Now that over a week has passed since the-game-that-will-never-ever-be-watched-again, I thought it was stomachable to look back at what was otherwise (you know, other than that whole football thing) a glorious celebration of Notre Dame, its alumni, its students and its fans. Some of my thoughts from my time in Miami and my day at Sun Life Stadium are below. Please share your thoughts about the experience in the comment section following the post.
*Sitting in the Notre Dame end zone I was astonished to see that Notre Dame fans made up about 2/3 of the crowd in the stadium. After taking some time perusing the gigapixel panorama from the game, though, it seems like closer to 3/4 of Sun Life was supporting ND – great job, Irish fans.
* The video montage followed by the Irish running out of the tunnel was one of the most electric moments I’ve ever been a part of at a sporting event. No, it was one of the most electric moments I’ve ever been a part of – period. I am getting chills just writing about it now.
* The booing of Marqise Lee and Johnny Manziel was aaaaamazing. Supposedly Lee took a similar boo-bath at the Dierks Bentley and Flo Rida concert (seriously – they had a BCS concert together on the beach) the night before as well. In case they didn’t show it on TV (I deleted my recording as soon as I got home, so I’m sorry if they did) there was a brief ceremony honoring college football’s award winners before the game. Manti Te’o's and and Tyler Eifert’s parents were met with a thunderous ovation, while Lee and Manziel felt the wrath of ND Nation.
* The video boards were enormous and entirely useless. I might have been able to handle the horribly loud, annoying and never ending commercials if I at least was able to see replays, but they only showed replays from field level cameras so they were generally unhelpful. I am a supporter of video boards at Notre Dame Stadium, just make sure the guy running them at Sun Life stays far, far away.
* Notre Dame won the tailgate in a landslide. I am not exaggerating when I say there were 8-10 Irish fans for every Bama fan in the parking lot. A huge Irish tailgate on the West side of the stadium looked more like a night at the ‘Backer with a DJ blasting music and about 40 people dancing on top of trucks.
* Dolphins fans must not tailgate, because there was about one porta-potty for every 1,500 people in the parking lot. By 4:00pm lines were about 25+ deep. I hope you had a rental car, because if you were parked close to the stadium there is about a 90% chance that someone who didn’t want to wait in line used your bumper sin
* A huge percentage of the students (I couldn’t tell if it was all of them) were up in the back of 427 and 428 in the Notre Dame end zone. It would have been nice to get some of them closer to the field.
* I was shocked by how many ND fans left early. As painful as it was to watch, this team gave us everything they had this year and deserved our support to the final whistle. C’mon, man.
* Alabama fans did an S-E-C chant before even doing an Alabama chant. The conference pride is stupid, especially coming from Alabama fans. You ARE the conference. Everyone else is just latching onto your success – don’t help them do it.
* On our way out of the stadium, we ran into Manti’s parents watching the press conference on some TVs on the 200 level concourse. It was tough to see them at the end of Manti’s ND career, but we can thank them enough for sending their son so many miles away. It’s not an exaggeration to say he helped change the course of Notre Dame football.