The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

BCS Championship

January 7, 2013

40 years ago, Irish-Tide played game for the ages

(Continued)

The lead changed hands six times. Notre Dame returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Alabama scored on a trick play. The Crimson Tide missed a crucial extra point in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Irish barely made a chip-shot field goal that provided the winning margin with less than 5 minutes remaining.

Mostly, the game will be remembered for Parseghian's gutsy decision right at the end to call a deep pass out of his own end zone, the ball going to a little-used tight end who managed to make a juggling catch along the sideline before tumbling into the Alabama bench, right in front of the Bear.

"I am laying on my back, clutching the ball, looking up at a bunch of red helmets peering down at me and hearing a bunch of cuss words over the roar of the 80,000 people in the stadium," said Robin Weber, the second-stringer who made the catch that lives on in Notre Dame lore.

"I get up from the sideline and flip the ball to the referee and, as I'm looking back downfield for penalty flags, here comes a very upset Bryant storming toward me almost in my face," Weber added. "I see no flags and jump for joy because I know it is checkmate in a national championship game."

Notre Dame 24, Alabama 23.

While the college kids who will play Monday night know little of what happened at rickety old Tulane Stadium long before they were born — some will acknowledge they're not even sure who won — there is constant prodding from the old-timers.

Especially on the Alabama side.

"People have been stopping me on elevators saying, 'I was there at the '73 game. You better win one for us,'" said Barrett Jones, the Crimson Tide's All-American center. "Certainly we've heard a lot about it. But when the ball is snapped, that's not going to matter."

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