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Well, we had a great weekend despite some questionable weather and a heartbreaking loss to Michigan this Saturday.  I was joined by my wife Lorraine, my daughter, Terri and her husband Dr. Chris Sforzo (both ND grads) along with their two children; Sydney age 9 and Ryan age 6.  We also had with us two guests from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.  They were Tony Ventiquattro with the newly formed IMG Lacrosse program and Graheme Lauriston with the Bollettieri Sports Medicine.  Graheme is the physical trainer for many of IMG’s elite athletes.  It was a first trip to the campus of Notre Dame for both of them.

Friday was a spectacular day and the weather was perfect as we strolled around campus and enjoyed time in the bookstore, at the Grotto, in the Basilica and of course, by the quad near the Golden Dome.   We took in a packed house for the pep rally Friday evening on the Irish Green and the place was electrifying.  We had a great dinner at my favorite Italian spot in South Bend, Indiana, Parisi’s Restaurant as we met up with my buddy, Digger Phelps, former ND star and player with the NY Giants, Tom Longo and former ND and Orlando Magic NBA player, Pat Garrity.  We also saw the new Notre Dame baseball coach, Mik Aoki along with some of his players at the restaurant Friday night.  I always enjoy the excitement that surrounds the campus on the night before a big game and we had a great time.

On Saturday, September 11, 2010 we woke up to a rainy, cold day.  Of course, we were all reminded of the sad anniversary of this day nine years ago and thought of those who so bravely gave up their lives on the day of the terrorist attacks in NY, Pennsylvania and in Washington DC.  Much of the campus proudly displayed red, white and blue ND logos to show their support of those and their families who lost their lives that terrible day.

As game time drew near, the rain stopped and we were ready to go see the Fighting Irish take on the Wolverines.  The campus was electric and everyone was fired up for the afternoon game.  Of course, we all know the outcome by now and I was disappointed to see the Irish go down 28-24, but it was a hard fought game and no one could deny the outstanding personal performance by Denard Robinson.  Ultimately, he got the job done for the Wolverines and took home the “W”.  

No doubt it was a heartbreaking loss, but the Irish need to regroup and focus on their next challenge with Michigan State.  Personally, I am excited about Coach Brian Kelly and what he brings to ND and I believe he will have a successful career during his time with Notre Dame.  I look forward to being back on campus for the Stanford game.

DICK VITALE

Quote of the Week

"The 192 Dolphins are celebrating as the Chiefs lost, leaving no unbeaten teams in the NFL."

  -Dick Vitale