. Interviews and Irish culture at a college football game in Ireland : Budget Travel Adventures

Interviews and Irish culture at a college football game in Ireland

Notre Dame Navy college football game Dublin Ireland Emerald Isle ClassicSo what’s it like seeing a college football game in Dublin, Ireland?  Watching Notre Dame and Navy play at Aviva Stadium in the Emerald Isle Classic was a unique experience.  However, this wasn’t just any football game.

Cultural connections and a college football game in Ireland

There weren’t the typical tailgates.  Fans hung out at Temple Bar pubs and on the streets watching Irish dancing and enjoying some Irish culture.

Most college football games don’t sell beer, much less pints of Guinness.  This was a game where the majority of fans at the game were supporters of Notre Dame.  However, Notre Dame wasn’t the home team and the Fighting Irish were greatly outnumbered by the actual Irish in the city of Dublin.

One of the most popular teams in college football wasn’t even the most popular football team in the city that weekend.  The Gaelic football semifinal was played on Sunday in Croke Park between Dublin and Mayo as over 80,000 people attended while many others watched and cheered in the Dublin pubs.

This is what a college football game was like Dublin, Ireland.

Now I’ve shared my college football story and how I got interested in the game and the travel aspect.  The College Football Travel Tour has become my ultimate sports and travel series.  After spending time in Dublin this weekend, I realize how much I love doing this.

While Aviva Stadium was a fantastic atmosphere, I was really excited about exploring Dublin.  This series is so much more than just football.  It’s more than just the attractions.  Even on this trip, all the sights and beauty of Ireland weren’t the best part.

After a trip to Ireland, I was reminded why travel is awesome.  I was immersed in the culture and my best memories were with people I met in Dublin.  I had conversations with security guards about their impressions of college football and their take on sports in Ireland.  I talked to many Irish people about football, Gaelic football, soccer, history, culture, and life.

I talked with Notre Dame and Navy fans about their experiences in Ireland and what they thought of the game.  I watched Irish kids and many women go nuts over the men in naval uniforms.

This wasn’t just a college football game between Notre Dame and Navy.  It was a cultural experience for both Americans and the Irish people.

I could spend hours talking about all the great people I met and the conversations I had.  However, here are two very unique perspectives on the Emerald Isle Classic and the city of Dublin.  Check out these videos from a couple of fans giving you their impressions of the game and the city.

Naval Academy Midshipman Scott Walker

Former Notre Dame and NFL player and current ESPN personality Mike Golic

Thank you Ireland

To say this was just the beginning of my cultural immersion in Ireland would be an understatement.  My connection with the Irish people was special.  These people brought me to tears.  I learned valuable lessons about life.  I had some of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had.  Next week, I will take you on my journey with the people through my Irish conversations.

You have to understand that this College Football Travel Tour is so much more than football.  I want to you experience the people and culture.  I want you to understand what makes these towns and cities so interesting.  Honestly, there was no better city in the world to start this tour than Dublin.

The Emerald Isle Classic was special.  This was so much more than a college football game.  To the city, the people, and the country of Ireland, thank you.

Follow me all season on the College Football Travel Tour as I share my stories, adventures, photos, and videos on my College Football Travel Tour page.  Get my travel guides for each city and travel deals for college football on Expedia’s College Football page.

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Filed Under: College Football Travel TourFeaturedUniversity of Notre DameUS Naval Academy


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  1. Cassie says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard of Gaelic football?! From Wikipedia it seems like a cross between American football and soccer, is that right? Did you get to see one of those games? At any rate, it sounds like an amazing experience! I’m looking forward to hearing more from the Irish fans you met.

    • Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a match. I could have if I would have gotten off my butt Sunday morning. After a very late night Saturday, struggled to get up at a decent hour. However, the GAA semi-final was held at Croke Park (in Dublin) – Mayo vs Dublin. Over 80K people were at the match. Would have been fun to see and I wish I had gone!

    • Also, I’ve written a little bit about the Irish people that I met. Quite honestly, they’re the best people I’ve ever met in my travels.

  2. Very cool start to the city. I hope you got to check out some Irish Music.

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