Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Follow us on Twitter! @OS_Report
I will freely admit that I am a Buckeye homer. My focus is primarily placed on the Buckeyes and this causes me to be ignorant of some of the nuances present in the rest of college football. Here is a prime example of how the “rose-colored” lenses can cloud my vision from time to time.
Notre Dame is definitely one of the most storied programs in college football, in fact, in college sports in general. Just like the Ohio State Buckeyes, they have some traditions that nobody really understands except their own faithful fans. For me, I must shamefully admit that I had no idea of the true origins of the “Golden Domer” nickname.
Now, the only reason this came up was that I heard Mike Golic use the nickname when referencing the Notre Dame basketball team a couple of days ago. I thought, wait…I thought the golden dome thing had to do with the Fighting Irish’s ridiculously shiny helmets. So isn’t it a little silly to call the basketball team by that name?
This drove me moderately crazy for the rest of my day, so I decided to look into it. In covering sports, it’s rare that an actual learning opportunity comes your way, so I jumped on it.
As it turns out, the basis for the Golden Domer nickname has absolutely nothing to do with the football helmet. Yes, I’m stupid, I’m comfortable admitting it. The nickname actually comes from The Main Building on Notre Dame’s campus, a building that is beautifully capped with…you guessed it…a golden dome.
Per Notre Dame’s website, The Main Building was built in 1879 after the previous building burned down. The famous golden dome was added to the structure in 1882, and has been regilded multiple times to maintain its shiny luster, most recently in 2005. Interestingly enough, it only takes a lump of gold about the size of a fist to cover the entire dome in gold leaf…so yes, it’s actually covered in real gold. Today, it is used as an administration building as well as for some classrooms.
So there you have it, it is perfectly appropriate to refer to any Notre Dame sports team as the “Golden Domers” because the name has nothing to do with the football helmet, but rather with a building on campus. And as a bonus, you now have a little bit of handy trivia for when you’re waiting for your food at Buffalo Wild Wings. Enjoy!