Notre Dame defines clutch

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

There are few football teams in the country that dredge up as much emotion as Notre Dame because there are few teams that have been as historically clutch when the game is on the line.

For decades, the Irish have kept fans and non-fans glued to their radios and televisions for late-game heroics against insurmountable odds. It makes Notre Dame one of the most beloved and hated teams in all of sports; everyone wanted the luck of the Irish:

The Game of the Century.

Win One For the Gipper.

The Chicken Soup Game.

Time and time again Notre Dame has been down only to shock out a win in the final seconds. There are so many clutch moments in Notre Dame history that books and movies have been produced. Sports bars around the country pay tribute to them. And fans reminisce about the games that formed the Notre Dame legend.

Notre Dame created the Comeback Kid, Joe Montana, after the 22-point fourth-quarter deficit he overcame against Houston in the 1979 Cotton Bowl.

Notre Dame invented the Hail Mary pass on a last-second play to beat Ohio State.

Notre Dame inspired George Gipp to play through the injury and illness that would ultimately lead to his death.

If you want to talk historically clutch, Notre Dame might not be at the beginning of the conversation, but there's little doubt that it will be at the end of it.