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The official school mascot name is "The Ramblers". Knute Rockne's powerhouse teams of the late 1920's, though, had a ton of Irish on the team, so the nickname "Fighting Irish" almost immediately stuck.

In the early 1920's Notre Dame played a game against Harvard, which was a Protestant school. Coach Rockne started 13 players who were of Irish Catholic descent. Despit the fact that they were backups they crushed Harvard which was the #1 team in the country at that time. In the press conference afterwards Coach Rockne stated "We are an Irish Catholic community. We will fight to the end because you can not defeat the fighting Irish".

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9y ago
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13y ago

There several different stories of how the team was given this nickname and I will give the most common story.

It was the mid 1920's and Knute Rockne was the coach of the Notre Dame Ramblers. the number four ranked team was about to travel to Cambridge to play the number one ranked Harvard Crimson. At the time, Boston had a very dense Catholic Irish population and Rockne decided to start all the players on his team that were Irish Catholics. The Ramblers played a great game and upset the Crimson to the surprise of the College Football nation. When Rockne was interviewed after the game he said, no one can beat the Fighting Irish. The next morning the headline in the paper read Fighting Irish beat Crimson. The nickname was then born and has stuck for the last 85 or so years.

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12y ago

Notre Dame was a gothic cathedral in France

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Q: Where did the University of Notre Dame football team get its nickname the Fighting Irish?
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