Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2014 Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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IN THE TRENCHES ANDREW OWENS T his year 's Blue-Gold Game was another example of the value of a spring game, at least at Notre Dame. Thousands of people attended a de facto scrimmage to catch a glimpse at what 2014 might look like for the Irish. Despite unpredictable weather and having a national following rather than a rabid regional base like other schools, Notre Dame annually ranks among the nation's best in spring game attendance. That buzz, however, does not extend to all areas across the country. More and more, coaches are opting for one additional closed practice instead of a simulated game. "The thought behind [the decision], honestly, is to get one more good work day out of them," Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst — whose program drew only 3,642 fans in 2013 — told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Most, if not every spring game I've been a part of, you really end up sacrificing a lot. It sounds crazy, but just being locked into a place, bad weather. … You're kind of locked into that day. These days are re- ally valuable for us." Even at Texas A&M, where 45,212 fans attended the spring game last year, there is reluctance to go through the motions. Officially, the Aggies can- celed their 2014 and 2015 spring games due to renovations at Kyle Field, but head coach Kevin Sumlin called the annual spring game "worthless." "From a coaching standpoint, we probably gain more from not splitting Spring Games Still Carry Value Notre Dame's 2013 Blue-Gold Game attendance (31,652) ranked 14th in the nation. This spring, the Fighting Irish drew 27,986 fans to the annual event. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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