If you had told me 10 years ago I would be covering Fighting Irish sports, I would have said stop teasing me. There is a lot of hard work that goes into being a sportswriter. Especially when it’s not your full-time job. All my life I have been a Subway Domer. My great-grandfather attended Notre Dame between 1910-1913. My great-grandfather was best friends with Knute Rockne. He was also on the football prep team and he was involved in track and field. So when I say Irish is in my blood it is. I had dreamed of some day getting to Notre Dame. Now I live in the South Bend area and things happen for a reason.
I was approached by Lisa Kelly who wrote for a blog. I said sure, that would be an interesting avenue for me to pursue. Before I know it, I have credentials for Notre Dame Men’s Hockey, Then came men’s and women’s basketball. What a journey that was. I was able to follow the men’s hockey on their journey inaugural season in the B1G, win the regular season B1G Championship and ultimately the B1G Tournament Championship.
While Hockey was catching its stride, men’s and women’s basketball was starting up. Men’s basketball had pretty high expectations with Senior Bonzie Colson leading the team. The team had a rough go of it when Bonzie went down. But, it was a learning experience for all the other players having to fall into the next man up mentality. As the season went on it became tougher for the men. They were close in a lot of the games, but they couldn’t just get the right combination to over come Bonzie and other players going down with injuries. My memorable interview from that season was the post game with UNC Head Coach Roy Williams.
When the men were not playing, its was writing on the women’s team. Sitting in my first post game interview with Coach McGraw, was like being with greatness. Coach and her players had a mindset that nothing was going to get then down. Not even coming off a loss to Louisville. Tennessee came into right after that and I remember them being down 27 at the half. When they came all they back to win that game, I knew that team was destined for something special. The players played tough on the floor, but humbled in the press conference. We all know what happened after all that hoopla. They made a run through the NCAA tournament and ultimately winning their second National Championship. After the National Championship, an opportunity to start my own blog happened. Shake Down The Thunder Sports was born.
After all that craziness, I was approved for my football press credential. All the time spent in those sport venues from the previous fall, set me up for the fall sport of Notre Dame football. All the relationships built with the SID’s, support staff, ushers and other social media reporters, got me to where I am today. When I asked Coach Kelly my first question, I was very nervous. But, I used my experience of asking questions of Coach Jackson, Coach Brey, and Coach McGraw and I got through it.
This weekend I embark on a journey that I never saw coming. Getting to cover ND football from the press box. My last time at Yankee Stadium, I was with my wife and daughter in left center field. Yes, I had a viewing obstruction in my way of seeing center field. Who would have thought a guy from the Valley in CT, gets to return home for the Shamrock Series. It’s been a lot of hard work to get there, but like Rudy, there is no give up in this guy. I would like to say thank you to my family and to all the SID’s for allowing me to come out and cover the best teams in college sports.
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘🏈⚡