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Game Day in Chicago

Oct 6, 2012, 11:35 AM EST

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October 4, 2012; Notre Dame football for the Miami match-up In front of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame

The day has arrived.

It’s been a long couple of weeks since Sept. 22.

Well, luckily, Notre Dame football is back, and it’s sure to be a special night at Soldier Field as the Irish look to improve their record to 5-0, when they take on Miami at 7:30 pm ET on NBC.

After weekends in San Antonio, New York, and Washington, the 2012 home-away-from-home Shamrock Series game headed to the Windy City, just 90 miles from the comforts of South Bend.

Yesterday, the university held its football luncheon in the Grand Ballroom on Navy Pier. Featured speakers included Tony Rice and Pat Terrell, two stars of Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship team. Both played an integral role in the Irish’s memorable victory over the Hurricanes at Notre Dame Stadium.

Following last year’s pep rally on the National Mall in Washington, this year’s was held at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Boxer Mike Lee, a Chicago native and Notre Dame alum (’09), was the first featured speaker. Afterwards, Terrell and Rice said a few words about their time at Notre Dame and their…love for the University of Miami.

The rally also featured the Irish cheerleaders and Notre Dame Marching Band, who delivered a great performance of the classics, as well as The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode, two songs with ties to Chicago.

Head coach Brian Kelly, along with injured players Lo Wood and Jamoris Slaughter rallied the Irish crowd to close out the evening.

As any Irish fan who attended can attest, New York and Washington were incredible experiences. But perhaps there is no better Shamrock Series host location than Chicago.

“There’s no city outside Notre Dame’s campus that’s more ‘Notre Dame’ than Chicago,” said University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. at the luncheon.

Likewise, Coach Kelly talked about the faithful Notre Dame fans at the pep rally. saying, “There’s not a more passionate group than right here in Chicago.”

With the thousands of Irish fans, students and alumni who live in and around the city, it’s sure to a quite a scene today. For a complete schedule of events, visit gameday.nd.edu.

We’ll have much more coverage coming on Twitter, so be sure to follow @FightingIrish, @125NDFB, @NDfidm and @NDSportsBlogger for all the updates.

Tune into UND.com at 6:30 pm ET for a pre-game show, live from Soldier Field.

But first, enjoy Fighting Irish Digital Media’s recap of day one in Chicago.

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