So, the Notre Dame football season ended with a … well, I’m not even really sure what to call it. Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t actually a football game. Even our band lost the battle of the bands and it pains my heart to admit that. I do have to say that the Notre Dame tailgates were more awesome than the Alabama tailgates so I suppose we won the tailgate battle.
As much as I don’t want to recount The Disappointment, I suppose I should start from the beginning.
After Notre Dame finished her undefeated season, we hoped for the National Championship. And it seemed within reach when the top two teams both lost making Notre Dame the clear #1 team in the country. And so the crew made plans to travel to Miami. Expectations were high. Hopes were even higher. And either way we were going to enjoy a winter-warm up.
We flew in to Fort Myers on Saturday, drove across the state to Fort Lauderdale, dropped our luggage at the hotel and immediately headed to Miami Beach for the Notre Dame Pep Rally.
It was a great time, even if Lou Holtz felt the need to remind us that he has a cemetery plot on campus. But don’t worry, he tried to cheer us up by saying that the view was better if you were sitting up.
I think that Miami Beach was surprised by the number of fans pouring in to their community. This was proven by the fact that the two Irish bars only had one server. And it felt like it was one server total when really it was one server each. So we ditched the rest of the Irish community and headed further north for a 9:30 dinner. And an even later return to the hotel.
It was no surprise that our next morning didn’t start very early. But the day did include a trip to the beach. You know, to try to turn those pasty white legs into only slightly less shockingly white legs. Then back to the hotel. Then back to Miami Beach. Yes, we probably should have stayed in Miami Beach. But we had lots of good bonding time in our minivan.
This is where I feel like I should post a public-service announcement to remind people that Fat Tuesdays can totally sneak up on you. I say it didn’t sneak up on me until we got back to the hotel but the rest of the group has informed me that it didn’t so much as sneak but more of hit with a baseball bat and I didn’t even make it all the way to dinner before feeling the full effects of that sugary goodness.
The next morning may have started even later. Actually, I’m not entirely certain it was morning by the time we got started. But it must not have been too late because we still made it to the stadium by 2:00. And that’s after picking up supplies and eating a greasy lunch.
We parked just outside of the stadium and started our rental car tailgate. We might not have had an tables, or chairs, or even plastic cups, but the rental car tailgates were amazing. Team spirit was everywhere. The Notre Dame gear was completely sold out.
Side track again. I would like to point out the differences between a Notre Dame fan and an Alabama fan. A ND fan believes in comfortable team spirit (probably because it’s cold 10 out of 12 games) while the Alabama fan believes in fashion and style (probably because it’s only cold one game a year at some far away destination up North). I think this explains why the ND tailgates were so much more awesome – it is hard to tailgate for 6 hours while wearing 4 inch heels.
Anyway, we finally wandered into the stadium. About 75 minutes before game time. Seriously, the team was still stretching on the field when we got to our seats.
And then the football game started. Actually, I’m not sure we can call it a game because the throwing and running and kicking parts were all there but only one team participated. So let’s fast forward to the half time show band performance. Where the Alabama Band out-performed, out-danced, and out-Christianed us by playing a compilation of hymns.
But we can claim the most patriotic with a rendition of God Bless America – complete with giant flag (although smaller than the flag used in the National Anthem at the beginning of the game – someone didn’t do their research …). And a Back to the Future DeLorean. Both of which had already been seen several times during the year. Seriously, the band couldn’t come up with at least one new song?
Then the second half started. It wasn’t AS BAD as the first half, but it wasn’t any good either. So by the time we made it back to the car, we didn’t even crack open the Victory Beer or even a consolation beer. We just left.
But at least it was warm. I even have a really small sunburn on the back of my neck to prove it. Although, I suppose that could just be a spot of humiliation. But I suppose there is always next year!