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First road start is extra special for Bell

Sep 27, 2013, 7:44 PM EDT

Blake Bell

Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell will be making his first ever road start on Saturday. For Sooner quarterbacks, their first game outside the friendly confines of the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has been a mixed bag. Under Bob Stoops, Sooner quarterbacks are 3-4 in their first road starts, with none winning against BCS opponents.

Add to that the atmosphere of Notre Dame Stadium, and a family that’s packed a rental house to the rafters to watch Bell play, and it should be a special afternoon for the junior from Wichita, Kansas.

The Oklahoman’s Jason Kersey has a great story about the Bell family, a devoutly Catholic group that’ll travel 16-members to South Bend to watch Blake play.

Here’s more from the Oklahoman:

The Bells began planning this trip months ago — renting a house near the Notre Dame campus and two vans for the large group that would travel to witness Blake’s first career road start at the preeminent Catholic university.

All that planning will pay off when he trots onto the field a little after 2:30 p.m. Saturday to lead No. 14 Oklahoma against the Irish, but only a month ago, the family figured they’d spend the afternoon watching Blake watch the game.

“It’s the ideal situation: Watching him play probably the most storied program of all time, Notre Dame, and especially after the way he won the starting job,” said Austin Muck, Bell’s cousin who hadn’t planned on coming to the game until a sudden change of heart this week compelled him to travel more than 1,000 miles and sleep on a floor.

The family always stays together — or at least at the same hotel — when they travel to OU games, but they knew last spring that hotels around Notre Dame would be wildly expensive this weekend.

Then they discovered that lots of locals in South Bend rent houses to out-of-towners on game weekends and for other big campus events. Family members and a few close friends lined up to join the Bells in the rent house, despite the fact many of them didn’t have a ticket to the game.

“There was a group of them that didn’t have tickets, but they were going no matter what,” said Sherry Bell, Blake’s mom. “If they didn’t get tickets, they would’ve just watched the game somewhere in town.”

Add the minor monkey wrench that was thrown into this plan when Bell wasn’t announced the starter coming out of preseason camp, and you start to see another interesting subplot coming out of no where as Sooner fans begin making their way to South Bend.

But the Bell family was coming regardless, especially after their initial trip to South Bend in 1999 when Kansas played Notre Dame to open the season in 1999.

“Being a lifelong Catholic, to sit in the stands at Notre Dame and watch your son start at quarterback for Oklahoma … what could be better than that?” Mark Bell told the Oklahoman. “Watching Blake throw a couple touchdowns, then look up at Touchdown Jesus?”

  1. seadomer - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Lets make it a family night to remember …

    Lets ring those Bells

  2. dickasman - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    I’m soooooo tired today, pooped out nothing to say. Hi everyone!

  3. seadomer - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    This weekend:

    In Seattle: Executive Suite at the Grand Hyatt, 812 sq ft, weekend, non-refundable rate: $ 329
    Sushi delivery from Seastar restaurant : $ 80
    Macrina’s bakery chocolate torte : $ 20
    Beer from home : free

    In South Bend: one night at Holiday Inn Express (NILES, not even close damn it!!) : $500 (via expedia)

    • NotreDan - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      oh, pass the fish. You shoulda brought hot sake

    • dickasman - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      What a chespa$$. No budget for cocaine n escorts or what?

  4. NotreDan - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    This is an interesting little piece. I hope Blake brought his own vestments and organ player, because that okie brand of roman can’t touch St. Patrick.

  5. NotreDan - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Nobody else up? Pork shoulder going in the pit at 9 AM. I think I’ll put some Jameson in the BBQ sauce.

    • dickasman - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      A lot of sushi, Thai and Korean food for me this weekend. I presume my toilet will be seeing slit of my a$$ this weekend

  6. Keith Arnold - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    NotreDan and Dick — STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARDS! No need for sushi toilet humor… That’s a lot for me to clean up here (no pun intended).

    Get some sleep and see you gentlemen tomorrow.

    • NotreDan - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:20 AM

      I think I had already konked! Lol.

      Gameday. Coffee on, let’s go IRISH!

  7. fnc111 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    I hope the crowd stands and gets loud. Do it from the start to create a tough atmosphere. Be proactive. Don’t wait for the team to do something. Force some false starts.

    Tulsa is one of the worst teams in the country. They were curb stomped at home by a winless Iowa State team. OU isn’t all that.

    ND can turn this thing around. It has to start today.

    • bernhtp - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      The new meds appear to be working.

      While this game is a test for the Irish – one that determines whether they can grow the leadership and spirit that made last year’s team so good – it is a bigger test for Oklahoma, which hasn’t even taken a quiz yet.

  8. jerseyshorendfan1 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    There once was a team from Oklahoma
    That thought they could beat the Gold Domas
    They got their Bell rung
    And that really stung
    Cause we did it without Teo or Toma

    • nudeman - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM


  9. rocket1988 - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Take a staND. Get after it today home crowd.

  10. nudeman - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I feel somewhat more optimistic today, particularly after reading idratherbe’s post on the previous article. Didn’t realize OK has basically played nobody.

    I still fear the 27-7 beat down I predicted and have to live with my prediction but unlike yesterday, today I can see ND winning. A beautiful autumnal Midwest morning, crisp in the air, and cup of coffee do wonders for the soul.

    Maybe the green-out inspires ND
    Maybe BK has some inspirational cache
    Maybe Ara, the ’57 team and the other ND football Gods will work their magic

    Am I forgiven?

  11. deaconjack - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Nude man you are an anomaly.

    • papadec - Sep 28, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Maybe a tad bit bi-polar. But, we all have our good, and not so good, days. I’m a bit concerned too. I think we win a high scoring game with a late field goal. GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. loadofwash - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Too bad the Irish can’t get real qb’s

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