Valley Grande resident pulling for the Irish

Published 9:47pm Saturday, January 5, 2013

Monday night television sets will light houses and restaurants aglow with scenes from the BSC National Championship, and in Selma the majority of those watching will be cheering for the Alabama Crimson Tide — one household in Valley Grande, will be routing for the Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, the house of Miles Thompson.

Thompson said he started watching football in 1969, “so for the better part of 44 years, I’ve been a Notre Dame fan.”

Growing up in Northern Indiana, not far from South Bend, Thompson said Notre Dame was the hometown team, “just like Alabama is down here.”

When Thompson moved to Alabama in 2004, his football allegiance remained with the Fighting Irish.

“The guys at work and I have been joking back and forth from the beginning of the season, ‘Watch it come down to this — Alabama and Notre Dame,’ and it actually happened,” Thompson said.

Thompson said finding another Notre Dame fan is almost as difficult as finding Notre Dame gear in this area.

“I’ve bumped into a few people that actually stopped to talk to me because I’m wearing Notre Dame gear and they say that they’re fans too. But down here you can’t find anything with Notre Dame gear. My wife actually ordered stuff online for me for Christmas,” he said. “I’ve got toboggans, t-shirts and sweat shirts, but I don’t have any stickers on my truck. I’m not that crazy.”

Thompson added while he has some Auburn friends that say they’re pulling for Notre Dame this year “just because,” he sometimes feels like he’s the only Notre Dame fan in this area.

“It’s pretty lonely,” he said. “You catch a few odd looks when you wear your gear out. A lot of people are running around in their Alabama stuff and there you are in a Notre Dame t-shirt. You’ll get anything from a downright glare to a ‘Hope we have a good game, see you guys on Monday,’ kind of thing.”

Thompson said this game is one he’s been looking forward to for a long time.

“It’s definitely the battle of two dynasties,” he said. “Just the chance to have Notre Dame back in the national championship game [is exciting], whether it’s against Alabama or anybody else. It’s been since 1988 since they’ve even played in a national championship game.”

Thompson said he plans to watch the game at his home in Valley Grande with another couple from up North as well as a few other friends. When asked who he and his guests will be cheering Monday night, Thompson confidently answered, “It’ll be all Notre Dame at our house.”

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