Traditions

The Fighting Irish

Exactly where and how Notre Dame's athletic nickname, "Fighting Irish," came to origination never has been perfectly explained.

One story suggests the moniker was born in 1899 with Notre Dame leading Northwestern 5-0 at halftime of a game in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcat fans supposedly began to chant, "Kill the Fighting Irish, kill the Fighting Irish," as the second half opened.

Another tale has the nickname originating at halftime of the Notre Dame-Michigan game in 1909. With his team trailing, one Notre Dame player yelled to his teammates -- who happened to have names like Dolan, Kelly, Glynn, Duffy and Ryan -- "What's the matter with you guys? You're all Irish and you're not fighting worth a lick." Notre Dame came back to win the game and the press, after overhearing the remark, reported the game as a victory for the "Fighting Irish."

The most generally accepted explanation is that the press coined the nickname as a characterization of Notre Dame athletic teams, their never-say-die fighting spirit and their Irish qualities of grit, determination and tenacity. The term likely began as an abusive expression tauntingly directed toward the athletes from the small, private, Catholic institution. Notre Dame alumnus Francis Wallace popularized it in his New York Daily News columns in the 1920s.

The Notre Dame Scholastic, in a 1929 edition, printed its own version of the story:

"The term 'Fighting Irish' has been applied to Notre Dame teams for years. It first attached itself years ago when the school, comparatively unknown, sent its athletic teams away to play in another city. . . . At that time the title 'Fighting Irish' held no glory or prestige. . . .

"The years passed swiftly and the little school began to take a place in the sports world. . . . 'Fighting Irish' took on a new meaning. The unknown of a few years past has boldly taken a place among the leaders. The unkind appellation became symbolic of the struggle for supremacy of the field. . . . The term, while given in irony, has become our heritage. . . . So truly does it represent us that we are unwilling to part with it. . . ."

Notre Dame competed under the nickname "Catholics" during the 1800s and became more widely known as the "Ramblers" during the early 1920s in the days of the Four Horsemen. University president Rev. Matthew Walsh, C.S.C., officially adopted "Fighting Irish" as the Notre Dame nickname in 1927.

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Event Calendar

Delta

October 20
W, 97-57
Holy Cross College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
RECAP

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October 20
T, 0-0 (2OT)
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
RECAP

ACC Network Extra
ACC Network Extra
October 20
M: W, 175-125; W: W, 203-95
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Rolfs Aquatic Center)
RECAP

Live Results
October 20
W, 3-1
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (Tully Gym)
RECAP

ACC Network Extra
Live Stats
Live Stream

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

October 20
W, 3-1
Sacred Heart
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)
RECAP

NBC Sports Chicago Plus
Live Streaming
October 20
NTS
ITA Midwest Regional Championships
Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
RECAP
October 21
7:30 PM
USC
Notre Dame, Ind.

NBC
Game Week Central
October 21
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.
October 21
All Day
ITA Midwest Regional Championships
Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
October 22
12:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (Cobb Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
October 22
2:00 PM
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (James L. Knight Complex)

ACC Network Extra
Live Stats
Live Stream
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.
October 22
All Day
ITA Midwest Regional Championships
Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
October 23
All Day
Quail Valley Intercollegiate
Vero Beach, Fla. (Quail Valley GC)
October 23
All Day
ITA Midwest Regional Championships
Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
October 24
7:00 PM
Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (DeMartin Soccer Complex)

BTN
October 24
All Day
Quail Valley Intercollegiate
Vero Beach, Fla. (Quail Valley GC)
October 25
7:00 PM
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
October 26
6:00 PM
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Fetzer Field)

ACC Network Extra
October 26
7:35 PM
Nebraska-Omaha
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

NBC Sports Chicago Plus
October 27
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Cary, N.C. (WakeMed Soccer Park)

ACC Network Extra
ACC Network Extra
October 27
12:00 PM
Atlantic Coast Conference Championships
E.P. Tom Sawyer Park (Louisville, Ky.)
October 27
5:00 PM
Purdue
West Lafayette, Ind.

Live Results
October 27
7:35 PM
Nebraska-Omaha
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

NBC Sports Chicago Plus
October 27
All Day
Landfall Tradition
Wilmington, North Carolina
October 28
3:30 PM
North Carolina State
Notre Dame, Ind.

NBC
October 28
All Day
Landfall Tradition
Wilmington, North Carolina
October 29
TBA
ACC Quarterfinals
Campus Sites
October 29
1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
October 29
TBA
Colorado
Evanston, Ill.
October 29
TBA
Northwestern
Evanston, Ill.
October 29
All Day
Landfall Tradition
Wilmington, North Carolina
November 1
7:00 PM
Indiana Univ. PA
Notre Dame, Ind.
November 1
TBA
ACC Championship First Round
Campus sites
November 2
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 2
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 3
7:00 PM
Bethel Ind.
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 3
TBA
ACC Semifinals
Charleston, S.C. (MUSC Health Stadium)
November 3
7:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, OH (Value City Arena)

BTN
November 3
7:00 PM
Duke
Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
November 3
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 3
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 3
All Day
Arizona State Invitational
Tempe, Ariz. (Whiteman Tennis Center)
November 3
All Day
Redbird Invitational
Normal, Ill. (Gregory Street Tennis Courts)
November 3
All Day
Western Michigan Invitational
Kalamazoo, Mich. (West Hills Athletic Club)
November 3
All Day
Gopher Invitational
Minneapolis, Minn. (Baseline Tennis Center)
November 4
3:30 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind.

NBC
November 4
4:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, OH (Value City Arena)
November 4
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 4
All Day
Western Michigan Invitational
Kalamazoo, Mich. (West Hills Athletic Club)
November 4
All Day
Redbird Invitational
Normal, Ill. (Gregory Street Tennis Courts)
November 4
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 4
All Day
Gopher Invitational
Minneapolis, Minn. (Baseline Tennis Center)
November 4
All Day
Arizona State Invitational
Tempe, Ariz. (Whiteman Tennis Center)
November 5
TBA
ACC Championship Quarterfinal
Campus sites
November 5
TBA
ACC Final
Charleston, S.C. (MUSC Health Stadium)
November 5
1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum)

ACC Network Extra
November 5
All Day
Redbird Invitational
Normal, Ill. (Gregory Street Tennis Courts)
November 5
All Day
Arizona State Invitational
Tempe, Ariz. (Whiteman Tennis Center)
November 5
All Day
Gopher Invitational
Minneapolis, Minn. (Baseline Tennis Center)
November 5
All Day
Elite Invitational
Columbus, Ohio
November 5
All Day
Western Michigan Invitational
Kalamazoo, Mich. (West Hills Athletic Club)
November 5
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 5
All Day
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships
Indian Wells, Calif. (Indian Wells Tennis Garden)
November 7
7:00 PM
Cardinal Stritch
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 8
TBA
ACC Championship Semifinal
Campus sites
November 9
2:00 PM
Indiana and Cincinnati
Bloomington, Ind.
November 10
TBA
NCAA First Round
Campus Sites
November 10
12:00 PM
NCAA Great Lakes Regional
LaVern Gibson Championship Course (Terre Haute, Ind.)
November 10
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network Extra
November 10
7:35 PM
Penn State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)
November 10
All Day
USA Fencing North American Cup
Kansas City, Mo.

NCAA Infractions Report

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