"In the Wake of the News".... The 1977 Death Threat from Death Valley

The following is a true story.

I am reminded of the 1977 clash between the Irish and Tigers in Death Valley. The entire town and student body were not so hospitable to the visiting ND team, coaches and fans. As soon as the team landed they discovered raw hate and intimidation. They boarded the bus for the journey to their hotel and saw orange tiger paws painted on the street and roads which followed them from the airport all the way to the hotel. The bus was getting pelted with rocks and other projectiles too! After the team meal that night the players and coaches retired to their rooms for a good night’s sleep. When all of a sudden, the phones began to ring in every room harboring a player or coach well into the night. Then sometime in the 2am hour the first of two bomb threats were called into that hotel. Coach Dan Devine had no choice but to gather the entire team and staff in the parking lot whilst many were half asleep. They couldn’t return to their rooms until the authorities sorted out the bomb threats. Fast forward to kickoff time. The weather was in the high 80’s and very humid. Clemson was the 15th ranked team in the nation and the fans pulled out some truly classless and criminal behavior to try and take down ND! They even resorted to hurling empty half pint bottles of whiskey at the ND bench along with their classic anti-Catholic slurs. To no avail though! A very sleep deprived ND squad emerged victorious 21-17, much to the chagrin of the Clemson crowd. Thankfully, ND went on to win the National Championship. I can forgive but never forget. Go Irish!☘️

Thomas J. Frawley



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