Feature stories on Notre Dame going to the Hawaii Bowl

Notre Dame safety David Bruton about ending Notre Dame’s NCAA record 9 game bowl losing streak:
“that would be a major accomplishment, especially since my and David (Grimes’) class quote, unquote (is) the ‘forgotten class’ or the worst in Notre Dame history. But it would be great to say we broke that streak along with the fifth-year seniors breaking that streak and starting a new (winning) one.” (HA)

HA Note: “Towering over it all is the enduring fact that not since the 1994 Cotton Bowl, when Notre Dame beat Texas A&M, 24-21, have the Irish won a bowl game.”

About how he wants to win a bowl game, Bruton said:
“For me, personally, I’m 0-2 playing in a bowl, so I want to end my streak. And the overall Notre Dame’s record in a bowl, it does weigh a little bit, but in the grand scheme of things I just want to handle what’s going on now and the fact that I’m 0-2 in (bowls).” (HA)

About the importance of winning the game for their seniors, Grimes said:
“I think it’s just going out on top. (It would) kind of take that bitter taste out of our mouth that we had this last month and get the seniors something to be happy about.” (HA)

About how they at least made a bowl game this year, Grimes said:
“Coming off last year, (when) we didn’t make it to a bowl, I think there were a lot of guys happy that we’re actually going to a bowl.” (HA)

About how they sold more than 5,000 tickets in the first 24 hours after Notre Dame was announced, Hawaii Bowl executive director David Matlin said:
“It has been a bit overwhelming. We’re selling them so fast, we’re having trouble keeping up the count. But this is the most following the announcement of the second team, by far.” (HA)

About how the ticket sales are mainly from Hawaii residents, Matlin said:
“There were some Internet orders, so they could be from the Mainland, but it seems most are local so far.” (HA)

About how he had 400 inquiries from Notre Dame fans within hours of an e-mail blast sent out by Notre Dame to their fans, Matlin said:
“How many of those will translate into sales, I couldn’t tell you right now, but we’ve had people from Canada inquiring, which shows you the interest.” (HA)

AP Note: “They finish final exams Dec. 19, fly out of South Bend later that night, have four days of practice before the Dec. 24 game, then they will have the rest of winter break to do what they want before classes resume in January.”

About how the Hawaii Bowl fit with their final exam schedule and Christmas Break, safety David Bruton said:
“Some of us will get home on Christmas Day, others maybe a little later, then you have this long break.” (AP)

About how going right from finals to Hawaii is better than having players go home for a few days and then go to a bowl game, LB Maurice Crum said some players might have an attitude of:
“‘Oh man, I have to go back.’ ” (HA)

About how their players are happy to be going to the bowl in Hawaii, WR David Grimes said:
“I think there’s just a lot of guys happy that we’re actually going to a bowl. I think there’s even more energy because Hawai’i, nice weather, beautiful women.” (AP)

About how he would have preferred to play in his hometown of Detroit, Grimes joked:
“We have better weather there.” (AP)

About the chance to end their 9-game road losing streak, Bruton said:
“It would be great to say we broke that streak.” (AP)

AP Note: “Some fans have questioned whether a Catholic university should play on Christmas Eve. None of the captains would comment. But athletic director Jack Swarbrick said it was ironic that people would complain about the university playing on Christmas Eve while most wouldn’t mind if the Irish were playing on New Year’s Day, a holy day of obligation.”

AP Note: “Swarbrick said the university also is aware that at 6-6, some Irish fans don’t believe Notre Dame should be in a bowl game. The university didn’t accept bowl bids between the 1925 Rose Bowl and the 1970 Cotton Bowl, and didn’t accept a non-Jan. 1 bowl until going to the Liberty Bowl in 1983. Swarbrick said he understands the sentiment of some that Notre Dame shouldn’t go to a bowl, but he believes the extra practice will help the team. He also believes Notre Dame has “a real obligation to the college football industry to participate.””

About how they owe it to college football to play in a bowl game, Swarbrick said:
“We have to be part of the industry and help make it work. We can’t pretend like there are different rules for us.” (AP)


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