Irish fans were geared up for Notre Dame's title game

January 7, 2013 9:03:08 PM PST
Notre Dame fans are preparing for the BCS National Championship Game across the country. Fans in South Bend have their own traditions.

Call them superstitious. Notre Dame fans have their pre-game rituals.

None is bigger than making a requisite pass by this 134 foot high mural that overlooks the university's football stadium in South Bend. They call it "Touchdown Jesus".

"We like to lay our respects, it never hurts to throw up a prayer every once in a while," Fighting Irish fan Marcus James said.

Another pre-game tradition is to visit the statues of legendary coaches Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy.

While it's quiet on campus in the hours before the game, there was a steady stream of visitors

"It's been so long since we won a national championship. I wish my dad were alive," Notre Dame fan Terry Smith said. "We used to watch the games together all the time. I'm thrilled to be here."

Those hoping to catch the game at a nearby bar began to gather early. At O'Rourke's Public House just off campus, Notre Dame fans criticized the pundits who predict the University of Alabama will win the BCS championship.

"They're naysayers. We don't care about them," fan Ryan Davis said.

"As long as they stay competitive it's going to be a good game. They are going to win," Tracy Davis said.