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