Te’o sparks pep rally crowd

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In a year where Robert Blanton has quoted Genghis Khan, and on a night where Irish basketball coach Mike Brey went crowd surfing and the Notre Dame student body unveiled their Trojan horse, the scene for the Irish pep rally was a bit more electric than most.

But the evening was stolen by Manti Te’o. The junior linebacker who was named defensive game captain for the Irish took to the microphone, a place he claims to be uneasy. Yet Te’o’s remarks — especially those aimed at Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin — got a huge roar out of the crowd.

You can see the video for yourself at UND.com, but Te’o channeled his inner Winston Churchill, and the speech served notice that the heart of the Irish defense is ready for tonight.

“This isn’t really my strong suit right here, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Earlier this week, I heard Coach Kiffin say this is our Super Bowl. He said this is our Super Bowl. He said that he was happy that he could be part of Notre Dame’s history. Let me tell you something that my history teacher told me. He said history is very inaccurate. Because history is told from the mouths of those who dominate. History is told from the eyes of those who conquer others. History is a bunch of stories of guys who win championships. Let me tell you one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill. He said, ‘History will be kind to me, because I intend to write its pages.’

“Mr. Kiffin. I already have a chapter on you from last year. And tomorrow, these guys behind me we’re about to add another chapter to that book. Go Irish.”

With a little less than eight hours until kickoff, there’s a blue sky overhead and a stream of cars headed to campus.