Rah, Rah For The Alumni
Mar 15, 2013Posted by james

Despite losing January’s college football championship game and then weathering the non-existent girlfriend episode involving one of its players, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame remain popular around the country and around the world.

From my corner of the globe, Notre Dame is New York City’s college football team. Other teams are followed by fans here, and that includes Syracuse and Rutgers. But, New York, especially Catholic New York, mostly cheers for Notre Dame.

Two years ago, when the Irish came to town to renew its old-time rivalry with Army at the new Yankee Stadium, more than 54,000 fans attended the game. Notre Dame also turned the city into a huge college town. No other college football team ever has overtaken New York City in this manner. Even Lincoln Center was transformed into a college quad for a pep rally.

Notre Dame’s connection to New York is an old relationship steeped in tradition that rallies around the religious and ethnic composition of the immigrant city. When a large population of working class immigrants, then the sons and daughters of these immigrants, and then the next generation of sons and daughters look at the Notre Dame roster, they see a lot of similar Irish, Italian, German and other ethnic names. These fans, generation after generation, have cheered for Notre Dame at the old and now new Yankee Stadium, at Ebbets Field and at the Polo Grounds. Over the years, they have earned a nickname – Notre Dame’s “subway alumni.”

A relationship with alumni, whether actual graduates or those who are adopted, is just as important in business as it is in college sports. Many on our team at the Whitmore Group enjoy relationships through athletics (lacrosse and football), through the high schools of New York City and Long Island, and from colleges such as Hofstra University.

Never underestimate past associations, common beginnings, or other connections on and off the field. In many ways, we can connect as “alumni” beyond our days in school.



  • By Louis D'Agostino, March 15, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    Another great piece Jim! Keep em’ coming!

  • By Marilyn Gould, March 18, 2013 @ 4:01 am

    Uplifting story!

  • By judy amorski, March 18, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    awesome! Very insightful.

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