The pinnacle of Catholic architecture is the Sistine Chapel, renowned especially for its 44-foot ceiling that features Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam.
And then there’s Notre Dame Stadium, where you can’t fit a bass drum through the visitors’ entrance tunnel.
The bass drum in question belongs to the Purdue band, and when they call it the Big Bass Drum, they Are Not Kidding: it is the world’s largest drum. Probably. Purdue says it is, because when a drum-size comparison was set to be held in Wichita, Kansas, in 1961, the Boilermakers’ rivals for percussion girth supremacy, Texas, did not show up.
Purdue still will show up with its drum at Notre Dame on Saturday, a school spokesman told ESPN, although Notre Dame is of a mind that they need to ask permission to simply bring the instrument to campus. So maybe they’ll just show up at the entrance to campus, not the stadium. We’ll see how it goes.
There’s no good explanation for the visitor’s tunnel having less than 10 feet of clearance. Either it’s some stupid macho head games thing, like Iowa’s pink locker room for visitors, or it’s just plain stupid. Just for maintenance purposes at a stadium, as well as event production purposes, it’s a headache to deal with smaller passages.
But it’s also just generally stupid that Notre Dame wouldn’t let the big drum through the more spacious home tunnel. They don’t have to do it simultaneously with any Notre Dame people. Just bring the drum in before the game, set it up by the visitors’ tunnel, let the band do its halftime performance with the drum, put the drum back by the visitors’ tunnel, then wheel it back out through the home tunnel after the game.
It’s not like Notre Dame isn’t already cursed, as it’s been 33 years since the Fighting Irish were last national champions, but this is the kind of thing that gets a curse put on you. Just ask the Chicago Cubs about not letting something odd but harmless into a stadium. On top of that, this is the 100th anniversary of the drum.
Wake up, and let the big drum echo.