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Nov 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday: ND v. Stanford

Irish Creed throws it back to the days of yore
by giving you a sample from the behind-the-scenes book

This week's throwback comes from Chapter 5: Week 12, which recalls the Battle for the Legends Trophy between Notre Dame and Stanford in Palo Alto, CA:

Exclusive Excerpt from "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun"

...The cheerleaders and I boarded our chartered flight to San Francisco on Thanksgiving morning, arriving to the most gratifyingly extravagant feast I had ever laid eyes on.  Notre Dame really outdid itself with the unlimited helpings of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy of all kinds, Alaskan king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, lobster tails, and oceans of cranberry sauce they laid out on our tables.  We stacked plate upon plate until we could stack no more.  Then we spent the next two days digesting our meals while enjoying everything the beautiful City by the Bay had to offer.  The girls made me take photos of them stunting in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the notorious prison island of Alcatraz, and even while holding bowls of clam chowder at Fisherman's Wharf.  Finally relieved of my duties as they cameraman, I enjoyed returning to my usual emcee role at the pep rally put on by the Notre Dame Club of San Francisco.  The always-warm Northern California members of our Notre Dame Family welcomed us with open arms and mellow vibes that almost made me want to put a flower in my hair.
...Game day began when we snuck out of the hotel after our midnight curfew to cause mayhem on Stanford's campus.  We didn't mean any real harm, and we would certainly never do anything to deface such a beautiful place, but we did leave our mark by quoting The Little Rascals on every chalkboard we could find: 
Dear Stanford Nerds,
We hate your stinking guts.  You make us vomit.  You're the scum between our toes.
Love, Notre Dame
I had never seen a football field surrounded by palm trees before, but it made sense when I finally came across the most ridiculously absurd mascot of all time.  Stanford's Tree looked like a homemade prop from a high school musical, and he acted accordingly.  Too many alcohol-related offenses committed by inebriated Trees over the years forced Stanford to adopt a new rule requiring all mascots to pass a Breathalyzer test prior to entering their stadium.  Good thing I left my Jameson at home.  Double zeros gave me the green light to leave it all on the field one last time...

Nov 18, 2013


God bless our seniors as they prepare for their final game
inside the Cathedral of College Football

Nov 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: BEAT PITT Edition

Irish Creed throws it back to the days of yore 

by giving you a sample from the behind-the-scenes book 

This week's throwback comes from Chapter 5: Week 10, which recalls the happenings surrounding Notre Dame's road trip to play #8 ranked Pitt in 2009:

UPDATE for fans attending ND v. Pitt in 2013:
Join us as we take over the streets of Steel City on Friday night (6 p.m. - 1 a.m.) at Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle (24th street).  We're hosting a Fightin' Irish Block Party, complete with drink specials, prizes, and fun for the whole family.  The ND Cheerleaders and Leprechaun will be in attendance, and I will be signing copies of "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun" beginning at 6 p.m.  Hope to see you there!

Exclusive Excerpt from "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun"

...the Notre Dame Club of Pittsburgh impressed us with their professionally run pep rally at Station Square.  All we had to do was show up and look pretty.  They took care of the rest.  I met several families who appreciated my Rust Belt roots, and they generously shared some of Pittsburgh's finest delicacies with us. Their zesty Kielbasa pork sausage and salad topped with thick stacks of cheesy french-fries gave me the extra kick I needed to teach everyone the authentic Leprechaun jig.  As much as they loved their city, they obviously took just as much pride in representing Notre Dame.  After the rally, we kept their recommendations in mind as we hit the vibrant local restaurant scene...

...We enjoyed our sightseeing tour along the rivers and up the Duquesne Incline throughout the following afternoon.  Then we suited up and assembled in the hotel lobby with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers who would escort us to the game.  They surrounded our bus with squad cars and motorcycles, literally stopping city traffic with their blaring sirens and flashing lights as we sped through a maze of bridges towards Heinz Field.  More excellent food and friendly faces awaited us at the Notre Dame Club of Pittsburgh pre-game pep rally outside Clark Bar & Grill, where we chanted and jigged in anticipation of our soon-to-come victory.
The Pitt student section lined both sides of the tunnel inside Heinz Field, which made for an interesting entrance as I led the charge through a heavy downpour of bottles, cans, food wrappers, and saliva.  The stadium itself looked imposing with black and yellow everywhere and two gargantuan Heinz Ketchup bottles that lit up bright red every time Pitt scored.  A giant video board added to their home-field advantage as well, but they could have gone without the irritating piped-in panther growl sound effects after every first down.

A small group of Pitt fans made a weak attempt at storming the field when the Panthers finally ran out the clock.  One of them swiped the Leprechaun hat right off my head as he ran by.  My football instincts kicked in and I caught up to him, taking him down right before he reached the tunnel.  With his face in the turf and my foot planted squarely on the middle of his back, I reached down to retrieve my now-misshapen Kelly green bowler.  When I looked up, I saw a family of Pitt fans staring at me with their mouths wide open in amazement.  I apologized for subjecting their kids to such violence, lifting my foot to let the perpetrator scamper away.  To my surprise, the father thanked me for subjecting his sons to such a fine example of a properly executed form tackle.  We all took a group photo together, and I congratulated them on their win.  

The only other bright spot of the game, besides finally getting to savor more than our fair share of Primanti Bros. sandwiches at halftime, came when we met a man who introduced himself as Johnny Lattner's cousin.  He told us that he wished he could accomplish as much as Johnny had for Notre Dame, but he tried to do all he could by volunteering in his community nonetheless.  I told him that I believed we were all called to contribute in our own way, and I thanked him for adding to our mission.  My words didn't sound especially profound when they lift my lips, but he reacted as if I had just bestowed some great seed of wisdom upon him.  He thanked the cheerleaders and me for making him feel included, and his response reminded me why I loved calling myself part of the Notre Dame Family.

Read the rest at www.LeprechaunBook.com

Nov 5, 2013

Notre Dame v. Navy: Photo Recap

If you attended the 2013 edition of Navy v. Notre Dame, you had the honor of partaking in a timeless tradition filled with respect, mutual admiration, a shared commitment to excellence, and far far more than just a football game.  It was a glorious weekend enjoyed by all, and neither team failed to impress by displaying a hard-fought battle on the gridiron.  

For a more in-depth look at the significance of Notre Dame's historic rivalry with the Naval Academy, read this post from the Irish Creed archives.  You can also check out the Notre Dame v. Navy chapter in my recently released book "Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun" available at www.LeprechaunBook.com.

Photo Recap:

Notre Dame Stadium stands ready on Friday night
Navy arrives on campus
Moose Kraus enjoys his game day cigar
while repping the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox
The Admiral makes his current allegiance known
Irish Guardsmen hoisting the Stars and Stripes
Fans await the familiar call of "Heeere come the Irish!"
Cam McDaniel's Modeling/Game Face
GAIII getting serious
Tommy Gun licks his chops
while preparing to light up the scoreboard
KeiVarae Russell looking forward to locking it down
Middies take the field
Captains utilizing the luck of the Irish to win the coin toss
Just BK being a wise guy
TJ Jones celebrates another touchdown

Both teams come together for the Alma Mater of each school

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(