of the United States, but in South Bend, it's a religion.
Touchdown Jesus: Mural adorning the south side of the 12-story Hesburgh Memorial Library that is directly north of Notre Dame Stadium; Jesus's arms are raised, signifying either his ascendance to heaven or that the field goal is good.

"Trojans Break": Simple slogan on the front of many a T-shirt the week before ND takes on USC.

"True Life: I Want the Perfect Body": MTV series on which Notre Dame offensive lineman Ryan Harris appeared the summer before his freshman season. Harris detailed his workout schedule as he tried to gain enough weight to start at tackle.

U93: Timeless (as in, the record library is never updated) local radio station where acts such as such as John Mellencamp, REO Speedwagon and Survivor live forever.

We are ND: Simple, emphatic cheer heard often during football games from student section.

We is ND: Simple, sarcastic cheer heard often during football games from student section when Charlie Weis calls a popular play.

Wendt, George: School's most famous dropout, who in his brief time in South Bend behaved much like the character that would later bring him fame and fortune on "Cheers"; ardent ND fan.

We're No. 1 Moses (or "Go For 1" Moses): Larger-than-life statue of Old Testament figure statue located at entrance of Hesburgh Memorial Library; the statue's right hand is extended skyward, his index finger raised.

Zorich, Chris: Undersized All-American nose tackle who brought the mean to Irish defenses from 1987-1990; attended same high school as Dick Butkus; after an NFL career with his hometown Chicago Bears, he returned to ND and earned a law degree. Poll

  • Is Darius Walker making a mistake by skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft?
© 2007 NBC Universal. All rights reserved. Any use reproduction, modification, distribution, display or performance of this material without NBC Universal's prior written consent is prohibited.