National pregame: Notre Dame returns to New York for Pinstripe Bowl

by Berry Tramel Published: December 25, 2013

The first three Pinstripe Bowls matched Syracuse-Kansas State, Rutgers-Iowa State and Syracuse-West Virginia.

Now the Pinstripe Bowl is Rutgers-Notre Dame. The Big 12's parting gift to the New York Yankees' bowl was no Big 12 representative for the game, which kicks off Saturday in Yankee Stadium.

The Big 12 and the Pinstripe Bowl are parting ways, and when the Big 12 failed to qualify enough teams for the postseason, the Pinstripe was free to pursue another team. And Notre Dame was available.

Talk about a match made in Public Relations Heaven.

Notre Dame, not Rutgers, is New York City's team. The lone college football program that over the last century could make a dent in the pro-centric mentality of New Yorkers.

And Yankee Stadium is one of the few places that could resonate with Notre Dame's well-traveled players.

The Fighting Irish beat Army 27-3 at Yankee Stadium in 2010, their first New York City game in 41 years. But Notre Dame has three future games scheduled for Yankee Stadium.

“I remember walking into the stadium for the first time,” said Irish quarterback Tommy Rees, who then was a freshman. “Walking into the locker room and your jaw drops. It's an incredible atmosphere. Just to be where the Yankees are and that organization they have. It's a special place to be.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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