50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays: Lisa Kelly

NOTE: The entry period for the book giveaway has closed. The winning commenter was @FirstDownMoses.

This is just what the name implies: Each week, I ask someone interesting a question and request that she/he respond in 50 words or less.

Or somewhere in the ballpark of 50 words. That’s why there’s an “-ish.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this site isn’t exactly a bastion of rigidity.

Lisa KellyToday, I’m pleased to be joined by a fellow Notre Dame alum, Lisa Kelly, who can be found all over the Web talking sports in general and Irish sports in particular. She is a contributor to Her Loyal Sons, Irish Eyes, and No Coast Bias, where you can also hear her as part of the podcast team. Way back when Notre Dame was a member of the old Big East, she was named the Biggest Fan of the Big East Conference in a contest sponsored by the league and Volvo. You’ll find her on Twitter as @4LeafCloverGirl.

Lisa has written a book about Notre Dame football—more specifically, former Notre Dame football players—titled Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became. Based on her popular “Where are They Now” series for Her Loyal Sons and No Coast Bias, The Men We Became features interviews with guys people like me grew up rooting for (read: obsessing over) on fall Saturdays talking about life after football. It’s scheduled for an August 1 release.

And because Lisa is such a good sport (sport—get it? Eh?), she’s generously offered to give away a signed copy of her book right here on my site. All you have to do is leave a comment below—and please, only one comment per person below; otherwise, I’ll start deleting—with your name in it by next Thursday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, at which point I’ll randomly select one commenter to win this great prize. (Check back here after that to see if it’s you.)

As for her response to my question, Lisa was cool enough to share an excerpt from one of her interviews, in which she learned about a surprise meeting between two former teammates—one where you might say the tables had been turned from their playing days.

You interviewed 25 former Notre Dame football players for The Men We Became, so you had to hear some great stories. What was one of the funniest?

One of the funniest stories I heard, besides all of the great Lou Holtz stories, was Pat Terrell talking about Tony Rice:

“I was an airline pilot during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Shortly after 9/11 it seemed as if the TSA was changing our hijack procedures almost on a weekly basis. One week I was trained to do one thing, the next week I was trained to do something else. Roll the plane, no wait, do this instead. It was insane. At that point I was still in pretty good football shape’ and decided I would have my own anti-hijacking procedure. My policy was that prior to every flight I would walk up and down the aisle of my plane so that my passengers could see me. Know this: If you intend to hijack my plane there is going to be one big angry dude in the cockpit.

“One day, I’m preparing for a flight and I’m doing my little stroll, and I see this guy leaning into the aisle and his eyes are as big as golf balls; it was Tony Rice! Tony knew I was a practical joker, and the last time he saw me I was still playing in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers. He could not for the life of him figure out why I was in a pilot uniform. Here I am, so happy to see him, and so I invite him to come up and see the cockpit, and his eyes are still as big as golf balls.

So I say, ‘Come up and meet the crew.’ I have never seen Tony Rice drop an ounce of sweat. He is Mister Cool under pressure, and here was Tony sweating buckets. Tony looks at me and says, ‘Man, you know how to drive this thing?’ and I reply, ‘I know how to fly it!’ He looks back and says, ‘Pat, uh, I’m gonna go back to my seat and I’ll talk to you when we land.’”

Now if you’re not a Notre Dame or college football fan, you should know that Tony Rice was our (yes, I say “our” when it comes to the Irish; they’ve given me way too much stress over the years not to) quarterback in 1988, the last time we won a national championship. Pat Terrell, while not as well-known as Rice, made “The Play” that year against then-No. 1 Miami:

Hee hee. I’m all tingly.

Huge thanks to Lisa for stopping by this week and for sponsoring The Men We Became giveaway. Speaking of, make sure to leave your comment below for your chance to win. Oh, and:


Interested in being featured in “50 Words or Less(-ish) Fridays” or know someone who should be? Let me know. Also, feel free to check out the archive of past guests. But no pressure.


  1. Janet Graham

    Great story Lisa! I look forward to reading many more when “The Men We Became” hits the bookshelves. Janet🍀

  2. Ryan Carey

    Is Lisa trying to win a signed copy of her own book by commenting? I’m onto her.

  3. Imstanko

    I remember that game like it was yesterday. Jimmy’s hair is the same and doesn’t move, impressive (Vidal Sassoon). The book sounds great, can’t wait to read. A nice tune up to the coming season.

  4. George Jonas

    I can’t wait for this book! It will be truly interesting to hear the stories of these 25 men.

  5. Stacy

    Looking forward to the book release and wishing my fellow Domer, classmate, and Seigfried Slammer the Luck of the Irish!!

  6. Matt Roberts

    Lisa, I was extremely fortunate to be sitting in the bleachers at this game with my father. We actually ran out onto the field after Pat knocked down the conversion. Still one of my favorite memories of my father and ND football. We’ve seen a lot of games together and shared a lot of memories, but this ranks right up there!

    Love your articles and am looking forward to reading the book! Isn’t nostalgia great!

  7. Joe Axe

    Hello!! Great story!! I also recall watching this game with my dad, albeit on the couch! I will always remember this, and the Florida State game with my dad. Last season marked a new chapter for me as I shared the Stanford game with my daughter. I will NEVER forget that either!! Not sure if you remember Lisa, but we met at the NND tailgate, and after talking to you, I am really looking forward to reading your book!!
    GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Andy Giesen

    Great story. Nice name for the book as well. I remember when you were trying to come up with a name. You didn’t use my suggestions, but I will still read it. 🙂 I was also at that game and to this day Tony Rice is still one of my all time favorites.

  9. Mike King

    Catholics vs. Convicts, GREATEST GAME EVER. I loved College Football before overtimes – Jimmy Johnson went for two with the National Championship on the line, all or nothing! Thanks for writing this book, Lisa. Looking forward to your Book Launch Party on August 8 at 5:00 at Black Finn in the St. Louis Galleria, sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Louis.

  10. Jerri Ann Gould

    Can’t wait for your book to come out. As always I Love Joe Theismann #7. My favorite Irish. My mom & him share a Birthday….9/9. (mom is older by 5 yrs) Go Irish!!!!

  11. Ed DesLauriers

    thanks for the great, brief composition on Pat Terrell. and, thanks, especially, for that video of one of the greatest moments in Notre Dame football history! I am so glad to have been at that game… and even more happy to state that I am a proudfan of our Fighting Irish!

  12. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you! Writing this book was an amazing adventure! I can’t wait to continue the journey!

  13. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you, Matt! Unfortunately I wasn’t at this game, but I was a freshman the following year, so I did get to see four amazing years of football! I didn’t realize how truly luck we were until years later! Ahhh youth! Thank you for your support and GO Irish!

  14. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you, Joe! And I do remember! I have met some wonderful people this last year! It as been a truly remarkable journey! Hope to see you again at a game this fall! GO Irish!

  15. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you, Andy! And Tony Rice is one of my favorites as well. He has the biggest personalities … he truly lights up a room. He is a wonderful example of a Notre Dame man.

  16. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you! I am very much looking forward to the ND Club book signing! See you there! 🙂 GO Irish!

  17. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you for your support, Jerri! I am very exited to be able to share these stories with my Notre Dame family! GO Irish!

  18. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you, Ed! I am looking forward to sharing these stories as well as many more to come hopefully! GO Irish!

  19. Patricia Van Horne

    But I want to know why Tony was so anxious! Does he know something about Pat that we don’t?

  20. Beth Ann McLane

    Lisa, that’s an awesome story about Pat Terrell and Tony Rice. I hadn’t heard that one before…I was at that Miami game back in 1988 , in the student section. I’m looking forward to your book release.

  21. John Tennant

    I was in South Bend yesterday and was at the Bookstore looking for the book. Now I know why I didn’t see it.

  22. 4leafclovergirl

    Thank you, Beth Ann! I hope to see you at the ND Club book signing on August 8th!

    Lisa 🙂

  23. 4leafclovergirl

    Almost … it will be for sale online on August 1st … it will take a week or two for it to get to the book store! Soon though, I promise.


  24. First Down Moses

    FDM here, I guess I’m officially entering my official entry for an official chance to win an official copy of the official book officially signed by the official author person?

  25. MizzQuoted

    Sounds like it is going to be a great book! Good luck Lisa! Will you be doing any book signings during game weekends?

  26. coley white

    Lisa, Im looking forward to your book. By the way, seeing you in the endzone with the football, Im curious, you dont happen to have any edibility left do you?

  27. Gordon Galloway

    I was right there, in that corner of the endzone! Or I was 11 and barely yet becoming an Irish fan. But I have still seen that play at least 100 times!

  28. Pingback: The Envelope, Please | Ted Fox is Awesome

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