Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Holy Mackeral! | by Jay

(Our good friend TJ provided us with a couple of classic ND-Georgia Tech clips, from the '77 and '78 games. I started off by asking him how he gets the video and the audio synced up; the audio is actually from the radio broadcast which is dubbed over the archive footage. Enjoy.)

T.J.: How do these come together? My friend Kevin H. overlays the audio over the game films. He does a great job. I'd love to learn how to do it, but I just don't have the time. I've watched Kevin do it and it is painstaking work. Most of the films run at 3/4 speed, so syncing normal full speed audio is tricky.

In many instances, no TV broadcast exists of these we have made one by syncing the radio with the old black & white coaches films.

No special notes on the '77 GT game, other than all sorts of team records were set that day. Modern day record for most points in a game (69), most in a 2nd half (48), most TD's (10), and extra points (9). Also the record at the time for most TD passes (5).

I will say my favorite part of the '77 clip is the coin toss at midfield. Look at how fired up the Yellow Jackets are. They have no idea Hell is about to be unleashed upon them. ND pounded Tech, 69-14.

The '78 GT game, which Notre Dame won 38-21, established 3 school records. Joe Montana completed 10 consecutive passes, which was a school record at the time...since shatttered by Brady Quinn. Vagas Ferguson set the single game and single season rushing marks at the time in that game.

The highlight (lowlight?) of the '78 game is when GT fans started throwing debris at the Irish players. Devine took his team to the middle of the field until order was restored. Terence Moore wrote about the incident last year in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The sky over the stadium was filled with even more debris than clouds when it became apparent in the fourth quarter that Notre Dame would smash Tech's chances of extending its longest winning streak since its Bobby Dodd days from seven to whatever. "They also were a little upset, because they thought we had poured it on the year before [69-14]. Then, when we got down there, they had the same feeling, I guess," said Montana, whose Irish had a taste (and a smell) of things to come heading to the stadium. "We were driving in on the bus, and they were throwing fish and all kinds of stuff at us. Then we got into the game and it got worse."

For one, Notre Dame’s bench was within howling (and throwing) distance of Tech's student body. "You were right there, and at one point, it looked like a rum bottle smashed on the helmet of the guy standing right in front of me," Montana said. "They were throwing batteries, champagne bottles, everything. It was so crazy that after [former Notre Dame coach Dan] Devine said, 'We're outta here,' they put us on the same sideline as Georgia Tech."

I should also add that the voices on these clips are legendary.

The '77 games on radio were called by Al Wester. Al did the ND games as Van Patrick's sidekick/color man from 1968 thru early 1974, when Patrick died of cancer.

Wester then became Don Criqui's sidekick from 74-76, before taking over the play-by-play duties himself until Tony Roberts stepped in for 1980.

Wester is the voice of my childhood. Loved his voice and his enthusiasm. I get goosebumps listening to his calls even today. I believe Al is still among the living, retired and living in New Orleans.

The '78 GT clip is, of course, from a "Sunday Morning Replay" TV broadcast with Lindsey Nelson at the mike. George Connor is the other voice you hear. He often subbed for Paul Hornung on occasion as Lindsey's color man. Connor joined the replays permanently in 1980 until their demise in the mid-80's.

The live radio broadcast on Saturdays, followed by the condensed TV replay on Sunday mornings was how we followed ND football back in the day.

(Thanks again to T.J. and Kevin for providing these terrific clips. Check out more of TJ's video library at Classic Notre Dame.)