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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

Students hit the road for the Michigan game

Excited about this football season's most hyped away game and lured by talk of tailgates, students are packing their bags and hitting the road for Saturday's match-up between Notre Dame and the Michigan Wolverines.

The official fun starts Friday afternoon at the Courthouse Square Apartment complex. The Alumni Association has rented out the second floor ballroom of the former hotel to hold a pep rally and evening gathering where popular Irish foods will be available, according to Chuck Lennon, the president of the Alumni Association. The organization is also sponsoring a tailgate Saturday before the game at the University of Michigan Golf Course. Students, Lennon said, are always welcome.

"After last week's game, it's great to have the students come up," he said, attributing Saturday's victory over Washington State in part to support from students.

Cavanaugh senior Valerie Baur and her friends plan to take Lennon up on his offer. The group of four is driving to Ann Arbor Saturday morning, after winning the right to purchase tickets through the Student Union Board sponsored lottery.

Baur, who decided to wait in the lottery line on a whim, said she was surprised all four in the group were able to get tickets.

"We waited in line for three hours ... and we got there right at three," she said. "There were people there with their entire dorm's IDs in a stack."

For Baur, Saturday's game takes on special meaning as it is her first time seeing the team play outside of Notre Dame Stadium.

"I'm really, really excited because I've never been to an away game and I'm a senior," she said. "I'm excited to see the Irish play in a different stadium."

While Baur and her friends were able to get tickets, other students aren't letting a piece of paper or a 178-mile stretch of pavement stop them from heading to Ann Arbor.

Off-campus senior Christine Armstrong and her friends are driving to the University of Michigan Saturday without tickets. The group plans to finagle tickets Saturday morning but even if they don't succeed the trip should still be fun, Armstrong said.

"We're hoping perhaps that through the [Association] tailgate and mingling with alumni we can score some tickets," she said. "If worse comes to worse we'll watch the game in a bar."

Armstrong and her friends may have a chance of getting into Michigan Stadium.

"Any ticket exchange we get Friday night we will have at the tailgate," Lennon said. "We give students first priority."

The University is determined to get interested students over to Ann Arbor for Saturday's game. Student Activities is sponsoring a bus trip to Michigan for $10 and encouraging people to attend the tailgate.

"We're getting people up there on the bus and hopefully folks will go to the events," said Brian Coughlin, director of Student Activities.

Students, however, who would rather forgo the 2 1/2-hour bus ride, have another option. Notre Dame alum and MSA professor David Melkey is offering to fly two interested students on his four-seater, single-engine Grumman Tiger airplane.

"My wife and I will fly to the games and we have room for a couple more people," he said. "If anyone else wants to ride along they can."

Melkey, who asks passengers to share the cost of traveling expenses, plans to fly to all the away games, except Stanford.

Regardless of whether or not they have tickets or how they're traveling, Notre Dame fans said the weekend is about cheering on the team and having a good time.

"I think anyone who can go to Michigan should," Armstrong said. "It's such a big game coming off with a win last year. We should go support the team."