Notre Dame's season opener against Navy is just around the corner.
Here are 25 reasons why I'm a Notre Dame fan:
25. "Play Like A Champion Today": Notre Dame players are often seen tapping this sign as they head to the field. If you get a tour of the locker room, you can touch it as well -- it's pretty cool and represents a lot of tradition.
24. The Notre Dame Marching Band: Performs on the quad, marches into the stadium, and plays throughout the game and even at the end. It adds to the overall experience.
23. The Leprechaun Mascot: A big part of the Notre Dame tradition since becoming the official mascot, in 1965.
22. Grass playing surface: In today's world of synthetic playing surfaces, fans of grass and mud-covered uniforms will appreciate the natural surface.
21. Notre Dame Stadium: Two rows from the field or two rows from the top, not a bad seat in the stadium.
20. Touchdown Jesus: The image on the side of the library can be seen from the upper sections of the stadium.
19. The University of Notre Dame Campus: The lakes, the grotto, and the quad. Take in the scenery, pray, and get a great steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus on the quad.
18. NBC Sports Coverage: No other major college team can say it has an entire national network devoted to all of its home games.
17. Gunner Kiel: LSU was not happy to see him change his mind and go to Notre Dame.
16. QB Tommy Rees: Returning starter last season, still fighting off competition for the job, but he is a tough competitor and fun to watch.
15. Dublin, Ireland: Games in international locations.
14.Tailgating Experience at ND: Come early, bring food and beverages, and enjoy the atmosphere.
13. Cool Uniforms: The traditional blue and gold uniforms are recognizable around the nation.
12. Student section: Great team pride from the kids that stand the entire game. I also like the crowd-surfing push-ups after Notre Dame scores.
11. Tradition of Great Players: Not including Heisman Trophy winners, Notre Dame fans have seen their share of great players: Joe Montana, Joe Theisman, Jerome Bettis, Raghib Ismail, Chris Zorich, and Jeff Samardzija to name a few.
10. Exciting Kick off returns: George Atkinson III ended last season with over 900 yards and two TDs.
9. Tradition of Great Coaches: Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Holtz have set a high standard for coaches to follow.
8. Head Coach Brian Kelly: He has been successful at every stop of his career and it is a matter of time until he gets Notre Dame in the hunt for another long awaited national title.
7. Bronko Nagurski Candidates: DE Karpon Lewis-Moore and LB Manti Te'o are on the watch list.
6. Outland Trophy Candidates: Center Braxton Cave and Tackle Zack Martin are on the watch list for 2012.
4. Maxwell Award Candidates: RB Cierre Wood and TE Tyler Eifert are both on the watch list.
3. "Rudy": If you love this movie you are probably an Irish fan. If you hate this film then you are probably not.
2. Heisman Trophy Winners: 7.
1. National Championships: 13.
I have been fan of Notre Dame from 1988's National Championship season until the present. I lived in South Bend for eight years and watched many football games at Notre Dame Stadium. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere of the campus on game days.
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