Notre Dame and Alabama are still learning about this rivalry

Graham Watson

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Since the national championship matchup between Alabama and Notre Dame was announced six weeks ago, the main theme discussed by the media and the fans was the historic rivalry between these schools.

Several players, however, had no idea the Irish and the Tide were even acquainted.

“I didn’t even know they played each other until I heard the record was like 5-1, Notre Dame?” Alabama receiver Christion Jones said. “I didn’t even know any of that until we started watching all this TV stuff and they pulled back all these old clips and stuff like that.”

It was difficult to find a player that knew anything about the rivalry, which was last played in 1987. Even though these teams played tense games, including one that decided a national championship, that information wasn’t part of the recruiting sales pitch.

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“It’s kind of crazy when you watch TV how they bring that stuff back up,” Jones said. “It’s very back, back, way back, before my time, I’ll tell you that. But it was surprising to know that; to know how long they’ve come to play each other. Because it’s not like they played each other every couple of years. The only time they played was like in the national championship or a bowl game.”

Even though most players didn’t know about the history of the rivalry, they’ve come to appreciate it and now they’re excited to be part of it.

“That’s pretty cool, just being a part of history and having your name engraved and remembered, “ Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo said. “If you’re part of the national championship team or made it to the championship, your name is going to be there and I’m looking forward to that experience.”

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