The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will once again try to live up to their moniker as they are scheduled to play in Ireland in 2012, against The US Naval Academy football team.
The action will take place at Croke Park in Dublin which holds over 80,000 fans. The teams will continue their storied rivalry, the longest intersectional one in college football at 81 years.
This will not be the first time these two powerhouse football programs have squared off against each other in the Emerald isle. The last “Shamrock Classic” took place in November 2nd, 1996 and drew an estimated 40,000 fans , some 10,000 from the United States alone.
It was quite the spectacle with a frenzied atmosphere usually experienced at native Irish sporting events, such as Curling and Gaelic football games played in the park. Notre Dame triumphed over the Navy Midshipmen, in a lopsided 54-27 win that day, under the legendary hall-of-fame coach, Lou Holtz.
Historically Notre Dame holds the NCAA college football record of 43 consecutive wins against one opponent, that team being Navy. The Fighting Irish enjoy an overall 71-10 record against the Naval Academy, since their first meeting dating back to 1926.
In 2007, Notre Dame participated in one of the most thrilling college football contests of all-time, a 46-44 triple overtime game won by Navy, breaking the Irish blue and gold consecutive winning streak.
Hopefully the Irish under new coach Brian Kelly will once again regain their prominence as one of college football’s most successful and storied programs. The Irish have won 13 National Championships, but none since 1988.
In any event, the spectators in Croke Park will be treated to a great game of American college football. Expect to see many fans cheering on both teams.
On a final note to offer some friendly advice, if you are travelling from America to see the game and are lost and looking for the “Croke Park” the locals pronounce it with a silent “k” (like “Crohe”) or the “Croker”.