features an article entitled, “Mascot Mike Spirit Behind Irish.” by
Bob Towner. (Courtesy of the
Notre Dame Archives)
Clashmore Mike trainer Dan Hanley
puts the mascot through his paces. To the right is Capt. Paul Lillis,
senior right tackle.
N.D.’s Terrier famed
for hurdling antics
I went to the dogs
Armed with only a sack
of candy and a smile, I crashed the "dog-house society, canine's '400',”
meeting Clashmore Mike, famed Irish terrier mascot of the Fightin' Irish of
Notre Dame. The candy was a precautionary measure for Mike is feared by his
mascot rivals -the Army mule, the Navy goat, the Pitt panther and the Drake
bulldog. I, too, was somewhat fearful.
The candy was
unnecessary. Except when chasing his mascot brothers on the gridiron, Mike
is a gentle, harmless animal, possessing little of the Irish temperament.
Mike's only failing is candy. He emptied the sack.
During the winter Mike
shifts his living quarters from the great green outdoors of the Notre Dame
campus to the much smaller confines of Dan Hanley's room in the fieldhouse.
Hanley, by way of explanation, is caretaker of the fieldhouse and Mascot
Mike's keeper and trainer.
A newspaperman's first
move in an interview is to gain the confidence of those he questions. I
handed Clashmore Mike a piece of candy, waited patiently while he devoured
it and then popped question No.1.
“Mike," (he looked up
eagerly) “to what do you attribute the success of Notre Dame's team under
Coach Frank Leahy this autumn?”
“Arf. Arf! Grrrr-arf,”
Mike explained. (Translated: “What else do you expect? A fine Irish man
teaching a bunch of great Irishmen.” Mr. Hanley and I thought that summed it
up pretty well.
"Mike, how about
yourself? Where did you learn all those tricks you perform before the
Saturday thousands ?"
Another series of
“arfs" and similar dog barks. (Again translated: “Look at my trainer.") And
Mike lifted his head to meet the already descending hands of grey-haired,
72-year-old Dan Hanley. Dan lovingly patted Mike's reddish, wire-haired head.
Turning serious, we
asked Mr. Hanley for something of Mike's history. “Elmer Layden, coach at
that time, received him from a
Chicago friend in February of 1935. He's
not an airedale as some believe, but a genuine Irish terrier. He'll be eight
years old next February. Every spring Mike takes a leave of absence,
A.W.0.L., and we have to get police aid in rediscovering him."
His most hated mascot
foe is the United States Naval academy's goat. The 1940 meeting between the
Navy's bewhiskered billy and Clashmore Mike nearly became a free-for-all
with cheerleaders barely escaping with their necks. Jerry Flynn, head
cheerleader led Mike across the turf to be introduced to the Middies' good
luck charm. Mike hurried the introduction by chasing the goat back to the
Navy dugout and then standing on guard for a few minutes.
Mike renewed his 1941
acquaintance with the goat in much the same manner. The Fighting Irish
imitated Clashmore in the second half against the Tars. Final score: Notre
Dame, 20; Navy, 13.
Mike is a little more
educated in military maneuvers. He holds the Army mule in high respect and
has learned how to retreat gracefully. In former years, Hanley recalled,
Mike and the Drake bulldog were great enemies and many a brawl was averted
by alert cheerleaders. “Mike once grabbed the Pitt panther's tail in his
teeth, pulled it off and proudly ran around the gridiron with it in his
mouth." The Pitt panther is merely a disguised student, however, in costume.
See why brought the candy along brothers?
Hanley is Trainer
Every morning and
afternoon, fair or stormy weather, Hanley sends Mike over his hurdles.
Clashmore's feature act in the Irish buff brick bowl is his exhibition of
Fans love him
everywhere. Last Saturday's Baltimore and Washington citizens took Mike
right into their hearts and, added Hanley, “they'd take him right into their
homes, too, if I didn't keep an eye on him." After the Navy tussle in
Municipal stadium, a huge throng of fans gathered around Mike and his
trainer. “Just because of the attention he created," muttered Dan, “we
missed the bus carrying the band back to
Washington. We, the two of us, took a
Over 300 pictures of
Mike were taken by the press and public at the week's football classic.
Which merely proves that sometimes even a dog will beat out an All-American
for publicity. But Mike, says his trainer, the team, coaching staff, Notre
Dame faculty and students, is an all-American, too
a Notre Dame football program by W.F. Krawiec.
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