Jeff Gravley

More sacred than 'Touchdown Jesus?'

Posted September 13, 2012
Updated September 14, 2012

Unveiled in May of 1964, it is officially known as the "Word of Life" mural on the Hesburgh Library on campus at Notre Dame. But many know the painting as "Touchdown Jesus" for the raised hands and the location of the mural behind the north end zone of Notre Dame Stadium.  

The way the Irish talk, is their football independence more sacred than "Touchdown Jesus"? Football independence, "It's central to our identity and not just athletically," Irish Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said.

As conference after conference tried to lure Notre Dame to join their league, the Irish held firm to their ability to schedule as an independent and get payed as a powerful independent. The Big East allowed the Irish to enter and keep their independence and so did the ACC. But there was a major negotiating point the ACC insisted on. 

Notre Dame has to play 5 ACC opponents each year. "That was a very key point to this," ACC Commissioner John Swofford firmly stated. "Anything less than that, we would not have come to this point."

It was interesting to be in the room at Kenan Stadium where the press conference was held to announce the changes. (It was in Chapel Hill because UNC chancellor Holden Thorp is in his one-year rotation as chair of the ACC's Council of Presidents.) After the presser as new partners exchanged handshakes and pats on the back, I introduced myself to Father John Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame. "Welcome to the ACC," I said. "You have already seen one game here (at Kenan Stadium)." Father Jenkins had a reflective stare as he looked out at the field and said, "Yes I have. Things were going well until that interception."

That interception was in 2008 when Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen found Carolina's Quan Sturdivant who returned it for a momentum changing touchdown. The Tar Heels won the game 29-24. (But it's on the NCAA voided list.)  

I point out Father Jenkins' comment because it helps illustrate Notre Dame's love for football, from top to bottom. It's a fabric of their life and their campus.

When they do play ACC football games on the road, expect a great turnout in green and gold. Just ask Wake Forest which hosted the Irish last year. It was their biggest crowd of the year, 36,307 and the 4th largest crowd in school history. Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch had a gleam in his eye when I asked him about that game. "When Notre Dame came to Winston-Salem it was like nothing that has ever happened," Hatch explained. "Notre Dame just has a unique kind of mystique."

That's why every conference in America would love to have the Irish. That's why the ACC spent decades trying to get Notre Dame to go with them to the prom. The invitation has finally been accepted.

14 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • 4tarheels Sep 15, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Bull Durham...

  • VT1994Hokie Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    One of the all-time great movies. Legends of the Fall, Shawshank Redemption, The Hoosiers, are a few others.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Sep 14, 2012

    ^But they were relevant once....unlike the D-1s in our great state. Welcome Irish!

  • mamatried762 Sep 14, 2012

    It's been a LONG time since Notre Dame was actually relevant ON the football field...

  • 4tarheels Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    LOL. Rudy was driven by his dream to play for Notre Dame. I can't imagine anyone dreaming to play dook football.

  • OGE Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    might have... but most definitely would have at UNC and NCSU

  • sburks1906 Sep 14, 2012

    A win-win for both the ACC and Notre Dame!
    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-t6

  • DooksucksV.2 Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Rudy might have started at Dook.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Sorry, but long before that in the 90's, Tennessee kicked a game-winning FG AT Notre Dame. The camera angle from behind the kicker was classic as you could see the ball head towards Touchdown Jesus. A reporter later said you could see a tear in the eye of TD Jesus after the FG was good. By the way, Tennessee actually beat a good Notre Dame team that year, unlike when State played a wilted Notre Dame team in a Bowl Game.

  • 4tarheels Sep 14, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Best season in NC State history. Will TOB ever get double digit wins in one season?

More...

 

 

TV
  • ACC Blitz

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf Special: Road to the Ryder Cup

    Sunday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 1
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
19
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
9
Fri, Sept 2
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
12
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
23
 
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
8
Sat, Sept 3
3
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
15
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
7
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
6
 
11:00 PT12:00 MT1:00 CT2:00 ET6:00 GMT2:00 北京时间11:00 MST1:00 EST
14
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
17
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
21
 
16
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
 
5
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
24
 
18
2:30 PT3:30 MT4:30 CT5:30 ET9:30 GMT5:30 北京时间2:30 MST4:30 EST
22
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
25
 
20
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
1
 
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
13
 
2
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Sun, Sept 4
10
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Mon, Sept 5
11
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
4
 
NFL Preseason
Wednesday, Aug. 31
Washington 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Tampa Bay 
Thursday, Sep. 1
Jacksonville 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Atlanta 
 
Tennessee 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Miami 
 
New England 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
NY Giants 
 
NY Jets 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Philadelphia 
 
Pittsburgh 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Carolina 
 
Indianapolis 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Cincinnati 
 
Buffalo 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Detroit 
 
Chicago 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Cleveland 
 
Houston 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Dallas 
 
Green Bay 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Kansas City 
 
Los Angeles 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Minnesota 
 
Baltimore 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
New Orleans 
 
Denver 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT5:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ET0:30
Arizona 
 
Seattle 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
Oakland 
 
San Francisco 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
San Diego 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Cincinnati 7:05 PT8:05 MT9:05 CT10:05 ET22:05 ET2:05 GMT10:05 7:05 MST9:05 EST9:35 VEN6:05 UAE (+1)9:05 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
American League
Toronto 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
 
Tampa Bay 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Boston 
 
Minnesota 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland 
 
Chi White Sox 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Detroit 
 
Seattle 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
 
Oakland 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Houston 
 
NY Yankees 5:15 PT6:15 MT7:15 CT8:15 ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 MST7:15 EST7:45 VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 CT
Preview
Kansas City 
National League
Washington 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
 
San Diego 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Atlanta 
 
Miami 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets 
 
Pittsburgh 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Chi Cubs 
 
St. Louis 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee 
 
LA Dodgers 5:40 PT6:40 MT7:40 CT8:40 ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 MST7:40 EST8:10 VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 CT
Preview
Colorado 
 
Arizona 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
 
Canadian Pacific (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Jutanugarn-23F
2S. Kim-19F
3I. Chun-18F
4A. Sharp-16F
5tA. Nordqvist-15F
5tK. Webb-15F
7tC. Choi-13F
7tL. Ko-13F
7tA. Lee-13F
10tM. Martin-12F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Boeing Classic (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1B. Langer - z-13F
2tK. Sutherland - y-13F
2tW. Austin - y-13F
4G. Sauers-12F
5K. Triplett-11F
6tB. Jobe-10F
6tF. Funk-10F
6tS. Ames-10F
6tT. Byrum-10F
6tJ. Durant-10F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Aug. 30
US Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
(6) K. Nishikori6 6 3 1  
B. Becker1 1 6 2  
(27) A. Zverev3 6 6 0  
D. Brands6 1 4 0  
(22) G. Dimitrov6 6 5   
I. Cervantes2 4 4   
K. Khachanov6 6 4   
T. Fabbiano3 3 5   
P. Carreno Bu6 7 1   
I. Ivashka0 5 1   
J. Chardy6 6 5   
M. Mmoh4 4 0   
D. Evans6 4 4   
R. Ram2 6 4   
V. Troicki3     
R. Albot4     
(29) S. Querrey2     
J. Tipsarevic3     
(11) D. Ferrer 
A. Dolgopolov 
(12) D. Goffin 
J. Donaldson 
D. Kudla 
A. Giannessi 
(25) P. Kohlschrei 
N. Mahut 
(3) S. Wawrinka 
F. Verdasco 
(16) F. Lopez 
B. Coric 
D. Schwartzma 
J. Del Potro 
(17) B. Tomic 
D. Dzumhur 
T. Gabashvili 
F. Fognini 
P. Mathieu 
C. Harrison 
(21) I. Karlovic 
Y. Lu 
H. Zeballos 
F. Mayer 
V. Estrella B 
J. Sousa 
D. Young 
J. Struff 
(14) N. Kyrgios 
A. Bedene 
R. Berankis 
M. Jaziri 
C. Berlocq 
P. Lorenzi 
I. Dodig 
I. Marchenko 
(8) D. Thiem 
J. Millman 
M. Granollers 
J. Monaco 
(30) G. Simon 
R. Stepanek 
(19) S. Johnson 
E. Donskoy 
(2) A. Murray 
L. Rosol 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Aug. 30
US Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
(29) A. Ivanovic64 1    
D. Allertova77 6    
(5) S. Halep6 6    
K. Flipkens0 2    
L. Safarova6 6    
D. Gavrilova4 4    
H. Watson2 5    
R. Hogenkamp6 7    
L. Arruabarre2 3    
Y. Shvedova6 6    
(31) T. Babos5 6 0   
B. Haas7 3 0   
(20) K. Bertens3 6 4   
A. Konjuh6 2 3   
(25) C. Garcia4 6 2   
P. Parmentier6 3 4   
(23) D. Kasatkina4 6 2   
Q. Wang6 2 5   
(16) S. Stosur1     
C. Giorgi2     
K. Siniakova 
E. Bouchard 
(15) T. Bacsinszky 
V. Diatchenko 
(19) E. Vesnina 
A. Kontaveit 
N. Gibbs 
A. Krunic 
K. Knapp 
J. Larsson 
S. Zhang 
E. Perez 
A. Beck 
N. Podoroska 
K. Nara 
S. Voegele 
(17) A. Pavlyuchen 
L. Chirico 
M. Duque-Mari 
J. Jankovic 
(6) V. Williams 
K. Kozlova 
S. Peng 
V. Lepchenko 
(11) C. Suarez Nav 
T. Pereira 
N. Broady 
L. Robson 
(26) L. Siegemund 
P. Tig 
D. Kovinic 
M. Gonzalez 
(10) K. Pliskova 
S. Kenin 
V. King 
A. Lottner 
N. Hibino 
K. Mladenovic 
(4) A. Radwanska 
J. Pegula 
J. Goerges 
Y. Wickmayer 
(1) S. Williams 
E. Makarova