The Dillon Hall pep rally is a respected annual campus tradition which, despite being decidedly biased towards promoting the greatness of the men of Dillon Hall, is an event that is meant to be enjoyed by all members of the Notre Dame community. On Thursday evening, September 6, this crowd-pleasing pep rally certainly lived up to those high expectations.
The event featured Notre Dame-themed cover versions of many popular songs, beginning with an adaptation of a popular 2011 comedic number by SNL parody group The Lonely Island and R&B singer Akon, entitled “I Just Got Sacked.” The song, which was sung from the hypothetical perspective of Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, described the beating that the ND defense would eventually put on the Purdue offense in a 20-17 Saturday afternoon victory, and was well-received by the ND crowd. Stanford Hall freshman Logan McGowan stated that he found this particular musical number “hilarious on a variety of levels, both because of its lyrics and the out-of-pitch tone in which it was sung,” while sophomore Christian Wray of Dillon Hall made sure to note that this was his “favorite moment” of the event.
The pep rally continued its musical theme throughout, featuring a cover of Miley Cyrus’ wildly popular 2009 summer hit “Party in the USA.” The Dillon version of Cyrus’ song, entitled “It’s a Party at Notre Dame,” included lyrics parodying the feelings of a liberal student who is overwhelmed by the Catholic culture at Notre Dame. However, despite this somewhat controversial topic, the tune maintained its comedic intent by including jokes about university president Rev. John Jenkins turning “on the radio,” in order to blast songs by popular music artists Jay-Z and Britney Spears, which was described by ND sophomore Riley McGraw as being “a particularly amusing thought.”
Many other cover tracks were performed throughout the event, including a cover of Taylor Swift’s 2008 sensation “Love Story,” which was entitled “Moose Story,” in an attempt to parody the “borrowing” of Zahm’s famous mounted moose head by members of Dillon Hall last year. The song was performed by sophomore Jason LeBlanc, who described the experience of performing at the Dillon Hall Pep Rally as a “tremendous honor.” Leblanc stated that he “really enjoyed being able to make other students laugh and to represent my dorm and the University of Notre Dame in the Dillon Hall pep rally. I had a lot of fun singing and performing onstage and even though I am far from a professional singer, I hope I did my dorm proud with my performance.”
The pep rally also featured appearances by numerous Notre Dame celebrities, including multiple football players such as All-American linebacker and former Dillonite Manti Te’o. Officer Tim McCarthy’s presence was particularly notable, and when he took the stage to thunderous applause he did not disappoint, as his comedic wit was once again on display when he implored the crowd to “remember” that “when the Boilermakers come to Notre Dame Stadium, they will be in hot water.” The memorable pep rally closed with a performance by the Notre Dame marching band, a fitting conclusion to an event which was once again spectacular.
Andrew Flatley is a sophomore who is currently enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, despite being originally from New Jersey and having never visited Texas.