The University of Notre Dame released a video on its YouTube channel, NDdotEDU, yesterday for what was initially only intended for viewership at the Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase (O.S.C.A.R.S).
In a statement released on Facebook yesterday from the University's Office of Public Affairs and Communications Julie Hail Flory said the video was released to the public due to its positive response at the O.S.C.A.R.S.
Its primary purpose was to be shown at the O.S.C.A.R.S., an awards event for student-athletes that was held on campus earlier this week, where it received a very positive response. It was shared here and on the ND YouTube channel because we thought other fans might enjoy something a little different.
Indeed, something different was born with the creation of the song "We Are ND" by the band Freekbass and video produced by Ted Mandell, a 1986 Notre Dame alum and faculty member for 22 years in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) at the University.
Within a mere few hours after the video was released online thousands of embarrassed and distraught alumni, fans, and critics offered stark denunciation of the film.
In response to the harsh reaction Mandell issued a statement on the FTT website to explain the meaning behind the video.
It was a grass roots effort to produce. I got some help from Music Dept. faculty member and blues musician Don Savoie. I contacted Freekbass. We’re both Reds fans. We hit it off. Sure, let’s put together a funky song to celebrate the silliness of fans and the passion of ND Athletics.
"Funky" is a bit of a stretch in terms of musical genre associated with "We Are ND." In fact, Freekbass may have unveiled an entirely new genre: Sucky.
Additional clarification from Mandell about the intent of the video production is offered below.
It’s not a recruiting tool. Not a contrived, underground marketing attempt to make ND look hip. Just a fun video shown at a student athlete banquet.It’s freekin’ Freekbass.September 4th, I hope the students wear wacky facepaint, and crazy wigs, and dance, and sing, and rock Notre Dame Stadium, and party in the parking lot. And get all ‘70s again.Because WE ARE ND.
He did get one thing right. We are ND and we are all very proud of what that statement means. Every member of the ND community is brought together as one family.
Where he failed was in his assessment of the passion exerted in support of ND athletics. He underestimated the degree to which ND followers express their acceptance or, in this case, disapproval of something.
One thing he could serve to learn from this ordeal is that not all pro-ND creative expressions will be as well-received as John Scully's "Here Come The Irish" set against the incredible footage below.
Why does Mandell's piece not stack up? It seems as though he already knows the answer even though he has yet to come to terms with it. Because, after all, "It's freekin' Freekbass."