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Navy-Notre Dame pre-game pageantry

Lots of folks wax poetic about Notre Dame, but when the brigade of Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy march onto the field at New Meadowlands Stadium as they did before today's noon game against the Irish, it's a stirring sight. And hearing the Navy Glee Club sing the national anthem as opposed to a stylized version from the pop singer du jour, well, it just sounds better.

Notre Dame assistant athletic director for communications John Heisler, who followed me as a student intern long ago in the University of Missouri sports information department, tells me the game has surpassed expectations and was verging on a sellout this morning. I'm looking forward to it. I can't watch Navy without thinking of my later father, who served in the Pacific as the commanding officer of a small PGM craft in the Philippines during World War II.

In my house, we rooted for Navy against Army every year from back in the days of Middies' Heisman Trophy winners Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach. At the same time, it's nice to see new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly bringing the irish back to respectability. As someone who married a Murphy, I also have a soft spot for the Irish.

Come back here to Campus Confidential for updates at halftime, after the game and, most importantly, after the postgame interviews. By the way, Navy QB Ricky Dobbs is pictured above.
 

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