Sunday, August 29, 2021

Harrison Smith Moves to #2 With New Contract

The Minnesota Vikings just agreed to a $64,000,000 four-year contract extension with former Notre Dame Football team captain -- Harrison Smith! 
Over the next eight months Harrison will be paid $22.5 million, the most ever for a safety in NFL history.

Harrison is now the 2nd highest paid former Notre Dame student-athlete of all-time!

Congrats Harrison!

Here's a look at the TOP 30 current and former Notre Dame athletes (football, basketball, baseball and hockey) who have been (and will be) paid the most as a professional athlete:

  • Ronnie Stanley:  $136,145,183 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2025 
  • Harrison Smith:  $127,666,546 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2026
  • Jeff Samardzija:  $116,341,666
  • Zack Martin:  $100,285,531 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2024 
  • Jaylon Smith:  $75,095,997 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2025
  • AJ Pollock:  $68,841,944 -- guaranteed contract to 2023
  • Anders Lee:  $66,044,038 -- guaranteed contract to 2026
  • Troy Murphy:  $66,000,000 
  • Stephon Tuitt:  $64,760,551 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2022
  • Kyle Rudolph:  $62,936,853 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2023
  • Golden Tate:  $56,337,672 -- current free agent
  • Brad Lidge:  $55,335,000
  • Romeo Okwara:  $47,258,474 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2023
  • Bryant Young:  $44,000,000
  • Justin Tuck:  $43,248,463  
  • Quenton Nelson:  $38,010,393 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2022 
  • John Sullivan:  $35,800,027
  • Jerome Bettis:  $35,122,500
  • Jeff Faine:  $34,456,892 
  • Will Fuller:  $34,243,347 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2022
  • Kyle Palmieri:  $30,192,154 -- guaranteed contract to 2021
  • Matt Carroll:  $29,537,032 
  • Mike McGlinchey:  $29,481,766 -- not guaranteed, contract to 2023
  • Tim Brown:  $28,432,686
  • Laphonso Ellis:  $27,939,000
  • Rocket Ismail:  $27,885,021
  • Tyler Eifert:  $26,310,317
  • Joe Montana:  $26,000,000 
  • Ian Cole:  $25,949,694 -- guaranteed contract to 2021
  • John Axford:  $25,306,209



Rocco Spindler Gives Award to His High School

Friday, August 27, 2021

Cubs Announce "Notre Dame Day" at Wrigley

It's the Friday (September 24th) before the Fighting Irish take on Wisconsin at Soldier Field. 

The first 2,000 fans who purchase a ticket to the game will receive a coupon that will give them the Notre Dame / Cubs hat for free.

The Cubs will be playing the St. Louis Cardinals that day.


Notre Dame's Brian Polian w/ Media...

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Watch Notre Dame's "Back to School Mass"


Because of the extreme heat conditions here on campus today -- the University of Notre Dame's Opening of the Academic Year Mass has been moved indoors to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Mass will begin at 5:30 PM ET and can be watched LIVE at the video player above.

Will Conference Alliance Impact Notre Dame?

Here's a Yahoo! sports story about the alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac 12 -- before today's announcement -- and how it might impact future scheduling for Notre Dame Football...


Marcus Freeman & Defensive Players...

Sunday, August 22, 2021

OT: Ty Cobb Giving My Dad Hitting Tips...

(click on image to enlarge)

There was a photo on Twitter today of Ty Cobb giving hitting tips to Mickey Mantle -- see below...

Well, my Dad (Jim Small, Detroit Tigers center fielder) had the same experience with Ty Cobb -- just before my Dad headed to Lakeland, FL for Spring Training in 1957.  Here's the newspaper story from the San Francisco Examiner in February of 1957.

The folks at the San Francisco Examiner set up this interview / feature between Ty Cobb and my Dad, after his second season with the Detroit Tigers in 1956.  My Dad is one of the very few players in Major League Baseball history to jump straight from high school to the big leagues -- which he did in June of 1955 after his high school graduation from Bellarmine Prep (San Jose, CA).  He is 19 years-old in this photo with Cobb.

The photo on bottom left shows Ty splitting my Dad's hands apart on the bat -- which is how Cobb held the bat during his Hall of Fame career...

The coolest moment happened at the end of the day at Cobb's home -- when he went into a closet and pulled out a photo of his first day in a Tiger's uniform in 1905 -- and signed it and gave it to my Dad.

Here is Joe Theismann interviewing my Dad about his baseball career:

Notre Dame's Tommy Rees' Media Session

Notre Dame's Kyren Williams "Mic'd Up!"

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Working On "Finishing Touches" to Golf Car...

I'm told we're getting closer to the arrival of the Notre Dame themed golf car...

The hold up has been "Tropical Storm Fred" which delayed the construction of the seats for the golf car (Lazy Life Seats + Covers -- Grovetown, GA) and the challenges in matching the color GOLD.  

Finding the right gold paint color -- is DIFFICULT!

I did take on the task of creating a few medallions (photo above) that could be used on the front grille and the steering wheel of the golf car.  Matt Leevy and Anthony Van Avermaete at Notre Dame's Idea Center were kind enough to knock out some Notre Dame Monograms out of acrylic for me -- then I took it from there.

Here's hoping we'll have wheels on the ground in South Bend before the Toledo game!

Friday, August 20, 2021

My First Trader Joe's Experience -- EVER!

Just traveled a couple of hundred yards from our home, to the grand opening of the Trader Joe's on the southern end of Eddy Street Commons...

I've been hearing about this store for years -- from my wife -- but, I had never stepped foot inside one, until today. IMPRESSED.

Prediction -- they are going to do very well here at Notre Dame!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Jamir Jones Getting Some Love in Pittsburgh!

The former Notre Dame DL/OLB is turning some head so far after two preseason games for the Pittsburgh Steelers!  




Owusu-Koramoah w/Media After Game...

Tony Jones Jr. Had a Big Night for the Saints!

The former Fighting Irish running back (pictured above) met with the media after his 82 yards on 7 carries last night vs. the Ravens...


First Stadium Practice -- Notre Dame Football

Saturday, August 14, 2021

An Interesting Preview of Notre Dame Football

Julian Okwara w/Media After Lions' Game


The former Notre Dame defensive end played a number of snaps last night in the Lions' exhibition loss to the Buffalo Bills.  Julian put plenty of pressure on the Bill's QB's throughout the game...

Julian's press session starts at:  22:52 mark of the video above

Friday, August 13, 2021

OT: When Does ND Football Play Here vs. Iowa!


If I'm Jack Swarbrick and NBC -- I'm taking a Shamrock Series game to the "Field of Dreams" and playing a football game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in prime time...

Can you imagine seeing that "gold helmet" walking out of the corn rows onto that field at night...

A "made for Peacock" moment like none other -- until we play a game in St. Peter's Square (Vatican)...

Once Again: Domer Advances in U.S. Amateur

Davis Chatfield has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the U.S. Amateur being played at historic Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA.  He tees off this morning at 9:50 AM ET -- and you can track his match at the link below.

TV coverage is as follows for today's round:

  • 11 AM ET to NOON ET -- on Peacock
  • NOON ET to 2 PM ET -- on Golf Channel

Davis will be returning to the Fighting Irish this fall for his fifth year -- courtesy of the NCAA's decision to allow student-athletes an additional year of eligibility due to COVID.  

Here is a link to a story Davis wrote for Golf Digest about a great lesson he learned at Notre Dame.  GOLF DIGEST STORY

Go Irish!


Brian Kelly's Latest Press Conference


The Dick Corbett Head Football Coach at the University of Notre Dame -- met with the media after Thursday's practice...

Notre Dame's Joe Wilkins "Mic'd Up"

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Once Again -- Notre Dame Plays Top Schedule

Just took a look at the release of the first College Football Coaches Poll for the 2021 season -- to see which school is taking on the most ranked opponents in the TOP TWENTY.  Here are the Top 20 teams "re-ranked" in the order of games against other top 20 teams this season.

This is the story -- much in the media choose not talk about -- when they start ranting about Notre Dame needing to join a conference.  

WHY -- so we can play an easier schedule?

  1. NOTRE DAME* -- 4 opponents (avg. rank: #12)
  2. ALABAMA -- 4 opponents (avg. rank: #12)
  3. INDIANA -- 4 opponents (avg. rank: #13)
  4. PENN STATE -- 4 opponents (avg. rank: #14)
  5. IOWA -- 4 opponents (avg. rank: #15)
  6. IOWA STATE -- 3 opponents 
  7. FLORIDA -- 3 opponents
  8. LSU -- 3 opponents
  9. WISCONSIN -- 3 opponents
  10. OKLAHOMA -- 2 opponents
  11. OHIO STATE -- 2 opponents 
  12. GEORGIA -- 2 opponents
  13. TEXAS A&M -- 2 opponents
  14. NORTH CAROLINA -- 2 opponents
  15. CINCINNATI -- 2 opponents
  16. MIAMI -- 2 opponents
  17. TEXAS -- 2 opponents
  18. CLEMSON -- 1 opponent
  19. OREGON -- 1 opponent
  20. USC -- 1 opponent


*Notre Dame is ranked as the toughest schedule among the TOP TWENTY -- winning the tie-breaker with Alabama, since the Fighting Irish play two teams in the TOP TEN versus just one for Bama...

Brian Kelly's Fall Camp Opening Presser

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Ian Book Talks Camp Progress w/ Saints

Notre Dame's all-time leader in wins for a starting QB -- is a week or so into his NFL career...


Notre Dame's Shamrock Series Uniform

Access Hollywood & Today Show -- Lee Kiefer


The Notre Dame grad won the first GOLD MEDAL EVER in her sport in American history...

By Golly Molly -- You Can't Make This Up!

I've been without a laptop for the past seven days -- sorry I've been amiss in reporting on Notre Dame!

The Olympic games proved quite successful for the Fighting Irish with a number of former student-athletes winning medals over the few weeks in Tokyo.

But, one story sticks out for me -- MOLLY SEIDEL.

Who has ever competed for just the THIRD TIME ever in their event -- and runs away with an Olympic Medal?  NO ONE, until Molly Seidel.  Here's some of the coverage of her Olympic journey...



Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Custom Golf Car Build -- Latest Update

View of the rear seat frame and gold (powder coated) grab bar installation
View of the custom dash installation (before gold accents)

View of battery and speakers (before painting)

View of steering wheel before blue half-wrap and ND Monogram

The folks at Excessive Golf Carts (Prosper, TX) are continuing to build out a Notre Dame themed custom golf car for me.  Here is their Instagram page, where you can see a number of their finished builds:  EXCESSIVE

They're telling me we're about 3 weeks away -- so, I should have it here before the first football game! 

In case you missed it, here was the first update on golf car build:  UPDATE #1

ESPN Feature: Olympians' Skylar and Jewell

Thought you'd enjoy reading this ESPN feature on two former Fighting Irish All-Americans!


OT: USA Olympics Gear = "Dots and Stripes"

I absolutely loved the concept of the golf shirt that the American team wore during Sunday's final round -- not the execution. (click on above image to enlarge)

You have to ask why did Adidas and their Tokyo based designer Hiroko Takahashi place "dots" instead of STARS on this shirt?

Huge miss!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Two Domers Win Olympic Bronze in Foil!

Gerek Meinhardt (furthest right in photo) and Nick Itkin (second from left) won an Olympic Bronze Medal in the Olympic Foil...   It's the second Olympic medal for the United States in this event since 1932.

Meinhardt '13 is married to Olympic Gold medalist and fellow Domer Lee Kiefer '17.  Itkin '22 is a two-time NCAA Champion and a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame.