Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

January 6, 2013

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Special Irish game a hit at Media Day

MIAMI — On a day meant to discuss the ins and outs of the most important college football game of the season, “Trick Shot Monday,” stole the show here at Sun Life Stadium Saturday.

Sure, the media day circus for this year’s BCS National Championship game between top-ranked Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama Monday night featured plenty of stuffy football business, but all it took to lighten the mood was a ping-pong ball, a cup of water and the BCS National Championship trophy.

Led by ESPN personality Samantha (Steele) Ponder, several Notre Dame players took part in a spirited challenge to be the first to throw (or bounce) the ping-pong ball into the cup of water.

It’s a game that has become a tradition on Monday’s at the Fighting Irish practice facility in South Bend this season. Apparently it’s just as fun to play on a Saturday in South Florida.

Dozens of reporters and cameramen huddled around the BCS National Championship trophy as Ponder and Notre Dame players Mike Golic Jr., Cierre Wood, Carlo Calabrese and John Goodman took turns trying to make a shot.

Special attention was paid to having the ball first bounce off the national championship trophy that was sitting at midfield along the sideline.

For about 10 minutes the shots kept coming and the crowd kept growing.

It got to the point where a BCS official near commotion started to worry about the trophy’s safety.

The crystal football on top of the base is detachable and very fragile.

Finally, Ponder sank a shot and the players erupted, picking her up to celebrate her victory.

The setup

Alabama players and coaches took the field first for Saturday’s media day, as several top players and head coach Nick Saban took spots in six different interview booths along the northeast sideline.

The rest of the team sat in the seats past the corner of the end zone, all wearing their game jerseys. The same process was repeated for Notre  Dame.

Each team had an hour of media availability. The sideline was packed with an army of reporters toting cameras and tape recorders. According to BCS officials there were 850 media credentials issued and that doesn’t include ESPN journalists and technicians.

One ESPN writer estimated that the cable sports network that will telecast Monday’s game has more than 100 people working the game.

One of those videographers is 1993 Goshen High School graduate Shawn Dechant.

The BCS official also said there were 328 credential requests that were denied.

One reporter, Dave Reardon, traveled all the way from Honolulu to cover the game for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. That’s 5,000 miles each way and a five hour time difference.

Hawaii is the home state of Irish All-American Linebacker Manti Te’o and wide receiver Robby Toma.

Being professional

Reese Davis of ESPN trolled casually through the pack of Alabama players sitting in the Orange seats in the corner of the stadium Saturday.

Davis is part of the ESPN college football broadcast crew that includes former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz and former Pitt great Mark May. The constant banter between Holtz, a classic Golden Homer, and May, the consistent Notre Dame hater, has become a staple of the show.

May’s analysis – which has often been critical of Notre Dame over the years – and his playful bickering with Holtz has drawn the ire of many Irish fans, something Davis finds amusing given his behind-the-scenes perspective.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret that Mark would probably kill me for,” Davis said.

“… You would not believe how many prominent people at Notre Dame love Mark May. In fact, Brian Kelly is very fond of Mark May. They really get along well.

“The dynamic has been fun,” Davis said of Holtz and May.

“Those guys are really good friends and I know that surprises some people and even upsets some people.”

Davis, for the record, is an Alabama graduate, yet that fact rarely comes up in his hosting role.

Quck turnaround

As the players and coaches met with the media on the sidelines, field crews were busy putting the finishing touches on the grass turf presentation, painting “Notre Dame” in the northeast endzone and “Alabama” in the southwest endzone.

A giant BCS logo adorns midfield.

It’s a quick turnaround to prepare the field considering the Orange Bowl game between Florida State and Northern Illinois was played just six days earlier.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT GN140802 Kelly press conference Kelly: "I'll make the (quarterback) call when it's clear" At the first official press conference of the 2014 Notre Dame football season, Irish head coach Brian Kelly made it clear he’s got a quarterback battle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • PODCAST: TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 41

    Question of the Week: Which year did Brock Rose take over the Goshen High School girls' golf program?

    Do you think you know the answer? Send your answer to sports@goshennews.com. Correct answers will be entered into a weekly drawing and the winner will be announced during the next week's podcast.

    August 1, 2014

  • Colts Camp Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: Colts lose 2nd starter with season-ending injury ANDERSON — The injuries are already piling up in Indianapolis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Britain Commonwealth Games [TGN online] England wins diving gold to increase medal lead GLASGOW, Scotland — England added to its burgeoning gold-medal lead at the Commonwealth Games when divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won the synchronized 3-meter springboard on Friday. At the Royal Commonwealth Pool at Edinburgh, about an hour's dr

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crystal Palace signs defender Brede Hangeland LONDON — Crystal Palace has signed former Fulham captain Brede Hangeland for the new English Premier League season. The 33-year-old Norway central defender left Fulham after the London club opted against offering a new contract following relegation

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers-Rays-Mariners Trade Baseball [GOSHEN NEWS] MLB: Flurry of moves made at trade deadline Baseball fans were still trying to sort out the dizzying deals for postseason aces Jon Lester and John Lackey, Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when they were treated to a most curious sight Thursday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nadal Withdraws Tennis [GOSHEN NEWS] TENNIS: Nadal withdraws from two tournaments Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL: Colts look for second-year LB to take big step forward ANDERSON — Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner -- the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts -- is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bridgestone Invitational Golf-3 [GOSHEN NEWS] GOLF: Woods hopeful for more good memories at the Firestone AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods finds out over the next two weeks if his season is over or just getting started.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results