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For Many, Notre Dame Connections and Values Run Deeper than Athletics

Written by Peter Jay Mulroy ⏐ Writer ⏐ IG: @sportstodaywithpeterjay

Photo by The Irish Tribune


October 12, 1996. That was the first time I stepped foot inside Notre Dame Stadium. Sure, as a 10-year-old, I had watched plenty of Irish football games on NBC. But since I was getting older, it was time to make the trip from New York City to South Bend. My dad knew it, too. When he shared the news that we’d be flying out to watch the Irish take on Washington, I could not believe it. My father -- the person who introduced me to Notre Dame football, all things Irish athletics, and what the University stands for off the competitive playing fields -- had been to South Bend, so this was not his first rodeo. It was, however, a different kind of “first.”

         

In attendance for the 1993 “Game of the Century” between No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend, my dad’s description of the vibes, emotions, scenery, and sounds of Notre Dame’s campus and stadium on that day made me even more excited to go. To visit the sacred Grotto was something I had always wanted to do. The opportunity to see Ron Powlus, who to this day is still my favorite athlete of all-time, would also be worth it. To watch Autry Denson run wild with the football was nothing short of appetizing. And, to see “Uncle Lou” pace the sidelines while being only a few hundred feet away from him, was a dream. While it would be my first trip there, it was my dad’s first trip to South Bend with his son. For the both of us, regardless of whether we ever said it in the years that followed, that trip was our favorite. I’ve been 10 times since, but none were ever quite like that one.




           

My name is Peter Jay Mulroy and I’m writing this piece so I can introduce myself to the thousands of passionate Notre Dame fans who follow the ever-expanding Irish Tribune. Now the father to an adorable little girl named Mackenzie, my wife Elizabeth and I have a deep appreciation for what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a child. And while I was nine years older than my daughter is now when I first traveled to Notre Dame, I can already see that she possesses that true spirit of the Fighting Irish: passionate, energetic, and loving.

           

At present, I am a teacher in New York City -- a career I would not change for the world -- but I also have a deep-rooted connection to the world of sports. More specifically, to the world of sports journalism. Having served as an editor for Major League Baseball in the past and continuing to work as an on-air talent for various high school and collegiate events along the East Coast on a freelance basis, I maintain the drive to stay as involved as I can.

           

When editors from The Irish Tribune reached out to ask if I’d be interested in contributing as a writer and on-air talent, I could not believe it. The opportunity to cover a university I’ve cherished my entire life was one I was not going to pass up. To be able to bring the insight, opinions, and positive personal connections I’ve made in South Bend over the years to The Irish Tribune, a brand I’ve followed since they debuted, could not be turned aside. It was that simple. Yes, my family is the most important thing to me. But the Fighting Irish are at the top of the list as well.

           

And, when you look at the landscape of what Notre Dame is set up to do moving forward, the timing is perfect. Whether it be Marcus Freeman, Niele Ivey, Kevin Corrigan, Shawn Stiffler, Nate Norman, or any other coach leading one of the Fighting Irish squads, this university is on a trajectory that it simply has not been on in quite some time. Seldom do you have a collection of coaches and coaching staffs that fully embrace the school, its message, and the impact the student athletes will have off the field as much as Notre Dame presently does. Even through the ongoing transitional phases of welcoming in a new university president and athletic director, this is, to be quite honest, a wonderful time to be an ND fan.

           

For me, I look forward to serving this great outlet -- one that undeniably values what it means to deliver high-quality journalism -- as best I can. I also look forward to building relationships with fans and followers of The Irish Tribune.

           

I know everyone that relies on Tribune for its daily dose of Notre Dame news and content holds their own personal tie to the University of Notre Dame. It’s a special one.

           

Marcus Freeman said it best: “Notre Dame will change you, if you let it.” To this day, I still don’t know if coach Freeman realized how true those words really are. It is a special place, and it will change you for the better. Let it.

           

Notre Dame has changed me because of what it stands for OFF the playing surfaces. And it was one specific date that started it all thanks to my father: October 12, 1996.

           

Here’s to growing together even further as a brand with The Irish Tribune. I look forward to getting to know you all.

           

GO Irish!


1 Comment


Mutual "looking forward...," Peter.

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