Notre Dame fans welcome their team to South Florida - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Notre Dame fans welcome their team to South Florida

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Five-year-old John David Abadie wears a shirt to cheer on Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teʻo. Notre Dame fans came to visit Irish as the team arrived in Fort Lauderdale, FL. (Source: Tom Ensey) Five-year-old John David Abadie wears a shirt to cheer on Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teʻo. Notre Dame fans came to visit Irish as the team arrived in Fort Lauderdale, FL. (Source: Tom Ensey)
Chris Abadie brought his son to support the Fighting Irish as the team landed in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Wednesday. (Source: Tom Ensey) Chris Abadie brought his son to support the Fighting Irish as the team landed in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Wednesday. (Source: Tom Ensey)
Notre Dame fan Glenn Murray is confident that the Fighting Irish will win the BCS National Championship. (Source: Tom Ensey) Notre Dame fan Glenn Murray is confident that the Fighting Irish will win the BCS National Championship. (Source: Tom Ensey)
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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (RNN) - Glenn Murray, Notre Dame fan extraordinaire, was in ecstasy. He lives in Hallandale, FL, two miles from the hotel where the undefeated, No. 1 ranked Fighting Irish will stay while they prepare for their Jan. 6 showdown with No. 2 Alabama for the BCS National Championship.

He put on his Notre Dame jersey and drove to the airport to welcome the team as they arrived Monday afternoon. As close as he got was the terminal, but he was able to wave at the bus and shout "Go Irish" as it went by.

Raised in Boston, MA, he has lived in South Florida since 1964. But he managed to see every game on TV this fall. He drove to Dallas in 1970 to watch Notre Dame's first bowl game (the Irish used to eschew post-season play). They lost to Texas, 21-17. It killed him.

But the year he went to South Bend and the Irish beat Southern California, he and his buddy blasted the Notre Dame Fight Song in the rental car all the way back to the Chicago airport.

Blasting the Notre Dame Fight Song in his car is a habit of his that drives his girlfriend crazy, he said. But she is a Notre Dame fan, too.

"If she's not, it's a long walk," he said.

Notre Dame fan Chris Abadie brought his 5-year-old son John David to meet the plane. John David wore a homemade jersey for the event. He made a No. 5 on the back of a white T-shirt and wrote Manti T'eo, the name of the Fighting Irish All-American linebacker.

He was a little disappointed when they weren't able to get out on the tarmac to see the team, but once the team had showed up and they got to wave through the window, everything was OK.

Chris Abadie has lived in South Florida all his life.

"I went to Catholic school," he said. "One of the things they taught me was to love Notre Dame."

He has seen "11 of 12" of the games this year - including one the day of his mom's birthday when he and John David had to sneak off and catch a few minutes on the cell phone when they could.

He thinks the Alabama-Notre Dame game will be an old school, low-scoring defensive game. The sort of game two traditional powers should play.

"It'll be 16-13, something like that," he said. "We'll have to score late."

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