November 06, 2006

Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 26

I could talk a thousand words about my experience at Notre Dame this past weekend, but lets just say it with pictures, shall we...

Lets start by saying that 7:15 a.m. in South Bend is a COLD time to be out and about. I think the temperature was around 35 when we first arrived. I was basically like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, happily telling anyone that it was my first game at Notre Dame... even the parking attendants when we got lost. We left the Indianapolis hotel at 4:30 a.m. For those who are curious, I woke up at 2:05 a.m. after going to bed at 10:00 p.m. on Friday in the hotel. Apparently my body decided that 4 hours would be all I would need.

The next shot is about 15 minutes later after I have stopped gawking at the stadium and rejoined normal society by putting one foot in front of another and walking. Do we look cold in this picture? The guy who took it was one of the parking attendants and he just laughed when I asked if he did this much.

The plan was underway and we were going to take the 6+ hours to tour the grounds and get some food. First off, lets just say I had heard through the grapevine that the South Dining Hall was the place to eat. Wrong! $11.25 for a buffet plate at 9:00 AM was not my idea of trying to stay on the cheap. What was cool were all the halls out grilling their own food and hawking their wares to make money for themselves. Gotta love the entrepreneurial spirit of the Notre Dame student body!

You simply must have the obligatory shot of the Golden Dome on any trip to Notre Dame. I am just amazed that yours truly with my meager photography skills pulled off the picture that you see to the right. Granted, I did some photoshopping to get rid of the ND trash can that you no longer see, but the rest of the picture was all me.

This is the typical shot that you see on a camera when the game is about to return from commercial and some broadcaster wants to wax poetic about Notre Dame, the campus, Rockne, the Dome, whatever.

So the time crawled towards 1:00 p.m. and the gates opened and we were one of the first 500 in the building. I couldn't wait to get to my seat and see the view. This is what I saw from Section 126, Row 16, Seat 14. Beautiful.

Here we are, happy as larks that the game is about to begin. Gotta love the self-portrait with the help of the handy-dandy viewing screen on the borrowed digital camera. Good stuff. At this point, I think we're slap happy more than anything else. It's already a 12 hour day for me at this point and we've not even seen the clock move towards ticking down to kickoff.

You wait your whole life for this next moment...

Here come the Irish!!!


The Game

Alright, here begins the fan talk. Notre Dame took the ball straight down the field and led 7-0. Thank goodness, I thought. Let's get an absolute blow out game. Put the thing out of reach early and play some of the freshmen. Then North Carolina answers. 7-7. Alright, its early I think. Then 14-7, 21-7, 24-7 Notre Dame. Atta boys. I'm hungry and I go down right after the Irish score, only to watch the Heels run back the kick, 24-13 after the missed PAT. Then Zibby gets a punt return, and the place explodes. 31-13, Irish. Then the stupidity occurred. They get another series of big plays after we fumble the damn punt. 31-19. Irish come back, score, 38-19 on a long pass to Samardzija. Sweet.

Then I melted down. A 71-yard touchdown pass by UNC. The play was probably called "throw it up because the left corner can't guard anything" on two. It was a travesty, a sham, and a mockery - a travishamockery.

I was there at my first game in Notre Dame Stadium and I said to the guy in front me that we were dead meat in Los Angeles if we keep this up. Good lord, it was awful.

But the boys recovered, marched down and scored one last time for the final margin, 45-26. I didn't have the camera out, because I wanted to remember everything.

But finally as we watched the band play, we were still all smiles...


1 comment:

Vince said...

Great Stuff, I felt the chills you experienced (whether internal or external) through the pix and the writing.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.