Road Trip to South Bend, Indiana

Duke – Notre Dame, September 24. I marked my calendar early this summer.  South Bend is a great place to watch a football game, and Joe Giles-Harris ’15, who
captained the 2014 St. Joe’s football team, was slated to be a backup linebacker and special teams player for the Blue Devils so it’d be fun watching him.
Several St. Joe’s friends and alumni joined my wife Linda and me for the Friday-morning flight to Chicago: Coach Salvano, Annette and Jim Gardella, longtime supporters of SJR, and some of my former players from the class of 2009, J.J. Josephson, Ryan Neumann Matt Rogers, and David Wood. (The Gardella’s daughter graduated from ND and their son Mickey SJR ’09, ND ’13 was in his 3rd year of law school in South Bend.)
Landing at Midway Airport and driving east is a bit confusing because you gain an hour on New Jersey time, but then cross the Illinois-Indiana border and lose those 60 minutes. We managed, however, and by 3pm Eastern Time pulled our two SUV rentals into the lot at Legends, perhaps South Bend’s most well-know restaurant.  Legends steps you through Notre Dame football history.  Pictures along the wall take you from 1887 when the Fighting Irish lost its first game to Michigan 8-0, to the 1913 victory against Army at West Point, which established ND’s national reputation, to the Knute-Rocke era (1918 – 1930) in which the team went 105-12-5, had five undefeated seasons and earned three national championships, to the famous 0-0 tie against Army at Yankee Stadium just after World War
II in 1946, to some mediocre teams in the late 50s and early 60s, onto the resurgence of Irish football under Ara Parseghian in the late 60s and 70s, and to Notre Dame’s 11th and most recent national championship in 1988.  There are also pictures of the school’s seven Heisman Trophy winners: Angelo Bertelli (1943), Johnny Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949), Johnny Lattner (1953), Paul Hornung (1956), Johnny Huarte (1964) and Tim Brown (1987).
Next, we walked around campus, stopped at the bookstore and finished at a Pep Rally with Notre Dame’s Head Coach Brian Kelly, several players, cheerleaders,
4,000 fans, and of course the Leprechaun. Notre Dame’s Victory March Fight Song is second to none.

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