NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Local bar opens for special Irish watch party
By DAVID VANTRESS THE GOSHEN NEWS
Goshen-area Notre Dame football fans had a plethora of options when it came for finding a place to watch the No. 1 Fighting Irish take on No. 2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game Monday night.Jason Oswald, owner of Constant Spring in downtown Goshen, decided to give them one more.
Though Oswald's bar and grill is normally closed on Sundays and Mondays, Oswald decided to open Monday night for the big game.
The decision appeared to have paid dividends, as the bar was packed as game time - 8:30 p.m. - approached Monday night.
"'This hasn't happened in 25 years," Oswald said as he took a break from working behind the bar. "We thought a lot of our regulars would come out and watch the game here. It looks like we were right."
One of the Irish fans who decided to stay close to home Monday night was Brad Harbaugh of Goshen, who had staked out a prime seat early with friend Keila Morales of Elkhart.
Harbaugh and Morales, clad in matching Manti Te'o T-shirts, watched the game on a smaller TV near the front of the bar.
Harbaugh, who also works at Constant Spring, said the decision to stay home was a simple one.
"We decided to stay close to home and support a local business, instead of going all the way to South Bend and fighting the crowds there," Harbaugh said.
Phil Schulte of Goshen stopped by with friend Javier Rios for a beer and to watch the game.
Schulte - a Goshen College graduate and Notre Dame fan, along with Rios, wasn't very optimistic about the Irish's chances against the heavily favored Crimson Tide.
"I hear they're pretty good," Schulte said with a smile.
The game experience got off to a rousing start just before kickoff when the Notre Dame fight song was played over the bar's sound system.
But once the game got under way, there was little for a Notre Dame-heavy crowd to cheer for.
With Notre Dame trailing Alabama 28-0 at halftime, some of the more hardcore Irish fans began to make their way home.