BYU Returning to Notre Dame in 2012 and 2013

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BYU Returning to Notre Dame in 2012 and 2013
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

BYU fans will be making two trips to South Bend in the near future.

BYU issued a release today announcing that the Cougars and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face off in football in 2012 and 2013.

Both games will be at Notre Dame.

After that the two programs will begin a four-game home-and-home series to be completed between 2014 and 2020.

While some fans will criticize the agreement to play the Irish on the road two years in a row, it’s actually a good thing.

First off, after 2013, the series will have the feel of a one-for-one. Hopefully this is a step toward making that rotation permanent into the future.

Second, a trip to Notre Dame on game day is not to be missed.

If you are a college football fan, trekking to the Notre Dame campus on a fall Saturday is something you must do before you leave this life.

The memories of the two trips to Notre Dame to see the Cougars take on the Irish are something that I will never forget and always treasure.

A few years back I remember the comments of Deseret News columnist Brad Rock.

He said that there are few things in this life that are better than words can express.

Your first trip to the Grand Canyon is one of those—game day at Notre Dame is another.

When you go, make sure you give yourself enough time to take everything in.

I would suggest that you get to campus several hours before the game so as to be able to get the most out of the experience.

For Notre Dame fans, visiting campus and going to a Fighting Irish game is something akin to traveling to Mecca.

Thousands of people throng the picturesque campus prior to the game. For some it’s a once in a lifetime trip.

The one thing that stands out in my mind is the sea of people that descend on campus prior to the game.

There is a myriad of things to do and see prior to the game, from watching the crowd lighting the candles at the Grotto, to the Golden Dome and awe-inspiring interior ceiling mural of the Main Building, to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, to the Word of Life mural on the Hesburgh Library, more commonly known as “Touchdown Jesus.”

Prior to each game the “Band of the Fighting Irish” gathers for the Concert on the Steps on the steps of Bond Hall and plays all of the traditional tunes and songs associated with Fighting Irish football.

If you're lucky enough to get close to the front of the throng, you will be able to see the Irish Guard perform and march their jigs.

The band also plays the fight song of the visiting school during the concert.

Another experience not to be missed is the team walk from the Basilica to the stadium. The football team participates in a team mass prior to each game and then makes the long walk between two rows of fans all the way to the stadium.

Unlike going to games in Salt Lake, Laramie and Logan, you’ll find fans and campus guides that are friendly, helpful and downright hospitable. They take pride in treating their guests as just that—guests.

Today’s announcement has me giddy with excitement and waxing nostalgic at the thought of returning to Notre Dame.

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