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.
Today, 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: