Life as the Notre Dame Leprechaun

Notre Dame Leprechaun
Daniel Collins has released a book going behind the scenes of his time spent as the Notre Dame leprechaun.

Daniel Collins, a former Notre Dame Leprechaun, has recently published a book about life as one of the most recognizable mascots in all of sports.  Daniel was kind of enough to share an excerpt of the book with us for the readers here at UHND.

For anyone going to this weekend’s game, Daniel will be at the Notre Dame bookstore on Friday from 3:00-5:00 PM and on Saturday from 9:30-11:30 signing copies of the book.  You can also purchase his book here.

Blood rushed to my head. My vision blurred. The blazing Midwest summer sun beat down on the back of my neck. Beads of sweat gathered where my bowler hat met my brow, dripping in endless rows down my nose. I wiped my sweaty palms against my bright green knickers one at a time so I could readjust my grip on the slippery steel of the giant flagpole I held in my hands. Over 81,000 voices hushed in the ninety-­‐degree heat, waiting to erupt on my cue. I could feel the weight of over 162,000 eyes bearing down on me. Only one thought filled my mind: “Don’t trip!”

An entire herd of raging bulls in golden helmets filled the tunnel behind me, penned in by only a few coaches attempting to keep them at bay as they began to sway back and forth in nervous excitement. They personified the mounting anticipation that had built up all offseason. The entire stadium filled to the brim with an electric charge.

I didn’t even have time to think how crazy it was that all these people expected me to lead this team of super humans out onto the field when suddenly the familiar voice of Mike Collins blared over the loudspeakers: “Heeeeeeeere come the Irish!” Mike wasn’t lying. The Irish were coming right at me.

A flash of gold hit my eye as they burst out of the tunnel into the sunlight, and I was off to the races. The explosion of the crowd came with far more force than I could have anticipated, nearly knocking me off my feet. I suddenly remembered my mantra, repeating, “Don’t trip! Don’t trip! Don’t trip!” over and over in my head as I ran.

A tidal wave of energy swept me up as my feet barely grazed the ground for the entire 100-­‐yard sprint down the field. Once I made it to the far endzone I triumphantly waved the Blue and Gold to our sellout crowd and millions more watching on TV. As my adrenaline subsided and exhaustion set in, a new thought filled my head: “This is what living feels like.” An inescapable smile spread across my face while I paused to take it all in.

A wildly unlikely journey had brought me to this unforgettable moment in my life, and an even more unbelievable story was about to unfold.

For anyone going to this weekend’s game, Daniel will be at the Notre Dame bookstore on Friday from 3:00-5:00 PM and on Saturday from 9:30-11:30 signing copies of the book.  You can also purchase his book here.

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