Running Back Jay Vickers was named MVP of the Japan Bowl.

Notre Dame Japan Bowl Team To Be Recognized During Season Opening Football Game

Sept. 3, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Football Legends will be recognized on the field at Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday, September 5, when the Fighting Irish kick off the 2009 college football season at home to Nevada (3.30pm ET).

Many of the players and coaches who traveled to Tokyo in July to take part in the Notre Dame Japan Bowl will be introduced to the sellout crowd – the 206th consecutive full house for a Fighting Irish game – during the game’s first television time out.

The Notre Dame Football Legends, led by head coach LOU HOLTZ, defeated the Japanese national team 19-3 in front of 21,080 spectators in the Tokyo Dome in a game played to celebrate 75 years of American football in Japan. After Japan led through a first quarter field goal, running back and MVP JAY VICKERS broke a 77-yard run to set up a one-yard TONY RICE touchdown. A safety, a SCOTT CENGIA field goal and a Vickers rushing score secured victory for the Legends.

“The phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ does not do this trip justice,” said NATE SCHOMAS, a wide receiver on the Legends roster. “For a guy who grew up during the formidable Irish years of the late ’80s and early ’90s, getting to play for Holtz, Brown, Brooks, and with Rice was truly a dream come true.”

Members of the alumni team drawn from multiple generations of Notre Dame football who will be recognized on September 5 include national championship winning quarterback TONY RICE and wide receiver KRIS HAINES, who celebrated his 52nd birthday while in Japan. The Notre Dame Japan Bowl will also be featured within Saturday’s official game day program and the players attending the Nevada game have been invited to the Friday Football Luncheon, a reception in the stadium players’ lounge and a tailgate party.

“We are delighted that the University of Notre Dame chose to honor the team during the first game of the season,” said event organizer PATRICK STEENBERGE (ND ’73) of Global Football. “We are grateful to the Notre Dame Monogram Club, which endorsed and supported this venture and helped bring many football alumni back into the Fighting Irish family.”

A commemorative photo book featuring more than 70 pages of full-color photos, stories and quotes capturing the passion of Notre Dame Football as it meshes with the culture of Japan along with a special behind-the-scenes DVD, giving unprecedented video access to the sights and sounds of the workouts, strategy sessions and locker room pep talks is due to go on sale priced $39.95 plus shipping & handling.

Inside The Legends: The 2009 Notre Dame Japan Bowl – a priceless keepsake for every Irish fan – can be ordered online at or 877-422-5548.

Editors Note: Please contact Michael Preston (781-363-0305) to request interviews with members of the Notre Dame Football Legends team following their game time appearance.