Irish performance impresses fans

first_imgNotre Dame’s narrow, last-second defeat of Louisiana State University (LSU) in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl capped off the 2014 football season in dramatic fashion, much to the delight of local fans and those venturing to Nashville, Tennessee, from nearby midwestern and southeastern states.“It was great to see my school’s football team playing so close to home,” junior and Nashville native Jessica Zic said. “Also, I was excited to see that the Notre Dame football team practiced at my high school’s football stadium during the days leading up to the game.”Junior Lauren Pate, who hails from Memphis, Tennessee, said she jumped at the chance to attend the Dec. 30 bowl game because she missed the football season studying abroad in Kampala, Uganda. She said she made the three-hour trip in the morning with other Memphians and had enough time to walk around and enjoy live music in downtown Nashville before the game.“I didn’t really keep track of the 2014 football season because I was abroad, but I had heard about the ending of the Northwestern game, so it had me nervous for the ending of the Music City Bowl,” Pate said. “We won though, so I was very happy for that and glad it was the game I got to see for the end of the 2014 season.”Freshman Katharine Janes traveled with her family from Michigan and said the atmosphere at the game differed noticeably from a typical Notre Dame football experience.“The game day experience was incredible. The stadium was alive with excited football fans, and it was so much fun to reconnect with friends from school that you didn’t know you would be running into 600 miles away from home,” she said. “… I sat in a few parts of the stadium — ranging from directly off the LSU sideline to the upper bowl on the ND side — but I think that all parts felt incredibly energized.“It was definitely a different experience than watching a home game from the student section, but it was the best of both worlds to be able to watch part of the game with my family in the stands yet also experience other parts with students from ND.”Pate said she sat in the student section, right next to the Band of the Fighting Irish. She said the section was “very small but nonetheless lively.”“All of the fans seemed very excited despite the cold, and very engaged with the band and cheerleaders in all the cheers and songs,” she said.Senior Russell King, a drum major in the Band of the Fighting Irish, said the band practiced once in Nashville before their halftime show which featured versions of Ariana Grande’s “Break Free” and Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”“It was cold, but we have fantastic fans who braved the weather to come support us [at practice before the bowl],” King said. “There were about 100 fans who came out that morning. The band had not marched in about a month so it was a well-needed rehearsal to polish the show.”The band participated in several pre-game events in downtown Nashville leading up to the bowl game, including a battle of the bands with LSU’s band, King said.“The actual game is only a small part of the Music City Bowl experience,” he said. “A subset of the band played at the ACC Pep Rally, the Alumni Kick-Off at the Rock Bottom Brewery and a ND tailgate at the Acme Feed & Seed.“However, by far the largest event was the Battle of the Bands. Thousands of people showed up to support both our band and the LSU Marching Tigers. Both bands marched side-by-side but in opposite directions on the main street of Nashville.“Then, the bands faced each other and went back and forth with our best songs. In my opinion, the knockout punch came with another stellar singing performance of ‘Ooh Poo Pah Doo’ by sophomore clarinetist Michelle Mann. However, LSU countered with their best song and the battle was declared a tie.”Sophomore Kristen Ochs, who came from Ohio for the game, said the team’s performance in the last seconds of the game, especially senior kicker Kyle Brindza’s field goal in the last four seconds that put the Irish up 31-28, left her optimistic for the prospects of the 2015 season.“I think this game allowed for a brighter end to what many might call a disappointing season,” she said. “Clearly, things can change quickly since we started out so well with high hopes and didn’t end very well at all.”Pate said the team demonstrated more poise than she had expected.“My biggest takeaway was the true grit of our team and how well they performed under the pressure of the game,” Pate said. “I was very impressed. I’m looking forward to seeing how this win will transfer over to next season. I’m hoping it’ll give us a boost of confidence to start and finish the season strong.”Tags: bowl game, Fighting Irish, football, Kyle Brindza, Music City Bowl, Nashvillelast_img read more

Casting the Net wider

first_imgCompanies and organisations of all complexions within the global railway industry are embracing the Internet. From discussion groups and bulletin boards run for and by enthusiasts to the research programmes of academic institutions, information on railways is being presented by an ever-growing number of bodies to an ever-growing number of users. At the end of 1996, around 70 million people were thought to have access to the Internet.The most basic form of corporate railway site on the Internet acts as a public relations tool, presenting a profile of the company and sometimes news, financial performance and staff changes. This kind of site has been widely adopted, from the Antofagasta (Chili) & Bolivia Railway through Class I railways in the USA, main line networks in Europe and several railways in Japan. Marketing potentialFor passenger operators ranging in size from metros and suburban railways to national networks, the addition of a basic marketing function presenting information on services and fares is a logical progression. The scope of such information often varies. Timetables may cover principal routes only or allow journeys between any two points on a network to be planned. Information on fares and on-board services ranges from the most basic to complete electronic brochures.This type of marketing may be undertaken by third parties. Britain’s Railtrack launched its own Internet site on January 1. Designed by Clarity Communications, the site combines Railtrack corporate information with an electronic timetable planner supplied by BR Business Systems, the IT subsidiary sold on February 5 to Sema Group. Responsible for train scheduling, Railtrack publishes the conventional paper-based Great Britain Passenger Timetable; BRBS produces a disc-based version for PCs known as Rail Planner.Unlike its paper and disc-based predecessors, the timetable available on Railtrack’s site and the ’UK Railways on the Net’ site operated by BRBS is automatically updated twice a week using information downloaded from Railtrack’s mainframe computers. In addition to fares and timetable information from participating Train Operating Companies, ’UK Railways on the Net’ also displays details of that traditional bugbear of weekend rail travel, scheduled engineering works.According to BRBS, the Railtrack site received some 270000 requests for timetable information in its first four weeks of operation. Similar point-to-point journey planning services are provided on the sites of national operators in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, for example.Retail possibilitiesA report on electronic commerce published in January by Britain’s Interactive Media in Retail Group noted that at the end of 1996 there were 40000 commercial Internet sites listed on the Commercial Sites Index, a figure that was growing at more than 500 each week. Several passenger operators are now looking to the Internet to provide them with a ticket sales presence outside their stations and agents.VIA Rail Canada claims to be the first railway in the world to have offered ticketing through the Internet with its VIA Resernet service, where holders of credit cards complete a sequence of forms on screen. Tickets can then be posted to addresses in Canada or forwarded for collection by the purchaser from VIA ticket offices, travel agents (in Canada or the USA) or general sales agents (outside North America). Sleeper bookings are to be made available on Resernet at a later date.German Railway offers a similar service, where a form is completed on screen and forwarded electronically, or printed out and faxed to a DB station or travel agent. Credit cards are accepted and the tickets are dispatched by post within four working days. Amtrak, Eurostar (UK) – whose site registers 60000 to 70000 visits a month – and Swiss Federal Railways are working to introduce something similar this year, and BRBS reports that many British TOCs are ’definitely interested’. On the other hand, many operators with Internet sites are still content to refer enquirers to conventional ticketing outlets and telesales facilities.One potential problem is the secure transmission of credit card information, complicated in some countries by government controls on the sale and distribution of encryption software. VIA’s Resernet requires the use of an SSL-compliant browser to ensure a secure environment, but Britain’s IMRG believes that many obstacles will be removed by a new Microsoft product due for release this year. Merchant Server 1·0, it believes, will transform corporate Internet sites into secure transaction-processing environments and lead to an ’explosion’ in electronic commerce as companies realise that a non-transactional Internet site is ’a waste of cyberspace’. oCAPTION: Centre: Netherlands Railways offers an international journey planner on its web site: http://www.ns.nlBelow: Among the many operators using the web for general marketing is the Ferrocarril de Antofagasta (Chili) a Bolivia:http://www.fcab.clRight: Moving graphics and bilingual presentation are a feature of the site operated by Japan’s Nagoya Railway: read more

E.C. FFA grabs second in competition

first_imgMembers pictured by sign (from left to right): Keegan Moster, Ellie Bonner, Amelia Hartman, and Bailey GrunkemeyerSt. Leon, In. — Four members of the East Central FFA Chapter competed in the Indiana State Wildlife CDE at John S. Wright Forestry Center of Purdue University. Members identified preserved animals, took a written exam, and evaluated wildlife habitats. The team placed 2nd with a score of 2651 points. The team consist of Keegan Moster, Amelia Hartman, Ellie Bonner, and Bailey Grunkemeyer. Keegan Moster placed in the top ten individuals.  Good job to those who competed!last_img read more