Jack Genovese doesn’t have tickets to Monday night’s BCS National Championship game, but that didn’t keep him from traveling here from Simsbury, Conn., to be part of the experience.
“It’s very important to be here,” said Genovese, a 1982 graduate of Notre Dame. “My daughter is a student (at Notre Dame) and my brother lives in Sarasota, so we had to come down, no question.”
The game in question is the top-ranked Irish vs. No. 2 Alabama, the defending college football champs. Kickoff is set for Monday at approximately 8:30 p.m. EST here at Sun Life Stadium.
Genovese and his daughter, Christina, were in the stadium parking lot Saturday afternoon with friends and family, sipping Budweiser as they picked up Christina’s much valued ticket, proving that it’s never too early for Irish fans to start tailgating.
Notre Dame and Alabama are two of the most storied programs in college football. The Crimson Tide claims 14 national championships and will be gunning for their third in four years. Notre Dame has 11 consensus national titles, but hasn’t won one since 1988. The quest for an Alabama dynasty and a possible return to glory for the Fighting Irish have made this perhaps the hardest ticket to get in BCS history.
“I really hope my dad finds a ticket,” said Christina Genovese, who is a senior at Notre Dame. “I’ll feel extremely bad if he doesn’t.”
Christina was lucky enough to win a ticket through Notre Dame’s student lottery for $150. That’s half the face value because an anonymous donor contributed $400,000 to help defray the costs for Notre Dame students. Still, Christina pointed out, there were only enough tickets for 37 percent of the student body.
“I have a lot of friends who came down here this week,” Christina said. “I certainly know more people without tickets than with them.”