Saturday, October 15


I took advantage of this last evening -- an opportunity to watch on my computer screen the Fighting Irish All-Access broadcast of the Notre Dame pep rally, which was held in Notre Dame Stadium to accomodate a huge throng of fans, perhaps as many as 40,000 (some report more like 50,000). It was only the fourth time in the storied history of Notre Dame football that a pep rally was held in the stadium.

It was special; and it was made more special because my son, Jim, was there in attendance and he called me at the conclusion of the rally and told me it was all so inspirational and emotional that it was hard for him to choke back the tears. The University of Notre Dame campus and most certainly Fighting Irish football can do that to you. Oh, and that Notre Dame Fight Song (which I have as a ringtone on my cell phone). It makes your spine tingle.

They had Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger of "Rudy" movie fame there to emcee the rally and to introduce the speakers, which included Head Coach Charlie Weis, Joe Montana, Tim Brown, and Chris Zorich. Zorich's speech was particularly inspirational.

Everything, of course, is a Ravel's Bolero-style ramp up to what will be a highly-charged football match-up this afternoon between the #1-ranked, 5-0 USC Trojans and the #9-ranked, 4-1 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame -- what sports' writer Molly Acker says is college football's version of "the perfect storm."

And if you don't think the Notre Dame mojo includes some heavy-duty, inspirational religiosity, just consider "Touchdown Jesus," the "house that Rockne built," the "Grotto," and by all means read this. Oh, and don't forget those words chiseled in stone over the entrance to the Notre Dame chapel -- God, Country, Notre Dame.