While the global sporting community is loves fútbol, the American society loves its own version of football.

And tonight is a classic American college game against two traditional powerhouses: Alabama vs. Notre Dame.

It is the power and traditions of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish of Notre Dame against the power and speed of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

First made famous by its six national football championships won under revered coach Paul Bryant, the University of Alabama will play for its 3rd national championship in 4 years and is the heavy favorite against Notre Dame.

The men who are the coaches for both teams espouse characteristics and a lifestyle that define many open water swimmers.

On the Alabama side, there is Nick Saban known for his disciplined approach to the game of football. Detail-oriented, laser-focused and methodical, he demands that his players understand and abide by his comprehensive and challenging process of preparation. On the Notre Dame side, Saban’s counterpart is Brian Kelly. Inspirational and motivational on a deep emotional level, his leadership has elevated the Fighting Irish game. He uplifts his charges on a profound psychological level as well as a supremely physical one. To think, to believe, and to envision success has been part of his formula to drive a team to the national championship game.

On one side of the football field, Alabama’s players lead a lifestyle embedded with details and a focused methodology. On the other side of the field, the Notre Dame football players have confidence in themselves and in their teammates supported by a deeply felt belief system embedded in their DNA.

This kind of dedication and passion also define open water swimmers who lead a common lifestyle whether they swim on the shores of the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania. The underlying passion of these open water swimmers is the same whether it is a 54-year-old man doing a mile swim for the first time in his life or a working mother dreaming of a channel swim.

But while the coaches and athletes of the University of Alabama and Notre Dame play out their battle in front of a national television audience in an overflowing stadium, open water swimmers attempt their own challenges quietly and courageously.

As ESPN alludes to in its commercial below, “It’s not crazy. It’s sports.”

We agree: it’s not crazy. It’s open water swimming.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source