Jan 7, 2013, 4:42 PM EST
129 days ago, Notre Dame began its season in Dublin, Ireland.
Four hours from now, the Fighting Irish play for the national championship.
It’s been tough to comprehend, and even as I sit here in front of the field, it’s still kind of hard to believe.
Tonight is the moment these players and coaches have worked for their entire football lives. It’s the moment students could only imagine in their wildest dreams, the moment alumni and fans have dreamed about since 1988.
Throughout today, I have kind of felt how I did the day before graduation. Just thinking about the moment, it was hard not to get a little emotional just thinking about what’s going to happen. I don’t know how I’m going to feel when the game begins, and I really have no idea how I will react when it ends.
I do know one thing, however. Win or lose, I will remember this for the rest of my life.
Notre Dame may get back to the national championship. Who knows, the Fighting Irish may even make another BCS run next year.
But it will never feel this way again. Throughout this incredible, unpredictable, amazing season, we’ve become so emotionally invested in this team because the story of these players and coaches is about so much more than being 12-0. It’s about The A-Team and Count On Me. It’s about an Irish Catholic head coach and a Hawaiian Mormon linebacker. It’s about Irish Chocolate and Trick Shot Monday. It’s about these seniors and what they’ve been through. It’s about the countless other stories and anecdotes we’ve heard and read about during the past several months. This group has been an inspiration for millions, even some who previously had no affinity for Notre Dame.
Whether you’re watching in the stadium or in the parking lots, at a bar or in the comfort of your home, soak in every single minute – every single second – of tonight.
Having watched the Fighting Irish develop over the past two seasons, I feel incredibly blessed and privileged to have been a part of this journey. I love this university and I love this team. This is the chance of a lifetime and I’m thankful for all the people that helped me get here.
Go Irish. Beat Bama.
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