July 16, 2007
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – For 70 fanatical fans of Notre Dame and Penn State football, the highlight of the anticipated clash between the Irish and Nittany Lions will not be the game taking place at Beaver Stadium on September 8. One night earlier, Penn State’s Bigler East Field will play host to Fantasy Bowl I – a unique challenge football game between two teams of college football diehards.
Before they cheer on the current generation of gridiron greats, two rosters of 35 players averaging 40+ years in age will proudly wear the colors of the Irish and Nittany Lions themselves. They will do battle at 7 p.m. (ET) in an 11-on-11 semi-contact flag football game with school pride and bragging rights at stake.
“This is the perfect way to kick off a very special weekend of football and show some competitive spirit on the field,” said Fantasy Bowl organizer Patrick Steenberge, a former Notre Dame quarterback (1970-71) and President of Global Football. “These are truly fanatical fans of the two teams who might not have had an opportunity to play on the ultimate stage when in college, but are enjoying the next best thing later in life.”
Both rosters comprise of participants from the annual Notre Dame Football Fantasy Camp, which has run since 2003, and the 2006 and 2007 Nittany Lion Football Fantasy Camps. The campers experienced a true insider’s view of the respective schools, being coached by current coaches and former college stars, while using the stadium locker rooms and finally playing an intrasquad game inside Notre Dame Stadium and Beaver Stadium.
“The camps were about realizing a dream of playing on the same field and being in the locker room where football greats had gone before them and meeting some of the athletes they have watched for years,” added Steenberge. “The Fantasy Bowl is born out of competitive desire to line up on the football field against the rivals fans of another school. It will certainly be a unique experience and produce some pretty entertaining football.”
Coaches for each team will be legendary former players from the Irish and Nittany Lions, and will be announced at a later date.
The Fantasy Bowl I players will enjoy an action-packed weekend that will include two on-campus practices, a Friday post-game party, a tailgate party on Saturday, and of course, Fantasy Bowl I to be played at Bigler East Field. The teams will wear authentic Notre Dame and Penn State uniforms and fans in town for Saturday’s game from both schools are encouraged to attend and cheer on 70 men who believe you are never too old to try.
— ND —