Even with the fairly recent development of the NHL Winter Classic, very few hockey players get the opportunity to play the high-level outdoor games, matches the participants say are reminiscent of their childhood days on the pond.
Lou Holtz had an undefeated Irish team that had already beat Michigan, Miami and USC, so the preparations for the 1989 Fiesta Bowl were simple — rest the seniors, take pictures and practice celebrations.
Fisher, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound back, did not stop there. He finished the game with a then-career high 140 yards on 26 carries while former Irish quarterback Jarious Jackson also topped the century mark on the ground, totaling 107 yards.
Notre Dame fans did not know it, but they were witnessing the future of college football.
On Oct. 7, 2000 against Stanford, former Irish quarterback Matt LoVecchio, then a freshman signal caller, made his first career collegiate start. On the first drive of the game, Notre Dame scored a touchdown using an array of four- and five-receiver shotgun sets, zone-read option plays and designed quarterback draws.
Miami and coach Jimmy Johnson could have gone for the tie — but instead elected to try a potential game-winning two-point conversion on an October day in 1988 in South Bend, Ind. Former Irish safety Pat Terrell was out on an island. He was all by himself with Leonard Conley in the corner of the south end zone. Terrell rose and batted the ball down, destroying Miami’s play, its swagger and its season all at once while preserving a 31-30 win for the Irish.
Brent Musburger only had one thing to say: “Holy Rudy!”
What else was there to say when former walk-on quarterback Pat Dillingham completed a 60-yard pass to receiver Arnaz Battle against Michigan State in 2002? The pass propelled Notre Dame over the Spartans 21-17 and to 4-0 in Tyrone Willingham’s first season at the helm.
Former tight end filled in at quarterback to lead Irish to win against Purdue in 2000
This is the second of a new Observer feature. The “Waking the Echoes” series intends to inform fans about some former players and will feature weekly stories profiling them and their lives since Notre Dame. This week's feature is about former Irish quarterback and tight end Gary Godsey.
Many basketball players have made their greatest memories under the immense spotlight of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York, N.Y., but former Irish guard Megan Duffy’s favorite recollection came from another Manhattan — Manhattan, Kan.
“Teammates” only begins to describe the relationship between former Irish players Matt Besler and Michael Thomas. Childhood acquaintances, former roommates and friends, Besler and Thomas have continued their careers together on their hometown MLS team after spending three seasons together at Notre Dame.
On a cold February night in 2011, former Irish and current Indiana Pacers guard Ben Hansbrough heated up Purcell Pavilion on Senior Night.
Eighteen months later, Hansbrough returned to Notre Dame when the Pacers battled the Chicago Bulls on Friday night in an NBA preseason game. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound point guard played for the Pacers in the Orlando Summer League and earned a spot on the preseason roster. Hansbrough entered the game Friday off the bench in the first quarter to raucous cheers and played nearly five minutes as he ran the Pacers offense.
Maund started 77 of 83 possible games in his career at Notre Dame and earned all-Big East honors in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. In 2011, Maund was a captain, played every possible minute again and landed on the all-Big East first team.
On a Friday night in Ventura, Calif., former Irish forward Bright Dike heard something snap in his right leg. The Portland Timbers signee went down in the preseason game being played on that night in February 2011 — one of the preparation games for the Timbers’ first season in the MLS. After scoring 10 goals in Division II in 2010, Dike would head to the bench with a torn Achilles tendon as his team headed onto the biggest stage.
One of those MLS starters was former Irish defender and current San Jose Earthquakes defender Justin Morrow. The 2010 Notre Dame graduate and his fellow MLS superstars defeated the defending UEFA Champions League winners 3-2 in dramatic fashion when forward Eddie Johnson scored in the 91st minute to break the stalemate.
In a tumultuous 2010 season that featured extreme highs, like a signature victory over archrival USC, and extreme lows, including two of the program's worst losses in history, the Irish underwent a transition led by first-year coach Brian Kelly few could have imagined.