There was a definite green theme to Notre Dame’s overnight flight to Dublin. The Irish players and most of the coaches and football staff wore bright green sweatsuits and hats. Ask for water and it came with a (green) lime and a miniature Ireland flag. The inside of the Delta plane was festooned with green theming.
-- The Irish flight arrived a half-hour early but had to wait about 20 minutes because there was no gate available at the Dublin airport. There were racks of Notre Dame and Navy gear on sale the minute the Notre Dame traveling party passed through customs and entered the Aer Lingus terminal. By the time the team buses pulled out a little before 8 a.m., the sun shone bright and there was not a cloud in the sky.
-- The Irish squad had time to get organized, ate a 10 a.m. breakfast at the hotel, and then jumped on buses at 10:45 am. to head to Aviva Stadium—with six members of the Garda providing a motorcycle escort.
-- Notre Dame’s team normally wears black adidas shoes for its games, but against Navy the Irishsquad will wear a special orange, green and white adidas shoes modeled after colors of the Ireland flag.
-- The Irish squad practiced for about 90 minutes in shorts on the Aviva practice pitch (artificial turf) in extremely windy conditions, with a large group of mostly Ireland media interviewing coach Brian Kelly and captains Kapron Lewis-Moore, Manti Te’o, Tyler Eifert and Zack Martin after the workout ended.
-- Among practice visitors was a group representing the Belfast Trojans, who won the Ireland American football title this summer. The team reps brought with them the 2012 Shamrock Bowl they won and had their picture taken with the crystal cup and Kelly.
-- After practice, Kelly’s squad headed to Taylors Three Rock Pub in Rathfarnham for a late lunch and an exhibition of Irish dancing. The team ate dinner at its hotel and retired early after two days that seemingly became one.