“Strong bodies fight so that weak bodies may be nourished”
The 2012 Bengal Bouts final matches will be held Saturday, March 3rd, at 7:00pm in the Joyce Center. Bengal Bouts is an annual intramural boxing tournament that raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh. While the first student tournament was in 1932, charity boxing matches for the Bengal Missions date back to the 1920s.
In the 1920s and 1930s, sporting matches of all kinds were organized as a means to raise funds for deserving causes. This was no less true at Notre Dame and a favorite charity among the students was the Holy Cross work in Bangladesh. In 1921, the students of Brownson Hall organized a smoker that featured “boxing, wrestling, a tribute to Coach Rockne, and a talk by Father O’Donnell,” and raised $150 for the Bengal Missions. In 1922 and 1923, Brother Alan arranged the Bengalese Boxing Bouts with exhibitions of outside boxers.
February 12, 1932, marked the first annual “Scholastic Boxing Show,” organized by the student magazine Scholastic with Notre Dame students making up the contenders. This first tournament was set up more like an interhall match, with representatives from each dorm making up the contestants. Nearly two thousand people from the University and surrounding communities made up the audience, which was a record attendance for a boxing match at Notre Dame.
The continued success of Bengal Bouts would not have been possible without the oversight of Dominick “Nappy” Napolitano (1907-1986). Nappy trained and mentored nearly every student boxer for more than fifty years. He made sure the fights were clean and fair, which was often in contrast to the culture surrounding professional boxing. As Budd Schulberg witnessed in 1955, “You’ll see boys battling harder for the University championships than some heavyweights have fought for the championship of the world. You will see contestants beautifully conditioned and boxing under rules of safety precaution that have precluded any serious injury in the quarter-century history of the bouts. Here are boys who will fight their hearts out in the five-day tournament for pride and the pure sport of it” [Sports Illustrated].
In the end, the Bengal Missions are the perennial winners of the Bengal Bouts. For over eighty years, these boxing matches have helped the Congregation of Holy Cross to provide service to the poor of Bangladesh by establishing and maintaining medical dispensaries and educational institutions.
Early morning January 24, 1992, the Notre Dame women’s swim team was returning to campus from a meet at Northwestern University. Just a few miles from the Notre Dame exit on the Indiana Toll Road, the bus carrying the team hit a patch of ice, skidded off the road, and flipped onto its side.
Front page of the 01/27/1922 issue of The Observer
after the Women’s Swim Team bus accident
Freshmen Margaret (Meghan) Beeler and Colleen Hipp died on the scene. Fellow freshman Haley Scott sustained a severe spinal injury, which left her temporarily paralyzed. Most of the swimmers and staff aboard the bus also suffered injuries, though not as severe as the three freshmen. Scott recently wrote a book, What Though the Odds, recounting the tragic accident and her long, painful recovery. Production of a movie of Scott’s story is currently underway.
A memorial mass for Beeler and Hipp will be said at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 8:00pm.
Charles “Lefty” Smith, a long-time fixture at Notre Dame, passed away Tuesday, January 3, 2012. In 1968, the club hockey team, then coached by students, was on the verge of becoming varsity, after a long history oscillating through non-existence, club, and varsity status. Notre Dame snagged Lefty Smith as the first varsity hockey coach in the modern era. He was coaching the South St. Paul High School team and was “considered the top high school coach in the state [Minnesota], and has produced teams with impressive records” [Dome yearbook 1968, page 197].
Hockey Coach Charles “Lefty” Smith, c1970s
Lefty coached the varsity hockey team for 19 seasons, racking up a number of accolades. His demeanor was relaxed and approachable, yet he held high expectations on and off the ice. It was important to Lefty that his student athletes earn a college degree, more important than winning games.
Hockey Coach Charles “Lefty” Smith teaching techniques to a group of boys on the ice during a youth sports camp, 1978/0720
Lefty was also instrumental in facilitating youth hockey camps, which opened the world of hockey to a new generation of athletes in the South Bend community. Undoubtedly, he instilled in them the same virtues of sportsmanship, competition, discipline, and respect that he left with many of those with whom he interacted. In a 1974 interview with Scholastic, Lefty said, “You know the old, shopworn cliches between sports and life; well, it seems to me there is a definite correlation between the discipline and attitude which good competitive sports breed and the principles by which I wish to live by.”
Sources: Dome yearbook
“More than a Hockey Coach,” by Bob Kissel, Scholastic, 12/13/1974, pages 16-28 GASI 6/33 GPHR 35m/05511
Notre Dame football has sometimes been controversial, and the 1961 game against Syracuse was no exception. When the defense commits a penalty, the offense is usually compensated with a replay of downs and/or gained yardage. However, before this game, the rules were murky regarding how to handle a defensive penalty when time had expired. In the case of the 1961 Syracuse game, this meant the difference between a win and a loss that wouldn’t be resolved for months afterward.
Trailing 14-15 with only a few seconds left on the clock, Notre Dame sent in kicker Joe Perkowski to attempt a 56-yard field goal. He missed soundly as time expired, but there were flags on the field. Syracuse player Walt Sweeney was called for roughing the kicker, a penalty that carried a charge of fifteen yards. The gained yardage would put Perkowski in better position, although it would not be easy. Since time had expired on the previous play, it wasn’t obvious Perkowski would even get a second attempt. The Syracuse fans had already started to rush the field to celebrate their victory.
The officials had to make an on-the-spot decision about how to handle the foul, and they decided to enforce the standard penalty for roughing the kicker. Even though time had expired, Notre Dame kicker Joe Perkowski was given fifteen yards and a second attempt, and he kicked the game-winning, 41-yard field goal.
As can be imagined, not everyone was happy with this impromptu decision. The legality of the extra play was shortly afterwards contested by the Big 10 and Eastern College Athletic Conferences, who supplied the officials for the game, and the NCAA rules chairman General Bob Neyland. Review of the game film and the rules books led many to question the referees’ decisions. Did Walt Sweeney really rough the kicker and place holder? Since the initial kick was far from its target, which team actually had possession when the foul occur? In the end, neither the conferences nor the NCAA had the power to overturn the Irish win, leaving the game officials with the final say and the Irish with a win for the record books. The rules were changed in 1962 to prevent any future confusion should a similar circumstance arise.
Scholastic Football Review, 1961
Joe Ceryak Scrapbook, 1961
“Irish Reject Illegal Victory Ruling: Ask Again for Judgment by Full NCAA Committee,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 1961/1129
“Irish-Syracuse Debate May Cause Rule Change for 1962 Grid Season,” Chicago Daily Defender, 1961/1220
“NCAA Rejects Irish Proposal on Officiating,” The Washington Post, Times Herald, 1962/0114 GPHR 45/8420
Notre Dame welcomes the Southern California football team this Saturday, continuing the 85-year storied rivalry. When the teams are both doing well, as they are this year, the excitement is palpable as fans flock to campus days before the game. With the anticipation of another great match-up, tickets are often hard to come by.
Demand for tickets for high-profile games is nothing new at Notre Dame. In his capacity as Football Coach and Athletic Director, Knute Rockne often ended up playing ticket manager. The Athletic Director records contain the occasional ticket request from celebrities. Rockne sold tickets to Babe Ruth [UADR 18/138] and Lou Gehrig [UADR 12/31]. However, former Notre Dame football player Curley Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers was a bit late in his request and Rockne was unable to fulfill his request for a sold-out game in 1927 [UADR 14/116].
Some of the more colorful requests came from two famous cartoonists of the time requesting football tickets to the November 26, 1927, Notre Dame vs. Southern California (USC) game at Soldier Field in Chicago:
Illustrated letter from Cartoonist Harold Gray to Athletic Director Knute Rockne featuring a drawing of Little Orphan Annie, dog Sandy, and Daddy Warbucks
Illustrated letter from Cartoonist Frank H. Willard to Athletic Director Knute Rockne featuring a drawing of Moon Mullins andEmmy (Schmaltz) Plushbottom
As the Irish football team has another road game this week, those not traveling to the game will have to catch it somewhere else. In this day and age, football fans have a variety of media options to follow the score through television, radio, and the internet, making it virtually possible to get updates in every corner of the planet with decent reception.
In the early 20th century, students and fans heard the news from telegraph wires reporting the score. They would gather in downtown South Bend at popular hang-outs such as Jimmie & Goat’s Cigar Store, the Palais Royale, and the Oliver Hotel, to hear the play-by-play action.
By the 1920s, Notre Dame offered game watches to students and the local community inside the Fieldhouse with the full fanfare of the Marching Band. If the Band happened to join the team on the road, a local orchestra might fill-in to provide musical entertainment. In 1924, Notre Dame acquired an electric Gridgraph, which used lights to demonstrate the play-by-play account. Various student organizations ran the Gridgraph and covered its operation cost by charging an admission fee, generally under twenty-five cents. The University Archives of Michigan and Missouri have good examples of what an electronic Gridgraph looked like.
The 1922 homecoming game versus Indiana at Cartier Field was the the first Notre Dame game broadcast by radio and was aired on South Bend’s WGAZ (later WSBT). However, “it is unknown whether anyone even heard this broadcast.” As radio was a brand new medium, few households actually owned radios and there were no ratings reports at the time. In 1923 and 1924, New York stations broadcasted the Notre Dame versus Army and Princeton. The first Notre Dame home game to be broadcast outside of South Bend was the 1924 game versus Nebraska at Cartier Field on Chicago’s WGN [Gullifor, pages 4-6]. This new medium would revolutionize game “watching,” bringing fans closer to the action, and eventually making the Gridgraph obsolete.
Unlike other schools in the 1930s and 1940s, Notre Dame did not give any one radio network exclusive rights to broadcast the football games. Instead, the field was open to many different broadcasters around the country. This in turn helped strengthen Notre Dame’s unique position of having a nationwide fan base, whose groundwork was started even before Knute Rockne. This open broadcasting policy also had some seemingly eternal consequences for Notre Dame: “fan expectations for national championships and … the Irish football coach work[ing] in a fishbowl” [Sperber, page 453].
Former Irish football player Joe Boland established the Irish Football Network on the radio through WSBT in 1947. Boland grew the coverage to include 190 stations, including the American Armed Forces Network, which broadcasted the games worldwide. The Mutual Broadcasting System “outbid the Irish Football network for exclusive rights to the 1956 home season.” Despite Boland’s tireless work to grow the Irish Football Network and dedication to his alma mater, Mutual could offer Notre Dame more revenue and broader coverage on over twice the number of radio stations [Gullifor, page 51].
Also during this time, fans could see game highlights as part of new reels at the movie theater. Fans in select cities could watch the entire game in theaters for weeks after the game took place. For instance, the 1927 Notre Dame versus Southern California football game, held at Soldier Field in Chicago, was filmed and screened days afterwards at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. On a special “USC night,” three days after the game had been played, an audience of 4500 came to watch the game film, complete with the USC band providing musical accompaniment (spoiler alert: ND won the game 7-6) [Los Angeles Times, “Film Show Delayed by Union Row,” 11/30/1927].
The first televised game was home against Iowa in 1947. University President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh and Athletic Director Edward “Moose” Krause had dreams of having regular national television coverage of Notre Dame football games. However, they were deterred by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), who banned “individual deals by member schools” [“Prime Time” by Richard Conklin, Notre Dame Magazine, Autumn 1991].
From the 1950s-1980s, Notre Dame worked within the NCAA’s restrictions regarding the number of nationally broadcast games a year. Regional coverage was an option, as was closed-circuit networks. In 1955, Notre Dame offered a live closed-circuit television network, which broadcast three games to select hotel ballrooms across the country. The lucky cities to receive coverage were Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Rochester (NY), St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.
A 1984 US Supreme Court decision overturned the NCAA’s stronghold over national television contracts with individual schools. In 1990, Notre Dame became the first college to sign an exclusive television contract with a national broadcast company (NBC) to televise the home games. More recently, other conferences and schools have brokered similar deals by creating their own presence on cable and the internet, including the Big Ten Network and Texas’ Longhorn Network. Notre Dame also offers exclusive content online, and is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. As technology advances and as more people demand 24 hour content from their favorite school, it is clear that there is a lot of potential for the fan experience to continue to evolve and expand.
The Fighting Irish on the Air: The History of Notre Dame Football Broadcasting by Paul Gullifor
Shake down the Thunder by Murray Sperber Los Angeles Times, “Film Show Delayed by Union Row,” 11/30/1927 PNDP 3020-B-01 PNDP 3020-G-01 GMIL 1/08
PATH Football Programs
PATH Closed Circuit Television Network GRMD 11/42
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the idea of mascots and team names at Notre Dame was very fluid. Team names often changed from year to year, team to team, game to game. Sports writers used a number of monikers, ranging from Catholics, Hoosiers, Rockmen, Ramblers, etc., sometimes varying within a single sports article, until Fighting Irish began to stick in the 1920s. Mascots were often seen as good luck charms and Notre Dame had a revolving door of them until the 1930s. Minim student Willie Robb was the mascot for the 1895 baseball team [GMLS 5/01] and Irish Catholic actress Sally O’Neil served as mascot for the Notre Dame vs. Southern California (USC) football game in 1926 [Los Angeles Times, “Another View of Charley Riley,” 12/05/1926].
Animals, and dogs in particular, were often used as early mascots. A September 22, 1900, South Bend Tribune article recounts the menagerie of personal pets used as mascots:
“Dad Moulton, Manager Eggeman, and Pat O’Dea Have Pets.
If Notre Dame is unsuccessful on the gridiron this fall, it will not be due to a lack of mascots, and if there is anything in variety of mascots Notre Dame will be successful.
When Dad Moulton arrived his train was a menagerie, made up of two trick dogs and canary bird — one of the dogs, a hairless Mexican, Dad intends to use as a hoodoo for opposing teams in conjunction with a black and white billy goat Manager Eggeman received from Fort Wayne.
The goat is of the stock yards variety with a records of having eaten two shirts and a pair of shoes in one morning. He has already shown a bellicose disposition — but under the care of Moulton, who intends to train him, he may be taught to save his combativeness for the opposing team.
Not to be outdone by the trainer or the manger, [football coach] Pat O’Dea intends to send to Colorado to a friend of his who has pet kangaroos. With this aggregation of animals, the kangaroo hurdling hedge fences, the goat bucking the line and the dogs doing tricks on the side-lines, Notre Dame should present a terrifying appearance to any antagonist.” [PNDP 3020-m-01]
An American Bulldog named Mike shows up throughout William Schmitt’s scrapbook. Schmitt was part of the 1909 Western Championship Football Team and it could be inferred that the team considered this dog a mascot. In Natural Enemies, author John Kryk mentioned that Notre Dame Coach Frank Longman owned such a dog (page 64), so it would make sense that the team would embrace Mike.
The history of Irish Terriers as mascots contains a number of conflicting accounts. “Clashmore Mike” is the name that most people today recognize, but there were a number of other other dogs who played mascot in one capacity or another for over forty years.
In January 1924, the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Toledo first presented football coach Knute Rockne with a new Irish mascot. Edward Lynch, a member of the 1909 football team who had its own mascot dog, secured an Irish Terrier for Notre Dame. Notre Dame Daily ran a contest for students to name the dog and Tipperary Terrence (“Terry” for short), based on the dog’s lineage, was the winning name.
In May 1924, Terry was hit by a car when following two students who were walking on Niles Road, and he died a few days later. According to the Notre Dame Daily, “the need of a mascot was acute. All the other colleges in the United States have their mascot supposed to represent in some manner the character of the school. Terry was given to the school because it was felt that one of his breed was the best standard bearer that we could possibly have” [PNDP 3020-m-01].
The Toledo Club again donated Tipperary Terrence II to Notre Dame in time for the 1924 Army game. Not much is mentioned of him after that.
Charles Otis presented Notre Dame with Irish Terrier Brick Top Shaun Rhue at the Notre Dame vs. Navy football game in Cleveland on November 19, 1932. Shaun Rhue was prone to running away and calmly walking in the traffic of busy streets. He disappeared for good in the spring of 1933.
In 1935, Clashmore Mike, donated by Chicago breeder William J. Butler, became the official football team mascot. Notre Dame officials ran with the publicity of this mascot, which is probably one reason as to why he is best know today. He had his own column in the football programs and bravely battled the Pitt panther, Army mule, and Navy goat.
Clashmore Mike entertained fans with his sideline gymnastics for years until his death in September 1945. He was buried in Notre Dame Stadium and was succeeded by Clashmore Mike II, who was born Shannon Invader. After Clashmore Mike II ran away in 1948, James McGarraghy of Chicago presented Notre Dame with Shannon View Mike.
This is where the history becomes a bit muddy. The 1952 Scholastic Football Review mentions Shannon View Mike and Pat and the 1953 Scholastic Football Review calls the mascot Clashmore Mike III. A 1958 article mentions that Shannon View Mike I “became distinctly anti-social” and “had to be put away” in 1954. Shannon View Mike II, whose registered name was Shannon View Rudy, came shortly there after. Shannon View Mike II had a companion Pat (perhaps the same Pat mentioned in 1952), registered Castlebar Caprice, and the two of them produced three litters of pups. “The first litter was raffled in the 1956 ND Mardi Gras Festival by the Monogram Club” and the other litters were sold to Notre Dame fans. One male pup was retained by the University. Apparently there was a Shannon View Mike III followed by Mascot Mike. Mike III was named on the field during the 1960s. [PNDP 3020-m-01]
In the 1940s, a human “Irishman” appeared at Pep Rallies, at Media Day, on the sidelines game day, and on the ND vs. Navy football program covers. In 1960, a “Leprechaun” joined the ranks of the cheerleaders on the sidelines. Artist Ted Drake designed the famous leprechaun logo, which was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with new football Coach Ara Parseghian in November 20, 1964. By the end of the decade, the Terriers had slowly faded into history. It’s not apparent as to why — some suggest that the last dog either died or became too old and that the handlers suffered the same fate and were never replaced.
Resurgence for a return to the Irish Terrier mascot began around Knute Rockne’s 100th birthday anniversary in 1988. Marge Andre of the Irish Terrier Club of Chicago attempted to weed through the conflicting accounts to write a history of the mascot [see also PNDP 3020-m-01 for a printed version from 1988]. The efforts to reinstate the scrappy dog as mascot still exist today, albeit with no success as of yet.
Notre Dame students have always found the lakes prime summer recreation spots for swimming, boating, and fishing. The St. Joseph’s Boating Club organized on April 21, 1867, “for the physical, as well as the mental education of its members, both the art of Rowing and Sailing” [Annual Catalog for the Academic Year 1866-1867, page 21]. Rev. Auguste Lemonnier, CSC, nephew of Rev. Edward Sorin and University President 1872-1874, was director of the Club. When Lemonnier tragically died in 1874 at the age of 35, the Boating Club was renamed in his honor.
Boating Club on the lake, c1867-1874.
Rev. Auguste Lemonnier, CSC, is at the far right.
Notre Dame garnered a number of boats in the second half of the 19th century, with such names as Nina (staff boat), Pinta, Santa Maria, Hiawatha, Minnehaha, Montmorency, Yosemite, Evangeline, and the Golden Jubilee and Silver Jubilee.
Crew of the Silver Jubilee, 1896 Arthur Chase, Charles Neizer (Niezer), Edward Gilmartin, Jenaro Davila,
Captain John Mullen, Coxswain George McCarrick, Lucian Wheeler
The popularity of the Boating Club quickly made it necessary for the construction of a Boat House to store all of the equipment and provide for lounge space for the members of the Boating Club. While probably not the first, the Boat House which still exists today was built in 1873.
Students around the Boat House on St. Joseph Lake, 1893
The Boating Club would occasionally take trips up to Niles, Michigan, on the St. Joseph River. Crews raced at least twice a year on St. Joseph’s Lake — for the Feast of St. Edward and for Commencement.
Freshman (Class of 1916, upper-left), Sophomore (Class of 1915, lower-right), Junior (Class of 1914, upper-right), and Senior (Class of 1913, lower-left) Class Crew teams who competed in the 1913 Commencement races. The Freshmen defeated the Sophomores, and the Juniors, with Knute Rockne on the team, defeated the Seniors.
Competitive crews clubs at Notre Dame continue to exist today and Women’s Rowing became a varsity sport in 1996.
Postcard of a boat rowing crew practice on St. Joseph’s Lake with Main Building and Sacred Heart Church Basilica in the background, c1910
Women’s Varsity Crew team rowing on St. Mary’s Lake with the Main Building Dome, Hesburgh Library, and Basilica of the Sacred Heart in the background, 1999-2000
On February 7, 1904, Francis Earle Hering proposed the idea of “setting aside of one day in the year as a nationwide memorial to the memory of Mothers and motherhood” to an audience of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Indianapolis [certificate below].
Frank Hering first attended the University of Chicago, playing football under Amos Alonzo Stagg, from 1893-1894, then took a coaching job at Bucknell for a year, before coming to Notre Dame in 1896. That fall, Hering played quarterback and was the coach and captain of the football team. He also coached basketball, baseball, and track, and served as instructor of athletics. In 1898, Hering earned a bachelors in English (Litt.B.) and a bachelors in Law (L.L.B.) in 1902. He taught English from 1898-1902 and later served Notre Dame for many years as a Lay Associate of the Board of Lay Trustees and as President of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. He gave a speech at the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium in 1930 and was on the committee of the Rockne Memorial after Coach Knute Rockne’s death in 1931.
Hering’s inspiration for a national Mother’s Day came from Notre Dame students writing home to their mothers: “[P]ractically every boy has as his sweetheart his mother – and that the surest way to appeal to him for his best efforts in building his character and his grades – those things greatly to be desired – was to remind him of the deep happiness his mother receives” [quoted in Scholastic, 05/09/1941, page 11].
Hering’s involvement with the Fraternal Order of the Eagles gave him an oratory platform to spread this idea of a day specially for mothers. Others were also campaigning the idea, including Anna M. Jarvis, and Congress passed a resolution in 1914, making Mother’s Day a national observance.
“Throughout history the great men of the world have given their credit for their achievements to their mothers. [The] Holy Church recognizes this, as does Notre Dame especially, and Our Lady who watches over our great institution” [Frank Hering, as quoted in Scholastic, 05/09/1941, page 11].
April 24-26, 1912, Notre Dame played Arkansas in a series of three baseball games. Notre Dame won the series 2-1 “in one of the most remarkable games ever played on Cartier Field” [see South Bend News clipping below]. The series was tied 1-1 and the third game was decided in the ninth inning nail-biter with Notre Dame winning 10-9.
After the wins, the Notre Dame students celebrated with a snake dance through campus. The student celebrations continued even after University President Rev. John W. Cavanaugh, CSC, “issued an order that there be no further demonstrations of any kind.” Cavanaugh stuck to his guns and expelled about twenty students for their continued celebrations.