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Touring The House Rockne Built

Oct 30, 2013, 5:24 PM EDT

Marco1

Marco Serna is a social media intern at the University of Notre Dame. A 2012 graduate of University of Texas at San Antonio, Marco had never been to the campus of Notre Dame or seen snow until beginning work at the University in early October. Being new to Notre Dame, the Notre Dame ticket office provided Marco with the opportunity to take a tour of Notre Dame Stadium through their new daily tours which started last summer. Here is Marco’s journey through Notre Dame Stadium through his eyes…

There are certain things that we all want to experience, whether it be to go to the Grand Canyon or experience a game at historic Fenway Park. From the time I arrived in South Bend from a small school (University of Texas at San Antonio) where football is just starting to become king, it was apparent that “ I wasn’t in Kansas anymore”.

Football is religion here and it’s cathedral is Notre Dame stadium and being given the opportunity to take one of the tours was something that I could not help but jump at. I am not going to lie to you the most I knew about Notre Dame football was what I had seen on ESPN Classic and the movie Rudy. So I guess you could say I was in for a huge education of Notre Dame football and the game of football in general.

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Marco By The “Play Like A Champion” Sign

The day of the tour was exciting for me. I felt like a 6-year-old hearing we were going on a field trip to the local aquarium. I could not tell you the feelings that came over me walking through the gates of the stadium and feeling like I have to be quiet not to wake the ghosts of years past who had played on the hallowed ground. I stood there as our tour guide went through every all-american player, legendary coach and Heisman Trophy recipient and could not help but brush all the nostalgia away from me. I was in awe of this place because in my mind this is where football had started. I couldn’t get any of this type of history at my school, so for me it was like stepping in Doc Brown’s DeLorean and gunning it to 88mph and arriving on November 8th 1887.

Before the tour, the closest thing I could get to Notre Dame stadium was watching the scene from Rudy where Sean Astin recreates the famous Knute Rockne speech. Now, I was actually in the locker room where Hall of Famers and Heisman Trophy winners once dressed. I even got to tap the “ Play like a Champion Today” sign, which not only was surreal but left a grin on my face from ear to ear. This tour was amazing and I dare anyone to not walk away from it without having some sense of awe and wonderment.

Thanks to Notre Dame athletics, I can now check this one off the bucket list.

If you would like more information on how to take a walk through storied Notre Dame Stadium, click here to learn how.

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