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BCS Championship: Day 1

Jan 2, 2013, 10:49 PM EST

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After weeks of anticipation, and on one of the coldest South Bend days in recent memory, Notre Dame finally took to South Florida on Wednesday.

Departing South Bend Regional Airport at about 1 pm, the Fighting Irish arrived in Fort Lauderdale just before 4 pm.

The plane’s exterior was drenched with a water cannon, and fans, media members, and the Orange Bowl Committee (in their signature bright jackets) greeted the travel party on the tarmac.

Not more than two minutes after having his feet on the ground, head coach Brian Kelly spoke with the media outside the very appropriately decorated team buses.

Afterwards, the travel party boarded seven buses and headed to the hotel. Following check-in, the players grabbed dinner and had a team meeting, before rolling out to American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami for tonight’s matchup between the hometown Heat and Dallas Mavericks.

If you follow Louis Nix on Twitter (@iChocolate9) – especially come NBA Finals time – you are probably well aware that he is a big Heat fan. Sporting a Nix #9 Heat jersey, Big Lou was definitely the most excited of all the Irish players about tonight’s team activity.

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Photo from Nix’s Instagram account (IrishChocolate9)

During a timeout in the second quarter, he even participated in DJ Irie’s singing contest along with Alabama receiver Christion Jones.

The video has 1.1 billion (yes, billion) views on YouTube, so naturally, DJ Irie had Lou and Christion sing “Gangnam Style.” The two opposing players were featured on the videoboard, and at the end, when Irie asked the crowd which of the teams would win on Monday, Notre Dame certainly seemed to receive the louder ovation.

The Irish will get to work tomorrow morning, beginning bright and early with the defensive press conference at 9 am, before holding their first practice in Miami in the early afternoon.

Below are a few more pictures and tweets from day one in the Sunshine State, as well as Fighting Irish Digital Media’s first two on-scene video updates. Remember to follow @NDFootball, @NDfidm and @NDSportsBlogger on Twitter for more coverage, and stay tuned to UND.com for daily videos brought to you by St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.

Get ready for an exciting few days, and whether you are at work or in school, lots of Fighting Irish coverage to distract you from whatever else you should probably doing.

Go Irish. Beat Bama.

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