Oct 3, 2013, 8:55 AM EST
Mike Franz, the official 2013-14 men’s basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at the Holy Cross College. Over the course of the year Mike will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories about Irish athletic squads . You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.
Wednesday marked the inaugural ACC sporting event inside Purcell Pavilion as the Notre Dame volleyball team faced off against the Duke Blue Devils. Although Notre Dame fell to the Blue Devils 3-1, this was an extremely exciting ACC match-up in the Purcell Pavilion, one of many to come for the Irish. On a night of firsts, another first was this being the first sporting event with the new leprechaun statue in the building.
Notre Dame is all about traditions: From the football players smacking the “Play Like A Champion Today” sign to students rubbing Knute Rockne’s nose in the Rock. The addition of this new leprechaun statue just beyond Gate 10 of the Purcell Pavilion may be the start to the newest tradition for Notre Dame students.
Being located at the very gate where students pour in to go see the Fighting Irish play basketball and volleyball, it is the opportune spot for a new tradition to flourish. Depicting the school’s mascot, this statue symbolizes everything Notre Dame stands for.
Last Friday at the statue’s unveiling, Tim Merck, who along with his family, donated money for this statue to be erected, said, “We hope and trust that this beautiful leprechaun will remind everyone of the fighting spirit of Notre Dame that started back when Father Sorin founded the school, and we hope that it will live on.”
Tonight I found myself, when I walked by the statue, rubbing the gold buckles on the leprechaun’s loafers for good luck both when I entered the building and left after the volleyball match. Although this may not be the actual tradition that will become embedded into Notre Dame’s culture, it certainly is exciting to be a part of the Leprechaun Legion with a new tradition being born right before our eyes.
This new leprechaun was sculpted at a perfect time in the Notre Dame school year with the men and women’s basketball teams beginning to practice in preparation for their first ACC campaigns. Being the premiere season in a new conference, every game Notre Dame athletics plays this year will be a new experience for Irish faithful to have and this leprechaun statue will add to the excitement.
Wanting to get the opinion of a real leprechaun, I asked Leprechaun Lou what it’s like to be the guy in the green suit for Notre Dame’s first game with the Atlantic Coast Conference at the Purcell Pavilion. He said, “It’s special. If Notre Dame and the ACC maintain a healthy relationship, it will be special to say I was here as the Leprechaun for the first game.”
Notre Dame’s next chance to implant this leprechaun statue in the Irish tradition will be Friday as the Notre Dame Volleyball team takes on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest at 7:00 p.m. (ET). If you come to the game, be sure to rub the leprechaun’s gold buckles on his loafers for good luck!!
- Football. McGlinchey, Nelson Named First-Team FWAA All-Americans
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Up To #3 In Both Polls
- W. Tennis. Robinson Snares First Career Professional Crown
- Cross Country. Irish Signee Dylan Jacobs Wins Foot Locker National Championship
- Track & Field. Irish Signee Dylan Jacobs Wins Foot Locker National Championship
- Football. McGlinchey, Nelson Named First-Team AP All-Americans
- M. Golf. Alum Mark Baldwin Excels at Web.com Tour Qualifying
- M. Basketball. Replay: No Ho-Hum Homecoming for Brey
- M. Ice Hockey. #4 Irish Remain Perfect In B1G Play With 6-2 Win Over #12 Wisconsin
- M. Basketball. Offensive Onslaught Propels Irish To 92-68 Win At Delaware
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- 6️⃣ first-quarter scorers gave @ndwbb a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a win on the road at Penn on Saturday.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 7 hours ago
- Go behind-the-scenes of @NDmbb's win at Delaware in the latest episode of Irish Access Extra! #GoIrish https://t.co/L3egE1azLU 8 hours ago
- After sweeping No. 1️⃣2️⃣ Wisconsin, No. 3️⃣ @NDHockey is the only team in the country without a loss on the road.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 9 hours ago
- For @NDFencing's senior captains Jonah Shainberg and Hazem Khazbak, faith is what builds championship-level bonds.… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 10 hours ago
- Matt Farrell's game-high 24 points led @NDmbb to victory in @NDMikeBrey's return to Delaware, the site of his first… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 11 hours ago