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Warner Home Video presents
Echoes of Glory: The History of Notre Dame Football (2006)

"It's special, it's different, it's unique, and I would always love it to stay that way."
- Joe Theismann

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 14, 2006

Stars: Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Lou Holtz
Other Stars: Roy Scheider, Joe Theismann
Director: Roger Springfield

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 02h:00m:29s
Release Date: September 05, 2006
UPC: 012569812130
Genre: sports


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ A+CB B

DVD Review

To me, there isn't a more magical place to experience sports than Notre Dame Stadium, way up in the middle of nowhere that is South Bend, Indiana. Watching football there isn't just a matter of taking in a four-hour game; it's a rite of passage. From strolling through the grotto, attending the pre-game mass, or even simply visiting the bookstore, every college home game is a day-long event, but this one comes attached to names like Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, or even more recent legends such as Lou Holtz, Joe Montana, and Tim Brown.

I've been a Notre Dame Football fan my entire life (can you tell?), like my uncle and grandfather before me, but I will always remember the first time I realized what the Fighting Irish tradition was all about, when I went to my grandfather's house to watch the classic match up between ND and the Miami Hurricanes. Taking place during their 1988 national championship year in which they went undefeated, this game, dubbed the Catholics vs. Convicts, showed me, at a very impressionable 12 years old, what it was like to be a Notre Dame fan. Just seeing my normally calm elders acting like kids, yelling at the TV and cheering loudly was all I needed to know that I would be sitting down with this football team every Saturday for the rest of my life.

Narrated by actor Roy Scheider, Echoes of Glory: The History of Notre Dame Football begins with a montage of football footage that had me nearly in tears; this blend of old game footage and shots from around the campus brought back so many powerful memories. The two-hour program is filled with plenty of history of not only the team, but of the university itself. While the emotions ran high for most of the show, none of this feels forced or overly sappy. Such documentaries can be difficult to enjoy if you aren't a fan of a particular team, but the Notre Dame mystique transcends wins or losses.

A wonderful collection of interviews are the film's cornerstone. We hear from all of the legends, as well as some newer alumni, with an extended segment devoted to the man who put Notre Dame football on the map, Knute Rockne. Everyone knows who Rockne is, but this informative film taught this Irish fan many things about this legend, including some facts about the famous "win one for the Gipper" speech.

I grew up during the Lou Holtz era, and those years also get extended treatment. There's plenty of game footage, but the best part is hearing reflections by not only Holtz, but also players Rick Mirer and Tony Brooks. There's Holtz's successor Bob Davie, and Tyrone Willingham who followed him. Much more time is spent on current coach Charlie Weis and what he brings to the table for the team's future. Then the USC rivalry takes center stage, followed by a look at the similar Army rivalry, their Big Ten rivals, and greatest games, both regular season, and bowl battles.

After nearly a decade of mediocrity and a few coaching changes, the present and future of Notre Dame football is as bright as ever. Second-year head coach Charlie Weiss has his Irish ranked higher than they have been in years, with National Championship hopes permeating throughout South Bend and throughout the fan base around the country. With Heisman front-runner Brady Quinn at quarterback and a deadly offense, the 2006 Fighting Irish look to further the amazing tradition of winning that is chronicled here.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The video appears in full frame, and the overall quality is excellent, considering the old material. Newer game footage, and the recent interview segments do benefit from a lively color scheme and sharp images, but the old games feature, unsurprisingly, a ton of grain and dirt.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is very impressive, especially with the ultra-sharp and clear interview dialogue. The wonderful music, from the song Here Come the Irish to the best fight song in college history, sounds incredible. Even the older play-by-play calls are crisp, and everything meshes well with the overriding music.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring We Are Marshall
3 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Rockne Speeches
Extras Review: The extras consist of some nice featurettes, including the seven-minute Heisman Heroes, which looks at the whopping seven players that have won the trophy.

The Marching Band gives us a five-minute look at the best marching band in the world.

Here Come the Irish is a four-minute look at this unforgettable 1997 song that is featured in numerous promotional items for the school and is often played at pep rallys.

There's also a collection of Knute Rockne speeches that last over six minutes, and a preview for the upcoming film, We Are Marshall.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

Whether you're a die-hard Notre Dame fan or just a lover of college football history, Echoes of Glory: The History of Notre Dame Football is a must-buy. Spanning the football program's entire history, this disc will get you geared up for the 2006 season, as well as give you a feel for what the Notre Dame experience is all about. While the audio and video quality vary thanks to the footage's wide age span, the handful of extras is worth multiple viewings.

 


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