While the BCS National Championship doesn’t feature a nearby college and will be played in Miami, that hasn’t stopped local alumni and fans from making plans and expressing their loyalty.
The Notre Dame Club of Augusta, an organization with a core of alumni ranging in graduation years from the 1960s to 2011, will be represented in Sun Life Stadium and in the parking lots and bars around the stadium.
Christina Ostrowski, a 2008 graduate and Augusta club board member, will attend the game with her family. Ostrowski said simply being surrounded by fellow Notre Dame fans is worth the trip.
“It’s worth it just to be a part of the crowd and energy and excitement,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to get tickets, but I’d be happy to just have standing room only. It’s very fun to be a part of the buzz.”
Chad Walters, also a Notre Dame Club of Augusta member, planned to drive to Miami on Sunday and tailgate today. Walters said the Notre Dame Club of Miami will play host to festivities for those outside the stadium. Like Ostrowski, Walters is making the trip just to be near fellow fans as the Fighting Irish go for their first national title since 1988.
“I’ve been going to games since 1989,” Walters said. “To go this long without a title and to have a game this big, I’m certainly not going to miss this. I’m going for the fan experience and to be around when Notre Dame wins.”
While Notre Dame fans will travel to Miami to experience the atmosphere firsthand, the club will also have a viewing party for the game at Somewhere in Augusta.
On the other side, Augusta Alabama Alumni Association president Phil Alexander has other plans for the game. Alexander’s son and daughter-in-law, Nicholas and Amanda, are expecting their first child around the date of the game.
“There has been a lot of kidding around whether he might have to miss the actual birth because of being at the national championship game,” Alexander said. “But sanity has prevailed, and we ended up selling our tickets and will watch the game on his big 3D TV while one of the Crimson Tide’s brand new future cheerleaders snuggles up nearby.”
That hasn’t stopped Alexander from maintaining his competitive edge as friend and Notre Dame graduate Mark McGough attends in Miami.
“Mark will be yelling his heart out for Notre Dame at the game,” Alexander said. “Hopefully, he’ll find out that Alabama football is not just a game in the South, but a way of life.”