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ND Takes Over South Beach

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By Liam Farrell ’04
Senior Alumni Editor

Miami is clearly a colorful town, but it now has healthy new shades of blue, gold, and green.

Notre Dame alumni, parents, and fans descended on sunny South Beach today to turn it into a South Bend on the sand. The main attraction was the Discover BCS Championship Fan Experience, sandwiched between festive Ocean Drive and the beach.

The Notre Dame Alumni Association has a tent at the Fan Experience to welcome all Fighting Irish fans, hand out leis, give out information, and help sell tickets to Monday’s Notre Dame Gameday tailgate party.

Twenty-four years is a long time between championship games, but Kara England ’88 was at the beach wearing a Fiesta Bowl shirt from the last time ND took the crown.

“I was there,” she said. “I’m hoping to repeat.”

Although she described the close Pittsburgh game as “excruciating,” she said this season has been a lot of fun to watch and the weekend so far worth the trip from her hometown of Boston.

“It is just great to be in Miami,” she said. “Everyone is in great spirits.”

Jessica and Christian Pierce ’99 managed to bookend the football year, first traveling to Dublin for the Emerald Isle Classic and then going in on the Miami trip about a half-hour after the clock hit triple-zero with the victory over Southern Cal.

“We did the first game, we might as well do the last game,” he said. “No hesitation.”

Jessica, a Georgia Tech graduate, said her family has an interesting Notre Dame connection, as her brother played for Coach Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State. This Christmas, she and her husband sent out a Christmas card that was themed for the national championship run.

In Dublin, Christian said he “would have laughed” if told Notre Dame would have ended up in the championship game, but after a few months of great games and amazing plays, he feels the Fighting Irish are in the right place.

“I like being the underdog,” he said. “The team rises to that.”

The Irish invasion will continue throughout the day, as fans gather for tonight’s pep rally.

Stay up to date with everything happening in Miami by checking myNotreDame and following the Alumni Association with @GoIrish on Twitter and on Facebook.

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