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A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

November 29, 2000|LARRY STEWART


Official Notre Dame Web sites include and But is as complete and interesting as anything you'll find on the Internet.

There are old newspaper articles, access to Notre Dame Football News and the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, links to other Web sites, and much more. Click on Herb's Archives, a collection of articles by the late Herb Juliano, a curator of Notre Dame history, and there is a story about the 1977 USC-Notre Dame game, when a group of students built a Trojan horse that was wheeled onto the field.

On the home page is a brief synopsis of Tony Rice's 65-yard touchdown against the Trojans in 1988, a game Rice ranks as his favorite during his career as a Notre Dame quarterback. There is an 11 x 14 photograph, autographed by Rice, that can ordered, along with lots of other memorabilia.

The creator of this site is Vince Gratzer, 50, a native of upstate New York who now lives in West Los Angeles. He is a historical researcher for films and television who has worked with director John Sayles on "Matewan" and "Eight Men Out." He is currently producing a documentary, "The Game of the Century," on the 1935 Notre Dame-Ohio State game.

Gratzer is a "subway alumnus" of Notre Dame, a huge fan who did not attend the school. Gratzer went to college at a small school in Syracuse, but grew up in an Irish-Italian family that loved the Irish. The term "subway alum" dates to the days the Irish in New York took a subway to see the Notre Dame-Army games when they were played at the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field or Yankee Stadium.

Gratzer also sends a free monthly newsletter to more than 2,000 subscribers. The Web address for the newsletter is

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