It won’t just be a national championship Notre Dame’s football team plays for Monday night, Jan. 7, when the Irish face off against SEC titan Alabama in Miami.
It will be to change the lives of thousands of people nationwide who spend their fall Saturdays living and dying with the fortunes of a small Catholic school in South Bend, Ind. — particularly the small but growing throng of fans who have no memory of the dominant Irish teams of the past.
Wild though it may seem to those of a certain age who can remember a day when you couldn’t discuss preseason national title contenders without including Notre Dame, the fact is that anyone under the age of 30 has no real recollection of Jan. 2, 1989. That was the day the Irish last won a national title with a dominating Fiesta Bowl victory over West Virginia. I was two years old, about the same age Whitehall High School alum and current Notre Dame offensive graduate assistant Pat Welsh was.
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