Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Upshot from Notre Dame Magazine, Spring 2020: Sports and Spirituality Style

Some of the most voracious readers I know have admitted to what is for them a common quandary. During this time of shelter-in-place, they have had difficulty reading. I will leave it to the psychological experts to explain why. They are the first to acknowledge, it certainly isn't because there is a shortage of time or material. My solution to any problem is to take those requisite baby steps. And for those who love sports, spirituality and Notre Dame, here's a suggestion.
Biased or not, I believe Notre Dame Magazine is one of the finest alumni publications in the country. The articles are outstanding, the layout is invitational—pleasing to the eye, functional and engages the reader easily. However, this quarterly publication might find perfect as the enemy of the good. There are so many thoughtful pieces—many of them quite lengthy that a number of my classmates and friends admit to not reading any of them. I heard this often enough that I have committed to informally "clerking" and speaking to what relates to and promotes Sports and Spirituality. That being said, Spring 2020 is quite light my favorite symbiosis. There are but a few touch points. Here goes.

STILLPOINT Shot (p 2-3)by Matt Cashore 
This photograph captures Junior guard Nate Laszewski shooting what became the three-point shot that led the Irish to a much needed 77-76 victory over the UNC Tarheels .

In that game, the Irish rallied from 15 down with 8:57 remaining. This image captures so beautifully what I remember, because I happened to watch this game and came to find out a whole host of others did too. 

With the time change and the irregular scheduling of games, sometimes it feels like watching a women's or men's basketball game is like catching lightning in a bottle. However, when I do and it's one like this one—exciting and emerging in a victory—it's a sports shot in the arm. The picture captures that, too.
Great Shot (p 4-5)
Jason Kelly '95

While we are still talking about basketball and photographs...

On January 19, 1974 Notre Dame men's basketball ended UCLA's 88-game winning streak thanks to a buzzer beater by Dwight Clay '75. This moment was captured in the Observer and went as viral as it could at that time.

Kelly writes "The image is at once an artifact of its time—long socks, short shorts, gaudy shamrocks on the vintage, Digger era jerseys—and timeless. Most often, if credited at all, it's published "Courtesy of Notre Dame." However, "Joe Raymond '74 took the that picture. I learned that the day he died." You can read more about Raymond's work and legacy in the story.

From Would-be Doctor to the Musical Theater Stage (p 10)
Sarah Cahalan '14

I didn't need John Krasinski's "Some Good News" Episode 2 to remind me that the musical style of "Hamilton" is revolutionary. But when Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of the show Zoom bomb the program to sing "Alexander Hamilton," I have to admit it reignited that spark. I listened to the musical for the next week! 

I share that memory because one cannot hear "The Fighting Irish (Of Notre Dame Y'all)" and wonder from whence it came. If you haven't checked it out already, give it a listen—it's good and read the story of the mastermind behind it, another Puerto Rican: Jorge "Jay" Rivera-Herrans '20.

I look forward to hearing his beats cheering on a Notre Dame sports team when we can!

Having Coffee with G. Marcus Cole: Of religious liberty and freedom of speech
Margaret Fosmoe '85

The profile of G. Marcus Cole, the newly appointed dean of the law school painted a holistic picture of this man as a devout Catholic, lifelong Notre Dame fan, shrewd thinker, talented lawyer, husband, father and coach.

When I read that his "Younger son Constantijn is a high school senior and a basketball player at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California" I leaned in. BCP is in the West Catholic Athletic League like St Francis where I teach (and St Ignatius where I was before). I have the utmost respect for their coach and program.

Fosmoe writes "Cole learned basketball from scratch when Constantijn was a grade-schooler playing on a community basketball team that needed a coach. The boy was a little nervous about it. “He sort of supervised my learning of basketball,” Cole says. “Every video that I watched, he watched alongside me. Every drill that I tried to learn from the books he learned and demonstrated for me.”

I love that this came up over coffee. This recollection reminds we have the resources and the ability to learn new things at any stage of our life. Why not do that with those we care about and with whom we can to spend our time? Seems like a good approach toward his current job! 

Creative Works (p 66)
Born to Coach: The Story of Bill Squires, the Legendary Coach of the Greatest Generation of American Distance Runners 

A review of a book for when you finish reading ND Mag....
The theme of the Spring issue is "A Changed America." I am certain the editors chose those prophetic words long before we could have projected the impact of COVID-19. Personally, I believe one of the greatest needs for self and for others in these times is compassion and empathy. Though the piece "What Good is Literature?" by Beth Ann Fennelly '93 (p 36-39) does not resonate with Sports and Spirituality, it speaks to WHY we need to read....even when and if it's not easy to do. 

Lastly, please keep in your prayers the Navajo Nation, who has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the United States. "Calling Home" by Nora McGreevy '19 (p 52-57) profiles Tazbah Shortey Yazzie '10 who lives and ministers to her people as the principal of St. Michaels' school.

Photo Credits

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