By Adam Redmond, Sports reporter - Irish Daily Mail
If you were able to ignore football’s takeover of Dublin last week, then maybe you would also be able to equally oblivious if Manti Te’o was running straight for you. But either way you look at it, the Emerald Isle Classic had an impact just like the Notre Dame linebacker – a monster one.
The game between Navy and Notre Dame inspired a carnival atmosphere to the city, where football was not the only event making its mark. In the days leading up to the clash, both schools brought some of their other sports teams to take on the famed Trinity College. Academic events were organised, Church services, pep rallies, tailgate parties and marches all took over downtown Dublin.
We’re used to traffic jams here, but without a doubt gridiron was the cause of the gridlock last weekend. Hosting international sporting events is nothing new for Ireland’s capital city. In rugby’s Six Nations tournament – an international competition involving Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France and Italy – you can always spot the pockets of their followers wearing their team colours around the city on the weekend of a game.
USPresswireNotre Dame and Navy made quite an impression on a city that's seen its share of international sporting events.
But never do they transport their whole culture and takeover a couple of blocks of the city in the way Notre Dame and Navy occupied Temple Bar, a famous tourist spot in Dublin akin to Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
Alongside the Emerald Isle Classic, former Notre Dame quarterback Patrick Steenberge took his Global Football operation to Ireland. Dublin and neighbouring county Meath hosted competitive high school games and lower division college fixtures so that Irish sports fans unable to get tickets for the big one at Aviva could a taste of football’s physical nature.
Played the day before the Emerald Isle Classic, it also provided locals with a snapshot of the Friday Night Lights culture that exists amongst high school sports on the other side of the Atlantic that H. G. Bissinger chronicled so superbly with his book in 1990.
Donnybrook Stadium held games between schools from Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and Ohio. The stadium is the spiritual home of Leinster, Dublin’s only professional rugby team. Such has been the explosion of rugby since turning professional in 1995 that Leinster have moved just a half a mile down the road to the RDS stadium to accommodate more fans and in turn they have won three European Cups (club rugby’s Superbowl equivalent) in the past four years.
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