Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Notre Dame Magazine Feed Bag: What to Read in the Winter 2019-2020 Issue

I would love to employ my own, personal clerk. Totally indulgent, yes, but this crafty person would skim the news, read articles, clip highlights and manage the podcasts all for the purpose of Sports and Spirituality. Speed reading, wit and wisdom, a penchant for my favorite teams and athletes are a must. USC and Dodger fans need not apply. Faith-filled Christians, Catholic educators, and golf fans inquire within.

Since I don't see this happening anytime in the near future, I will serve as the clerk I seek for readers of my blog. A number of fellow Notre Dame alumni tell me how often they love Notre Dame Magazine...and don't get to read as much of it as they would like. I can't say I have read this journal in its entirety since I graduated in 1996, but in the past few years I do read it from front to back, always in search of a good story—Sports and Spirituality style. Therefore, with each season publication in the future, you can expect a menu...a listing of the articles that relate to sports, spirituality and their symbiosis. Enjoy!
1. New Heights (p 17-18) profiles Sam Grewe, a junior who is also a two-time world champion for the high jump

On Christmas Eve in 2011, Grewe was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that hits about 400 Americans under age 20 every year. He was 13 years old, and he had a fist-sized tumor in his right knee. He was confronted with a choice no teenager should have to make.

In the end, he says, the choice to lose his lower right leg “was easily the best decision I’ve ever made.”

I appreciate his outlook on competition. 

“I don’t want to set a goal of gold. Rather, I’d set a goal of height, and if I jump my height, I achieve that goal,” he says. “If they jump higher than me, that’s great for them, but if I jump my goal, then I’ll be happy with it.”

Truly, this mindset allows an athlete to be the best version of themselves.

2. Questionnaire: Jessica Smetana ’16 (p 57-58) profiles the ESPN host and producer who happens to be fan of both a Notre Dame and Clemson (where she spent her freshman year). She has ventured into writing and survived the layoff at SI, who let go of "more than a third of its editorial staff after it was acquired by the media company Maven." She speaks about more than the future of Sports Illustrated and social media platforms. I appreciated her insight on today's sports journalists. 

You can read her profile piece on the 2019-2020 Notre Dame mascot—At Notre Dame, Tradition Meets Progress Through Its Famous Leprechaun Mascot here. This trifecta is unique, as it includes the first female, a Northern Irish native and a black American as our leprechauns.

3. Domers in the News (p 59) pays homage to Kristina "Krissi" Davis '91 who died at home on September 7. "A member of women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw’s first recruiting class, Davis scored 1,194 career points and received the prestigious Byron V. Kanaley Award as a senior."

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Nick Civetta ’11 didn’t start playing rugby until he got to Notre Dame, but he became a high-level player in a hurry, appearing professionally overseas and joining the USA Eagles national team." I look forward to reading more about his "Long, weird journey" as chronicled in the on-line magazine.

The Christmas Gift Unwrapped. (p 96)
CrossCurrents, articles submitted by free lance writers, yields poignant, creative and reflective spiritual writing.  This first person narrative by Jonathan Malesic reminds me to think twice about the teenager who shows up to Christmas mass in his Buffalo Bills jacket...or around here red and gold Niner gear. A beautiful testimonial of his faith and what the Incarnation means.

Thanks for allowing me to clerk for you. Until the next issue....

Photo Credits
Sam and Jessica: from ND Mag
Krissi Davis

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