Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Muffet Talks About Her Team Being Ranked #1

Notre Dame Players Talk Northwestern Game

Domer Huffer Shoots Low Round of the Day!

What a day for Notre Dame alum Becca Huffer '12 -- she tied for the low round of the day, during the 5th round of the LPGA Q School at Pinehurst No. 7!

Becca registered 4 birdies and 14 pars -- shooting a 68 -- and moving up to a tie for 14th!!!

The top 45 finishers -- after this 8 round marathon -- earns their LPGA Tour Card!

Keep it up Becca!!!

In the photo above, Becca turned her orange Volvik ball into a "pumpkin" for today's Halloween Round at Pinehurst No. 7.


Arike Ogunbowale's Interview with Holly Rowe

Reaction to Domer Golden Tate's NFL Trade

If you live in Detroit -- or, play with the Detroit Lions, you are not a happy camper...

If you live in Philadelphia -- you just picked up the best "yards after catch" receiver in the National Football League!


The Unanimous #1 Women's Team in the Nation

The defending National Champions now have the honor of being the UNANIMOUS pick as the #1 women's college basketball team in the country!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Notre Dame #4 in First CFB Playoff Poll!

Here's the Top 9 in the first 2018 College Football Playoff Poll this week:

#1:  Alabama
#2:  Clemson
#3:  LSU
#4:  Notre Dame
#5:  Michigan
#6:  Georgia
#7:  Oklahoma
#8:  Washington State
#9:  Kentucky

Currently the Big Ten, Pac 12 and Big 12 are out of the College Football Playoff...

OT: A Shark Tank Story I Am Honored to Share

OT: Future "D-Coordinator" for Notre Dame FB

Coach Brian Kelly Talks Northwestern Game...

"Domer" Huffer in Contention @ LPGA Qualifier

It's a grueling test...

Eight rounds of golf -- finish in the top 45 and you earn your LPGA Tour Card for the 2019 season.

Notre Dame alum -- Becca Huffer '12, is currently in a tie for 36th -- after the first four rounds of the LPGA Q-Series event at Pinehurst.

Becca has shot "back to back" 70's to get her in contention for a coveted LPGA Tour Card.  Now she has four more days of tournament golf with the goal to finish among the top 45! 

The final four rounds begin tomorrow at Pinehurst No. 7.

"When" Becca earns that LPGA Tour Card -- I believe she'll become the first Notre Dame alum in history to have earned that honor!

Good luck Becca!


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Brey's Irish Scrimmage the Cinci Bearcats

Here's a photo of the two squads after their scrimmage in Indianapolis...

For Those of You Going to ND vs. Northwestern

Some pre-game, in-game and maybe "halftime" entertainment?

Got to love the passion for his team and his profession...

If You Want to Play in a Peaceful Environment...

Here's who showed up for a game, yesterday, between two ranked teams in the PAC 12 Conference -- Washington State at Stanford...

Up Next for the Fighting Irish: Northwestern

Here is Coach Fitzgerald talking about Northwestern's win over #20 Wisconsin...

It's Not Easy To Win: Top Ranked Teams Losing

Here's a list of the nine (9) teams ranked in the Top 25 that lost yesterday:
  • #6 Texas lost to Oklahoma State
  • #9 Florida lost to #7 Georgia
  • #15 Washington lost to California
  • #16 Texas A&M lost to Mississippi State
  • #18 Iowa lost to #17 Penn State
  • #19 Oregon lost to Arizona
  • #20 Wisconsin lost to Northwestern
  • #21 South Florida lost to Houston
  • #22 NC State lost to Syracuse

The video above was the "handshake" after Oklahoma State's upset win over Texas last night -- here's what led to this exchange after the game...


Media Coverage of Notre Dame 44 - Navy 22

Took a lap around the worldwide web this morning to see what was being said about Notre Dame's 8th win of the season last night...





Brian Kelly Talks 44 - 22 Win Over Navy

Gilman, Coney, Williams & Book Talk Navy Win

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Family's "Walk-On" Tradition at Notre Dame

The Carney family story...

John Carney ended up having the 3rd longest NFL career in history -- and he's the 5th all-time leading scorer in NFL history!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ESPN's Championship Drive On "Who's In?"

I guess it doesn't matter that we beat Michigan with our "back-up QB."

College GameDay Talks Who Makes Playoffs?

Herbstreit: "There's Alabama and Clemson.."

Brian Kelly Talks Saturday's Game With Navy

ND Safety Writes Letter To Mom Who Passed...

This letter was placed on the UND.COM website today -- it's a letter written by Notre Dame junior safety, Devin Studstill.  His Mom passed away in April of 2017...

Dear Best Friend,
Lord knows how much we miss you. There are so many things we did, although we didn't have much, and whatever we lacked in funds we doubled in love and fun memories. I remember watching SpongeBob as a family together, enjoying the summers at Inner City Youth and staying up late at night just to dance and act like fools. Your laughter was contagious, and your love for people would fill hearts wherever you went.

You instilled so many lessons in David and me. I remember we used to fight a lot, you sat me down and explained to me that I am his big brother. You expressed how he looked up to me and wanted to be just like me. You were the first one to clearly get through my head the importance of family; you told me that we were all we have. I am forever my brother's keeper because of you.

As a child, you made me aware of the power of options. One of the worst feelings is when I am helpless and have no options to work around my problems. You showed me how life is full of options and how invaluable it is to do well in school and be a man of character so that I can do anything that I want to do in this world. I thank you for that. I thank you for telling me the importance of challenging myself and holding myself up to my own personal standard: EXCELLENCE. You were constantly on me about cleaning my room, my bathroom and the kitchen. You even went as far as teaching me how to cook. You did not want to raise a weak man. I love you for that. At the time, I hated doing these tedious tasks and we would often butt heads about it. Even when you were annoyed at me everything you said had truth and value and was said in my best interest. But looking back on it, I am so far ahead of my peers because of the little things you had me do every day. Now, they are habits that I start each day with. I remember you. You're such a big part of David and me!

My teenage years were a time of transition. I was arrogant and naive; a very bad combination. The very qualities you instilled in me such as organization, cleanliness, gratitude and excellence were all on display those years. The benefits from those qualities were tremendous for a high school boy. As a result, I had colleges blowing up my phone, I had unanimous respect from my peers, but I let these benefits get to my head and felt a sense of self-accomplishment. I did not honor the woman that bestowed all of these qualities in me through love. I was doing well and always had a lot of pride. When we were struggling to make the rent, I took it upon myself to find a way to fix things. Little did I know, the true hardship that you were going through... until now.

You were so strong for supporting two growing boys. You never made an excuse for our circumstance and never blamed it on anyone else. I know you were frustrated, and, believe me, people wish they could have helped you more than they did.

I was angry at our environment. I was angry at our living situation. I was frustrated with the problems at home. I pictured us in the suburb somewhere and was angry when I could do nothing to get my way. I want to apologize for taking out my anger and frustration on you. You loved me through it all and I thank you so much for it. I love you so much!

I went far away from home for college to get away from it all. My first semester at Notre Dame was a challenge. The people were different, and I did not have my family close by to support me. I immediately wanted to pack up and go right back home. I missed you. I missed talking to you. I needed your laughter and advice, but I was consumed by my pride and did not call. I struggled to adjust to the college life, but my process was much smoother when we talked. When we would get off the phone, I would be filled with motivation: you reminded me of my "why" for attending Notre Dame. I always wanted to make you proud and take care of you and the whole Studstill clan.

The next couple of semesters were the hardest for me, but I persevered through it all. We grew so close over this time. We talked at least twice a week and texted almost every day. Things were looking up for the both of us. I remember my winter break, I took care of you the whole break. It felt so good to be there for you, the way you had been there for me my whole life. I remember after dinner you told me something that I will never forget and hold dear for the rest of my life. You said, "Mommy is proud of you, and I love the man you are becoming." It was so fulfilling to hear these words. You often told me you were proud of me and David, but this time it felt different. I could actually feel the work you had done in my life. I had finally felt deserving of this compliment because for once I could actually feel change in my life. A life that made you the priority. I will never forget that feeling I had after that kiss on my forehead.

I didn't tell you everything I should have while you were alive. I have felt so much remorse and so much regret. I feel like your death is my fault in some way, shape or form. I sit here and think about all the time I had you in my life and I wasted it with fighting and resentment during my teenage years. I am so saddened that David was not even out of high school at the time of your passing. He wasn't even offered the opportunity to receive your guidance and reassurance during this trying period in his life.

I want to step up and be a leader and be the person you were for me to him, but it's just so hard and I feel so uncomfortable. I remember going to that doctor's office with you. I remember being skeptical when he told me about the surgery. I wanted to know the ins and outs. My deepest fear was in the back of my head. I was worried for your safety. I'm upset at myself for not waking up and calling you before your surgery. I was always getting updates after the fact. I was upset at the way I found out. I called David. And he was just crying, Mom. Just crying. My little brother had to be the one to tell me my mother passed. Everyone around here knew before me and I was supposed to be your protector. I'm the one supposed to be taking care of you. I felt like as soon as things were looking up for us the house, my status on the field I was struck down. Mom, I'm sorry for all the fights we had, and my stubbornness. I deeply regret not talking to you. Now, I have all these questions, all these concerns that I know you would have the perfect answer for. I really truly hope you can forgive me.

I want this letter to symbolize the end of my grieving over your death. After this day, I will not sulk about you leaving us. I will think of the times we had with nothing but love. Both the good and the bad. I will be able to look back on this and say, "Wow, all of this happened for a reason." I love you, Mom. I know you would want me to walk around with my head high like the king you raised me to be. I promise you that I will become the man you wanted me to be. I will do everything I do with everything I have. You always hated when I didn't give it my all, just to be average. You always knew that when I put my all into something my fire would shine so bright. I will let my fire burn. I will give my everything for what I believe in. As long as I walk this earth, I will carry your spirit with me and we light it on fire, Ma! I love you so much.

With everlasting love,
Your big man

Photos: "The Dream of Attending Notre Dame"

A Notre Dame parent, Martha Weber -- her daughter Anna '09, is a record holder in the Hammer Throw for the Fighting Irish -- sent these two photos of her grandsons, Ben and Luke, to my colleague Dennis Brown.

That's Ben in the top photo -- as Grandma says; "running thru the tunnel" and the bottom photo is of Luke at Notre Dame Stadium...

Grandma Martha wrote to Dennis: "I couldn't help myself.  These pictures seem to me to represent the dream of attending ND that my daughter was lucky enough to live." 

Martha -- YES THEY DO!

Here's hoping Ben and Luke someday follow in their Mom's footsteps to Notre Dame!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Photos: Garth Brooks at Notre Dame Stadium!

If you'd like to see some clips of tonight's concert -- just to go TWITTER and follow me @NDJimSmall -- I posted a few short videos of Garth's performance at Notre Dame...

Yes, Tyler Trent -- "CANCER SUCKS"

I'll be the biggest Boilermaker fan inside Notre Dame Stadium tonight (at Garth concert) as Purdue hosts the Buckeyes of Ohio State -- and Tyler Trent probably attends his last game...

If you haven't seen ESPN's full feature on Tyler Trent -- you must.


10 Hours Until Garth at Notre Dame Stadium!

If only, this weather would last all day...

A Game Away From a Notre Dame First!

Milwaukee's manager Craig Counsell leads his Brewers into Game 7 tonight in the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

If they win, Counsell will be the first Notre Dame alum to manage a team in the World Series!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Photo From Garth's Sound Check at ND!

My Notre Dame colleague Brian Fremeau @ndfremeau -- posted this tonight from Garth's Sound Check.

Garth Brooks & Trish Yearwood Presser Today

Garth & Trish met with the media this afternoon to talk about Trisha's Tailgate at the Irish Green and concert at Notre Dame Stadium.

There's Only One University -- 82 Years Later...

The first AP Poll ranking of college football teams in America was released on this day in 1936...

82 years later -- only one school is still ranked in the TOP TEN!

Latest Photos from Garth @ Notre Dame!

For those of you into stats:
  • There are 8,700 chairs in perfect rows on the floor of Notre Dame Stadium
  • This will be the largest crowd ever gathered (in one spot) on the campus of the University of Notre Dame -- in its 176 year history... 
To enlarge the photos above -- just "double-click" on them!

Photos courtesy of Brian Fremeau (a ND colleague of mine) and a viewer of WNDU-TV in South Bend.

Ranked "7th Best Shooter in College Hoops"

He hasn't worn a Notre Dame uniform yet and he's already earned a reputation...

I've seen him play in two scrimmages -- he never missed a "three" I saw him take -- and he took many!

I believe the last name is pronounced "La Sheff Ski" -- you better get used to it, you're going to hear it a lot at Purcell!


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Muffet "Wired" With the National Champions

Pittsburgh Gazette: A Photo With a Story...

I love this story...

Many props to my colleague Brian Fremeau for doing the right thing when he found this photo.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

OT: A "New Twist" to Championship Rings

CBS to Televise Garth's Notre Dame Concert

Word broke today that CBS will be broadcasting Garth Brook's concert at Notre Dame Stadium.  The concert will air December 2nd on CBS at 8 PM...

Josh Adams Collects on Insurance Policy...

I'm sure he would have rather been drafted...

Domer Ebersol Talks New Football League

Notre Dame alum Charlie Ebersol is the founder of a new professional football league called the Alliance of American Football.  The AAF, which has eight teams, announced the signing of 500+ players to contracts as they get ready for the start of their inaugural season on February 9, 2019 -- the Saturday after the NFL's Super Bowl.

This was an interview, from earlier this year, where Charlie spoke with Dan Patrick...

Five former Notre Dame football players are under contract to play in this league:
  • Nyles Morgan (LB) -- Arizona HotShots
  • Amir Carlisle (WR) -- Birmingham Iron
  • Cody Riggs (DB) -- Orlando Apollos
  • Ben Turk (P) -- Orlando Apollos
  • Scott Daly (LS) -- San Antonio Commanders


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Update: Garth's Stage at Notre Dame Stadium

Here's the latest photo of the construction of Garth Brooks' performance stage inside Notre Dame Stadium.  Just double-click on photo to enlarge...


A College Football Playoff Predictor...

Not sure their methodology -- thought I'd share.  Double-click on the image above to enlarge!

LINK:  538

Monday, October 15, 2018

Apparently Our Michigan Win "Doesn't Matter..."

Garth Brooks Concert Information -- Right Here

If you're going to the Garth Brooks concert this Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium -- you'll want to review this information...


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Here's How You Defend Notre Dame This Week

When your friends start complaining about where Notre Dame is ranked -- just pull this information out...

This is the STRENGTH OF RECORD ranking of the top ten teams in the country.

Guess Who Is Leading FBS in Completion % !!!

Our man Ian Book is now the most accurate passer in college football!
  •  #1 in completion percentage at 75.2%


Notre Dame Moves Up to #4 in Coaches' Poll

The Fighting Irish are now ranked #4 in the country!


My Brother Jay With ND QB Steve Beuerlein

This photo was taken yesterday at Pebble Beach Golf Links -- that's my brother Jay on the left and former Notre Dame QB Steve Beuerlein on the right.   They are playing in the 2018 Pebble Beach Classic.


Getting Notre Dame Stadium Ready for Garth

These photo were taken by my colleague Brian Fremeau -- on the transformation of Notre Dame Stadium from the home of the #5 ranked Fighting Irish to a concert venue for Garth Brooks.

There is a strong rumor that Garth's show requires 70 semi-trucks to bring it to Notre Dame...

What a Play Call -- With The Game On The Line

#3 ranked Ferris State University (my alma mater) -- was playing at #2 ranked Grand Valley State (Brian Kelly's old team) last night...

It's 4th down, with two yards to go -- Ferris trails Grand Valley 31 to 28 -- and there's three minutes left in the game.

And this is the play call...


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our Trip to Blacksburg -- Some Thoughts...

My three boys; Jimmy '08, Brady and Conor (son-in-law) and my Dad, Jim Small (former Detroit Tiger) made the trek to Blacksburg yesterday to see the Fighting Irish take on the Hokies.  Here are my random thoughts about our experience:
  • We spent Friday night at the home of 2x NASCAR Truck Champion, Todd and Janet Bodine.  They were world-class hosts.
  • We left their home in Mooresville, NC around 11:30 AM for the 2+ hour drive to Blacksburg
  • We parked in the middle of campus (for free) -- about a half to 3/4 mile walk away from the Stadium.  (This turned out to be a big mistake after the game)
  • It's a beautiful campus, located on a great piece of real estate.
  • Our tailgate was wonderful -- Janet Bodine is a great host and cook!  We just hung out for the next four hours telling stories.  The VT Student Center was next door -- so we had access to restrooms.
  • One of the guests at our Tailgate was former college football coach Augie Tammariello -- Augie got his coaching start with Lou Holtz on the staff at William & Mary.  He also coached with Joe Paterno and Marv Levy.  He ended his coaching career as the head coach of the Louisiana "Rajin' Cajuns" for six years before pursuing a successful business career.  Augie now has a weekly radio show talking football...
  • We were treated very well by the Virginia Tech fan base -- that however changed as we walked to their stadium...
  • Believe it or not -- our most trouble came from female Hokie students (who let us know with their chants) that they weren't so happy we were here...
  • The experience of getting into Lane Stadium -- left plenty to be desired.
  • It's not so easy for a first time visitor to figure out where the gates are -- and to handle the rush of people -- it was intense!  See photo below -- this is the scene at Gate 1 an hour before kick-off;
  • To get to our seats -- the Notre Dame section was up in the far corner -- we had to traverse a long, steep and winding concrete ramp system that seemed to never end.
  • Then, you need to strap on your mountain gear as you climb stairs "straight up to the sky"
  • Once inside -- you saw a sea of orange and maroon stripes -- pretty cool, from our perch high atop Lane Stadium.  Though you did feel as if you leaned too far forward you would tumble for minutes down to the field below...
  • The Notre Dame gold helmets are always a sight to be seen at a night game!!!
  • We sat in front of a couple of Va Tech fans who were great.
  • The pre-game presentation at Lane Stadium was quite special.
  • I didn't realize they had two marching bands -- and all of the cadets!  More than 1,000 members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets marched into the Stadium prior to the game -- IMPRESSIVE!
  • The Virginia Tech Regimental Band -- (aka 'The Highty Tighties") marching precision was incredible.
  • The Highty Tighties played the pre-game show.
  • About 15 minutes or so, before game time, three skydivers jumped out of a plane with one of them having a camera on their helmet -- and we watched their journey into the stadium on the video board.  The jumpers wore light suits with pyrotechnics streaming from their feet and a couple of very large flags -- an American flag and a Virginia Tech flag.
  • Two of the jumpers hit their spots -- while the other missed his and crashed into the overhead camera system ABC had set up for the game.  Looked pretty bad from our view point.  I'm not sure if it took the camera out of commission for the game or not? 
  • Then, the Va Tech faithful started gearing up for "Enter Sandman"
  • They start with a "Let's Go Hokies" cheer that is very, very loud.
  • Then, the video board takes control of the frenzy -- playing a cool video about making noise and the fans clap in unison to music...
  • Then, up pops a video of the band Metallica -- talking to the crowd.
  • Then, the song starts and the place goes nuts -- fans begin jumping up and down, with the stadium sound system at full blast.
  • The Hokies run onto the field and it's game time.
  • The game environment was loud -- but not as loud as what we experienced last year in Miami... 
  • Fireworks went off during the National Anthem and as the team entered the field.  Fireworks and cannon shots (LOUD) were used throughout the game when the Hokies scored.
  • It was HUGE that we drove down the field to score that first TD -- the ND fan section was going crazy.
  • Then we follow it up with a 3-out and we drive down the field for a 2nd time -- leaving with a field goal.
  • The Hokie fans behind us were in a semi-state of shock with what was going on -- and the place was much quieter...
  • Then, things started to change in the 2nd quarter -- in not a good way...
  • The Julian Love fumble recovery TD was HUGE -- but, then they go down the field and score before halftime -- the HOKIE Nation was going nuts!
  • I will admit, I wasn't feeling good about our chances at halftime -- the ND fan section was concerned...
  • The "other" Virginia Tech band -- "The Marching Virginians" played their halftime show.
  • When they were done -- they unveiled the name of their new football practice facility with former Coach Frank Beamer on the field with the donor.
  • A 97 yard run -- that I called in advance (my son Jimmy will confirm) -- WAS ENORMOUS!  Took the wind right out of the sails of the Hokie crowd...
  • Then, we started to pour it on...  What a second half performance.
  • Ian Book -- made some huge throws and missed a number of huge throws.  He's a player and we'll go as far as he can take us.  
  • The Notre Dame section took over the noise in the Stadium in the 4th quarter with multiple LET'S GO IRISH chants!
  • The Lane Stadium crowd started emptying out around the 9 minute mark -- fun to see...
  • We stayed until the very end -- singing the Alma Mater with the team and fans.
  • What a win!
  • Now, here's where you can learn a lesson from us if you ever go to a night game at Lane Stadium.  DO NOT PARK in the middle of CAMPUS.
  • We literally got stuck in a traffic grid lock, like I've never seen before.  It took us 71 minutes to drive two blocks -- NO EXAGGERATION!
  • Thank goodness we won the game!
  • As we were sitting in the traffic -- multiple Hokie fans approached, us at our car window, to congratulate us on the win...  A cool scene.
  • Wearing GREEN -- is what we should always do at ALL NOTRE DAME GAMES -- no matter what the sport.  You knew when you saw someone in green, they were a ND fan.  We saw plenty of fans wearing green.
  • It took us 3 1/2 hours to drive the 50 mile drive from Blacksburg to our hotel in Wytheville, VA.  We rolled into our hotel after 2:30 AM this morning...
  • We have a very good football team -- I can't wait to see what happens these next seven weeks.  

Ian Book Talks Big Road Win Over Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Coaches & Players On Loss to ND

Coach Kelly Talks Big Win Over Virginia Tech

Impressive Road Win for Our Fighting Irish!

Sitting here in my hotel room in Wytheville, NC -- we just got here -- three hours after Notre Dame's impressive win over Virginia Tech...

It was a long day -- but, WORTH IT!!!

"Exit Sandman" Notre Dame 45 -- Va Tech 23

The Fighting Irish just scored the most points ever by an opponent in regulation -- in a game at Lane Stadium.  It's also the largest margin of victory for a road win by Notre Dame over a ranked opponent since 1966.

Think about this!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

ESPN Reporters Pick Winner: ND vs. Va Tech

Here's what they're thinking -- about 20 ESPN reporters picked the winner and score...


On Our Way to Blacksburg! GO IRISH!!!

I'm here just north of Charlotte in Mooresville, NC (Race City USA) at the home of 2x NASCAR Truck Champion and BIG-TIME NOTRE DAME FANS, Todd and Janet Bodine. 

They are world class hosts with a beautiful home -- you have to see their backyard!!!

I'm going to post some photos this afternoon of the Virginia Tech tailgating scene -- to both Twitter (@NDJimSmall) and to this blog.  We should be rolling onto the Hokies' campus around 1:30 PM ET.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Domer Counsell Leads Brewers to Pennant Win

Milwaukee Brewers' manager Craig Counsell is a Notre Dame alum and former Fighting Irish baseball star...

Va Tech's Student Newspaper talks ND Game

Well, they're excited in Blacksburg...