The BCS title game is a weekend away, and already the anxiety across the country is building. This isn’t a title game where a flashy young quarterback has lucked his team into the big game, or a matchup between to “second tier” programs. THis is a battle of historical titans, as Alabama and Notre Dame square off with everything on the line.
One of the reasons this matchup is so much better than ones we’ve had in the past, is the eclectic mix of fan bases involved. On the one hand, you have the Alabama fans, who are as rabid as any fans in the country and rival the loyalty of most NFL fan bases. If there’s one thing people should know about ‘Bama fans, it’s that you should probably not mess with them on game day.
On the other side we have Notre Dame fans, who pride themselves on intellect as much as they take pride in their historical football team. Irish fans aren’t nearly as ferocious as ‘Bama faithful, but once they get on a roll, even the Tide need to be mindful of Domer homers.
Mike Golic, from ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, is one of those Domer homers and regularly takes public pride in the fact that he’s Irish alumni. He also reguarly makes it known that his son happens to be following in his shoes, and is currently playing for the Irish, and will be representing the Golic’s in the title game on Monday.
When cameras followed the elder Golic into a diner in Conneticut, way far north of the Mason-Dixie line, he encountered an interesting site in a predominately Irish-friendly hang out.
Much to the surprise of Golic and his his posse, already sitting in the diner were two Alabama fans who were a long way from home.
Even better, the two fans — in rabid ‘Bama fan fashion– began chanting ‘Roll Tide’, never once fearing for their lives. It helps that the diner was full of overweight, middle aged men and it really helped that the two ‘Bama fans happened to be fairly attractive young women.
Golic and company took the jesting in stride, and even paid for the women’s food, but only on the condition that they switch their allegiance from Alabama to Notre Dame. The Alabama gals kindly refused to root for Notre Dame, but gladly accepted Golic’s offer to pay for their food. Gloc did manage to get a ‘Go Irish’ out of the fans, but they stuck to their Alabama guns.
In a sport that can feature some pretty nasty fan interactions, it’s nice, refreshing and a little odd to see rival fan-bases acting so civil towards one another. But like the BCS title game might go, when all the joking is put aside, the Irish ended up paying for the Tide’s lunch.
Is that an omen, or just a coincidence?