Notre Dame Denies Purdue’s ‘World’s Largest Drum’ For the Most Pathetic Reason
When Notre Dame accepted their will-they-won't-they quasi-admission to the ACC, that meant waving good-bye to yearly nearby football traditional rivals like Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State.
Now, nearly a decade after their last meeting, the Fighting Irish and Boilermakers will finally play again. But something will be missing - a big piece of Purdue tradition. Notre Dame is not allowing Purdue to travel to South Bend with the World's Largest Drum. The reason is beyond petty and downright pathetic.
See, since the last time Purdue traveled up Indiana State Road 25 northeast from West Lafayette, there have been renovations to Notre Dame Stadium. One of the changes was to alter the visiting team's entrance to the field. The new narrow, low tunnel won't allow for enough clearance for the drum to be brought out.
What?? There is no other way that Notre Dame will allow the drum onto the field? That's right, they won't allow any other field access than the visitor's tunnel.
Notre Dame's hometown South Bend Tribune reported on Facebook:
The Purdue "All-American" Marching Band will be without "The World's Largest Drum" for the first time in 42 years when Purdue Football meets Notre Dame Football at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday.
The Purdue Marching Band shared some of the official words from Notre Dame on their Facebook
According to a communication from the University of Notre Dame, the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band will not be permitted to take the World’s Largest Drum through their tunnel and onto the football field for this Saturday’s game against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame Athletics has restricted use of their main tunnel to their own football team and band, while diverting all other personnel through a much smaller tunnel. Unfortunately, due to this restriction, the Big Bass Drum will not make an appearance this Saturday during the Band’s performance.
Notre Dame, this is a bad look. It's a drum, let it on the field. Perhaps Purdue should outlaw leprechauns from Ross-Ade Stadium next time Notre Dame visits and the ShillelaghTrophy series begins yearly again in 2024.
Maybe it's this kind of pettiness and loss of respect for traditional rivalries that's crept into the vaunted Notre Dame program that caused the first non-sell out at Notre Dame Stadium after a streak of 273 games in pre-pandemic November 2019.
I'll allow two commentators on the South Bend Tribue story on Facebook to have the last words. They say it best:
As a school who loves touting their own traditions being a part of the game, ND should respect the traditions of their opponents.
Do better, Notre Dame.
The absence of the World's Largest Drum from Notre Dame Stadium won't be remembered by many other than disappointed Purdue fans and All American Marching Band members, but these sports records deserve to be known far and wide: