12 Fighting Irish Facts

Of course for fans of the Fighting Irish, the extraordinary history of the team is seared into our hearts, but although it sounds unlikely, not everyone knows a lot about the Irish. Here is a short top 12 that will help you explain the team to those less fortunate.

1. The Fighting Irish played their first season in 1887, and they play in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level.

2. Football was first brought to the university by the Michigan Wolverines football team.

3. The team’s colors are ‘Madonna blue’ and ‘Papal gold’, with green worn in honor of the team mascot, the Notre Dame Leprechaun.

4. Team members mostly practice either at the Cartier Field or the Guglielmino Athletics Complex (aka the gug) their two training grounds.

5. The team play at the Notre Dame Stadium, which first opened in 1930 and with a capacity of 80,795.

6. The stadium is famous for the Touchdown Jesus that pokes over the top of the stands. The image is a resurrected Jesus, who’s hands happen in the same position as a referee signalling a touchdown.

7. The Touchdown Jesus is on the side of the Hesburgh Library and was painted by the Californian artist Millard Sheets in 1964.

8 The Notre Dame University football team picked up the name Fighting Irish in the early 1920s, and the famous leprechaun mascot was designed in 1964.

9. The team have won won 11 national championships, produced 96 All-Americans and 7 Heisman Trophy winners, which is more than any of their rivals in the Subdivision.

10. The Band of Fighting Irish, composed of 350 members, lead the team onto the field before each home match.

11. The University of Southern California Trojans are the primary rivals of the Fighting Irish and the teams have been playing each other since 1926.

12. The Fighting Irish and USC fight yearly for the Jeweled Shillelagh, an irish cudgel or club. A trophy that was introduced in 1952.