So You Want to Write a Column…

I’ve written Observer columns for three years now. Some columns have received a lot of positive feedback, and some have — rightfully — endured considerable criticism. Writing for the Observer, or any paper, can be a great way to engage in the life of your community and to contribute to dialogue on a number of important issues….

Getting What We Paid For

The following letter to the editor was published in The Observer on Thursday, October 3, 2013.  Lou Holtz was hired as head coach in 1986 with a supposed salary of about $75,000. Sports Illustrated noted, “The money really may not be that important; the football coaching job at Notre Dame isn’t something to be bargained over —…

To Win as Notre Dame

Notre Dame has a weird alma mater. You wouldn’t know that from a teleconference with head football coach Brian Kelly today. In it, he said that football players would not be expected to remain on the field and sing the school’s alma mater with the other students after home losses. He said, “I just don’t think…

From the archives: The Christian Menace

In October 1980, Dr. Ralph McInerny, one of my personal heroes, wrote an article for Notre Dame’s Scholastic Magazine. It is well worth reading, and I have copied it below: At the joint press conference held by Ronald Reagan and John Anderson in Baltimore, Soma Golden of the New York Times raised the issue of all these crazy Christians…

Kelly Interviews, and it reveals more about us than it does about him

In my column titled, “Something to Yell About,” I pose the question: “Do we need a seven-digit salary to convince coaches to consider our program, or do coaches seek out our institutional integrity and identity?” This question comes after noting that, “In his memoirs, the late Ralph McInerny, professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, recalled that…

On Office Hours

The following column was published in The Observer on September 26, 2012. The role of the professor in student life has changed dramatically over the years. In his autobiography, Fr. Hesburgh recalls attending a “beer keg party” with members of the Notre Dame Veterans Club. He recorded, “Years later, when I implemented my opposition to keg parties by…

Something to Yell About

The following column was published in The Observer on September 11, 2012. It was a breezy Saturday afternoon as I stood on Bond Quad amidst alumni, students and friends of the University. The band, founded in 1846, played music from 2012, and I reflected on the many gifts its members have given to the University….