July 22, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind – Wednesday proved to be a less-demanding day on the practice field at Nihon University as the Notre Dame Football Legends continued their preparations to face Team Japan in the Notre Dame Japan Bowl. Gone were the pads, hits and physical contact exerted on Tuesday, in favor of perfecting the game plan while eliminating mistakes and learning assignments.
“Ask yourself this,” coach LOU HOLTZ challenged his players. “Are you willing to do what it takes to succeed, whether it be in football or in life? Then you have to score as many points as it takes to win this game and not turn the ball over.”
The response from his alumni team was an encouraging two hours of executing plays as they showed a willingness to continue to put themselves through the rigors of daily practices. Some played through the pain of aching muscles and most continued to push themselves to the limit in readiness for the likely final game of their careers in the Tokyo Dome on Saturday, July 25 (kickoff 4pm local time, 3am US ET).
Offensive play of the day… wide receiver BOBBY BROWN made an extra effort to reel in a pass to the corner of the end zone from emergency quarterback AMBROSE WOODEN and kept his toes inbounds by a matter of inches as he dived and landed out of bounds, but with a touchdown to his credit.
Defensive play of the day… defensive back TIM KENNEY rose high above two receivers to pick off Wooden and hold onto the ball as he landed to claim a spectacular interception.
Farewell after 80 years of experience… On Wednesday, defensive coordinator GARY DARNELL and assistant head coach and defensive backs coach BILL LEWIS prepared what they anticipate will be the final script of their long respective coaching careers. The pair composed the script for Saturday’s game following practice for what is likely the last time, bringing the curtain down on a combined 80 years of coaching.
Darnell boasts 36 years coaching, including a spell as defensive coordinator of the Fighting Irish in 1990 and 1991, while Lewis, who was a Notre Dame assistant coach from 2005 to 2007 and is currently on the university’s development staff, has coached for 44 years.
Barely missing a beat… The Notre Dame Football Legends were too preoccupied with practice to notice the much-anticipated total eclipse of the sun at around 11.13am. They will have to wait another century or more for another such opportunity.
Passing on knowledge… the Notre Dame Football Legends coaches will conduct a coaching clinic for local Japanese players and coaches eager to learn more to help further develop the game in Japan. The clinic, for players from the X-League and local college teams, will be held from 2.30pm to 4pm at Nihon University following Thursday’s practice.
Meeting the media… In the region of 50 media are expected to attend the official Notre Dame Japan Bowl press conference at Nihon University at 1.15pm when head coach LOU HOLTZ, receivers coach TIM BROWN and quarterback TONY RICE will be available to answer questions regarding the game.
For more information on the Notre Dame Japan Bowl 2009 and the Notre Dame Football Legends, visit www.NDJapanBowl.com.
CBS College Sports Network, the original 24-hour sports network, will broadcast the Notre Dame Japan Bowl to a nationwide audience in the United States on Monday, August 10 (9:00 PM, ET; taped 7/25/09) as part of the Network’s “Countdown to Kickoff Week” programming.
For more information on the Notre Dame Japan Bowl 2009 and the Notre Dame Football Legends, visit www.NDJapanBowl.com. The full roster is also available at that website.