So after a cramped 6:00 AM flight from LAX amidst equal parts Trojan and Irish fans, we arrived at the lovely O’Hare airport. We were greated by a crush of traffic on I-90, doubled back, got lost in another mess of traffic, ended up back at O’Hare, headed toward Wisconsin before finally getting on I-294 back toward Indiana… But we are here.
We drove through a nice dash of rain which made me think that the track is going to be nice and slow tomorrow, and it’s refreshingly “crisp” in South Bend. (Note: that means my fellow Southern California friends are shivering like softies and flooding the book store for thick cotton reinforcements. I, on the other hand, came prepared. Jacket and a pair of choppers are already getting a workout.)
I can tell you that campus is already buzzing, and the Whistle Pigs are giving it their all on the stage before the pep rally gets started. I’ve seen more than my share of USC fans walking around rubbing their bare arms and trying to stay warm, just how Charlie Weis and the boys want the Trojans to feel tomorrow.
This is the most important weekend of the Irish season. I just spoke to heralded professor Carl Ackermann, who is an academic liaison to potential recruits, and he is scheduled to talk with upwards of 50 prospective students-athletes as they visit Notre Dame this weekend. The South Bend Tribune had a list of the star-studded visitors and it’s truly a site to behold. As recruiting guru Jeremy Crabtree told Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, “It is sickening how much talent will be on campus there.”
The pep rally is about 30 minutes away, and I’ll be on-hand to listen to a charged up Eric Olson, Kyle McCarthy, Scott Smith, and Jimmy Clausen talk, as well as Joe Theismann and Rocket Ismail. Hopefully CW will channel his inner Lou Holtz and have the crowd at the rally on the Irish Green.
I’ll hopefully file an AM report tomorrow, and get the feed for a combination platter of live-blog and streaming video to let you fully geek out as we follow tomorrow’s game.
More coming after the pep rally…