Boot-Train Boarding to South Bend!

A burgeoning tradition in the last decade has been for Cardinalmaniacs™ to take the Alumni Association's train trip from Chicago to South Bend for the away game at Notre Dame. A collective tear rolled down our cardinal cheeks when those plans were pulled this year, but The Bootleg has filled the void and announces our very own Boot-Train extravaganza!

It seems the rumors of the demise of the October 5th Notre Dame train have greatly exaggerated.  At least, now that The Bootleg is on the case with the 2002 Notre Dame Boot-Train.

For the last several Stanford games against the Flailing Irish in South Bend, the Stanford Alumni Association had put together a package of transportation, camaraderie, food, drink and much merriment to get Cardinalmaniacs™ from Chicago to the game and back on game day by way of train.  It has frankly been a wonderful and unique service for Stanford fans, which the SAA pioneered and made wildly successful through blood, sweat and tears.  Although the Stanford Alumni Association's tour group couldn't do the trip for a reasonable price this year, we at The Bootleg are sponsoring the event ourselves and have cut the cost to $109 per person (game ticket not included) by organizing it directly.  The SAA was going to have to charge $160 this year, and thus this transition to the Boot-Train is a great boon to you the consumer. 

For those who have not previously been on this treasure trip, let me paint a picture.  You arrive at the Randolph Street Station on a crisp Saturday morning at 7:30 am.  Though the city is not yet alive, you sense a heightened level of electricity as you head underground and see a sea of cardinal.  In a town all too saturated with leprechauns and Domer hysteria, you know you are boarding a train amongst kindred spirits, and fellow rabid fans.  As you board the train, you see an array of breakfast goodies and coffee awaiting you, and you are handed your own special Bootleg souvenir of the game and trip.  The nourishment for your body is welcome, but it pales in comparison to the nourishment for your cardinal & white soul the next couple hours will bring.  You look to your left and your right.  All the rows ahead of you and all behind you are packed solid with Cardinalmaniacs™.  The mix of ages might surprise you, with a couple rows of twenty-something and thirty-something folks ahead, and some vivacious octogenarians just behind you.  Though the generations span seemingly discontinuous cultures, the unifying bond of Stanford fandom makes quick friends, blind to age.  As a younger buck myself, I personally love the breadth of experiences from all the chats you strike up... especially the stories.

Depending on your fancy, you can imbibe some yell juice as the train approaches South Bend, or you can also partake in non-alcoholic drinks.  The ride back tends to be a little more rowdy, with more courage for people to throw down drinks as they revel in the game day experiences and prepare for a night in the Windy City.

And the beauty of this whole shindig is that it allows you to go see the inaugural 'Rone Bowl without spending your weekend in South Bend!  Stay in Chicago and enjoy the nightlife of Rush Street, the world class deep dish pizza and even the shopping at Water Tower.  No worries about driving or parking early Saturday morning, and the freedom to have a few drinks each way.

Frankly, this is the only way to go watch the Notre Dame game.  Those who have been will tell you, and those who are jumping to go on your maiden voyage will not be disappointed.

So get on the Boot-Train while you still can.  We have no plans to take walk-ups on game day (October 5th), and urge you to get your reservations in today.  There is limited seating, and we are marketing this through several regional and national channels.  We know of the demand simply from what the Alumni Association ran in recent years, and anticipate it hot & heavy this year.  Don't delay, and get your order form filled out and mailed in with your check today!  That train is pulling out on October 5th, and we want you on board!!!

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