CNHI News Service

Sports

January 5, 2013

It's just about time to get down to business

MIAMI —  

 
On a day meant to discuss the ins and outs of the most important college football
game of the season, "Trick Shot Monday," stole the show here at Sun Life Stadium Saturday.
 
Sure, the media day circus for this year's BCS National Championship game between top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama Monday night featured plenty of stuffy football business, but all it took to lighten the mood was a ping-pong ball, a cup of water and the BCS National Championship trophy.
 
Led by ESPN personality Samantha (Steele) Ponder, several Notre Dame players took part in a spirited challenge to be the first to throw (or bounce) the ping-pong ball into the cup of water. It's a game that has become a tradition on Monday's at the Fighting Irish practice facility in South Bend this season. Apparently it's just as fun to play on a Saturday in South Florida.
 
Dozens of reporters and cameramen huddled around the BCS National Championship trophy as Ponder and Notre Dame players Mike Golic Jr., Cierre Wood, Carlo Calabrese and John Goodman took turns trying to make a shot.
 
Special attention was paid to having the ball first bounce off the national championship trophy that was sitting at midfield along the sideline. For about 10 minutes the shots kept coming and the crowd kept growing.
 
It got to the point where a BCS official near the commotion started to worry about the trophy's safety. The crystal football on top of the base is detachable and very fragile.
 
Finally, Ponder sank a shot and the players erupted, picking her up to celebrate her victory.
 
THE SETUP
 
Alabama players and coaches took the field first for Saturday's media day, as several top players and head coach Nick Saban took spots in six different interview booths along the northeast sideline. The rest of the team sat in the seats past the corner of the end zone, all wearing their game jerseys. The same process was repeated for Notre Dame.

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