When you consider all the technology available today, it's downright amazing to think how archaic athletic communications were just a few short years ago. Need the latest University of Notre Dame football statistics? They'd be calculated and typed by hand on a manual typewriter (eventually the "big innovation" IBM Selectric typewriter came along), reproduced and mailed on Sunday nights and maybe you'd receive them via ordinary mail by Thursday. Need them quicker than that? The hit commodity in technology in the 1970s was the Xerox Telecopier (a facsimile machine) that required either four or six minutes (depending on how clear you wanted the type to read) to send a single page of copy to another Telecopier on the other end. If a media representative out of town needed your entire news release, depth chart and stats, it might take an hour or more to send it all. Breaking news happening on one of the Irish athletic fields? There was no simple way to communicate it. Pick up the telephone and dictate. Call media outlets one at a time to alert them about a hiring or press conference. Three technology advances changed everything in the sports information world everywhere - cell phones, the Internet and e-mail. For years the joke around the Notre Dame athletic offices was that the Irish quarterback on a given day might break his leg and - given that practices were closed to the media - there was some chance no one would find out until the next day. There was no texting, no Facebook - maybe no way for the word to get out other than old-fashioned word of mouth. The World Wide Web prompted the offering of athletic sites like und.com that debuted in 1995. In the beginning sites like Notre Dame's offered strictly the basics - mostly what was available via traditional press releases. There was no video in the "early days," and media members weren't yet routinely carrying computers or laptops. So, quite often, the plea to media to utilize school sites for time-sensitive items like statistics went unheeded. About that same time, cell phones changed the face of telecommunications. When current athletics staffers consider all the detailed scheduling and adjustments that go into, for example, a weeklong stay for a postseason bowl game, it's hard to imagine how those events ever occurred without cell phones. The Orange Bowl provided some new contraption-style portable phones to Notre Dame reps one year, but they looked more like walkie-talkies than the current variety and they didn't exactly fit in your pocket.
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- The Hockey East Association and Notre Dame announced today that the Fighting Irish have been accepted into the league as the 11th member school and will begin hockey play in the 2013-14 campaign ... the announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena ... in making the announcement, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said, "It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference. The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement." ... Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said, "We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season. Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame's fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance, was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University." ... Irish head coach Jeff Jackson added, "We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season. The conference is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame's values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East's commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally-televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East Association members for this tremendous opportunity." - Notre Dame already has sold out its allotment of women's basketball season tickets in Purcell Pavilion for the 2011-12 season ... a limited number of single-game tickets go on sale next week, with season-ticket holders having first shot at those. - Speaking of tickets, hockey tickets are a hot-enough item in the new Compton Family Ice Arena that a number of Irish home games already feature only stand-room availability. - There are three former Irish players alive in the Major League Baseball playoffs - John Axford and Craig Counsell with the Milwaukee Brewers and Brad Lidge with the Philadelphia Phillies. - As the Dan Devine sculpture dedication looms on Friday afternoon, consider some of the assistant coaches who worked under Devine: * The late Jim Johnson, who became a highly-successful NFL defensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles and also coached with Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis and Seattle * Jim Gruden, later a longtime NFL scout and father of Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden * Merv Johnson, who went on to become offensive coordinator for 20 seasons at Oklahoma. * Greg Blache, who became a successful NFL defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears * Hank Kuhlmann who went on to coach in Green Bay and Tampa Bay and briefly served as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 1989 * Johnny Roland who coached with Arizona, New Orleans, Green Bay, Philadelphia, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Chicago in the NFL * Bill Meyers who coached with Pittsburgh and the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders in the NFL * Francis Peay, later the head coach at Northwestern * Gene Smith, now the athletics director at Ohio State * Ron Toman, later an NFL Indianapolis Colts assistant * Longtime Irish assistants Joe Yonto and Brian Boulac - The men's golf team climbed to 20th in this week's (Oct. 5-11) Golfstat rankings ... it marks the first time since October of 2005 that the Irish have been ranked in the Golfstat polls .. in addition to finding themselves within the top 25 of the Golfstat rankings, the Irish also debuted at 28th in the first Golfweek/Sagarin rankings of the 2011-12 season, which was released Sunday. - Men's golfer Max Scodro has been tabbed BIG EAST Men's Golfer of the Month for September ... the Irish senior notched three top-15 results during the month while finishing as the top Notre Dame golfer at each of the three events ... entering his final campaign with the Irish, Scodro sat third in career stroke average (minimum 35 rounds played) at 73.99 and after a three-tournament September slate that saw him finish fourth, tied for sixth and tied for 11th, Scodro has moved into second on that prestigious list with a73.80 average. - The BIG EAST and Big Ten conferences have announced the pairings for the 2012 Big Ten-BIG EAST Baseball Challenge, hosted by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission ... the fourth annual event begins Feb. 17 and will feature a 24-game schedule spanning three days and five venues in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area ... Notre Dame opens the event against Illinois and return to action with games against Iowa and Purdue throughout the weekend.
Chicago Tribune - With a broad grin likely masking some gastrointestinal turmoil endured for the previous 17 hours or so, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly actually offered the first question of his post-practice media confab. "You guys want to talk about the Red Sox, don't you?" Kelly said. Kelly, of course, was born in Everett, Mass., and raised in Chelsea, Mass., and attended high school and college in the state. He is a Red Sox fan, and all too keenly aware of the club's September collapse in which the Red Sox went 7-20 and lost a nine-game lead in the American League wild-card race.
As I trudged up the stairs to the third floor of Dillon Hall at 4:30 in the morning on Sept. 11, I wearily recounted the agony of the previous 24 hours: the three-hour drive to Ann Arbor, the game-that-must-not-be-named, the two-hour wait after the game, and the drive back. I could only imagine the gloom that would cover the campus when I awoke eight hours later. I was not disappointed. I discovered that my trashcan saw its end when a friend watching the game kicked it too hard. I was incapable of doing any work and found myself growing angry with anyone who appeared too happy. Notre Dame, to many degrees, revolves around football. Essentially, every student attends home games and almost all crowd around televisions to watch the team on the road. The NFL dominates attention on Sundays and Mondays, as football at times takes precedence over finishing papers. But yesterday, that all changed. For a few short hours last night, everything was about baseball. Screams echoed across the halls cursing Robert Andino, Jonathan Papelbon and Evan Longoria. The despair of some was only matched by a Fighting Irish loss. I found myself in a bizarre universe in which Red Sox fans desperately cheered in vain for the success of the Yankees. Yankee fans watched with glee as their team blew a seven-run lead. The Braves completed a monumental meltdown with three walks in the ninth. As a Chicago sports fan, though, I feel that Boston's pain is dwarfed in comparison to what we (Chicago fans) have gone through. Boston's four major franchises have seven championships in the past 10 years. Despite his four interceptions last week, the Patriots still have Tom Brady, and the Red Sox still have two titles since 2004. I've seen two championships since Jordan last won when I was five years old (the White Sox in 2005 and the Blackhawks in 2010). I've lived through Rex Grossman, Vinny Del Negro, Cristobal Huet and Adam Dunn. If I was a Cubs fan, that list might be a lot longer. But as divisive as last night's wild endings played out, the break between Red Sox, Rays, Braves and Cardinals comes to an end every fall Saturday. Although baseball reigned supreme last night, it cannot remotely compare to a Notre Dame football game day. I would trade every one of the Bulls' 1990s titles for one Irish national championship in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, Notre Dame trumps all, and there's a broken trashcan on the third floor of Dillon to prove it. - Craig Chval ('15)
- No. 20/24 Notre Dame put together a pair of stirring second-half comebacks to force overtime, but No. 14/15 Marquette scored the match-winner 18 seconds into the extra session, defeating the Fighting Irish, 3-2 in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional women's soccer action on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields in Milwaukee. - Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate and never fully recovered during Sunday's BIG EAST Conference volleyball match with Villanova ... while hitting .094 with 11service errors, Notre Dame fell to the Wildcats, 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19) during the nationally televised contest on ESPNU with 1,337 fans on hand to watch at Purcell Pavilion. - Here are some of Brian Kelly's comments from Sunday's media teleconference: "Tommy (Rees) is 6-1 as a starter. He's led two very huge drives for us late in the games against Michigan and Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product yet, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better and we'll continue to help him in terms of play-calling and getting him in the right kind of situation so he can be successful." "We felt our recruiting efforts and everything we have done since we have been here is to put together a championship defense and then we'll catch up on offense. I think you have to start with building your defense first and the line of scrimmage. We are not there yet but we are on the right road." - Looking for a key matchup this week in the Notre Dame-Purdue football game? It's Notre Dame's rushing defense (ranked 25th nationally and allowing 93 yards a game) against Purdue's rushing attack that's rated 11th nationally at 258.67 yards per contest. - Michael Floyd is now eighth nationally in receptions at 8.75 per game. - The Irish football squad has outgained all four opponents in first-period total yardage, amassing a combined 464-156 edge. - Notre Dame's defense now has permitted only two opponent rushing scores over its last nine combined games - and both those were one-yard quarterback sneaks.
- Former Irish football standout Jerome Bettis joined the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night in Novi, Mich., with Notre Dame athletics administrators Bill Scholl, John Heisler and Josh Berlo in attendance ... among the previous hall of famers with Notre Damec onnections inducted have been George Gipp (1957), Gus Dorais (1958), Leon Hart (1997) and Bill Laimbeer (1999), - Our baseball team played host to Michigan State this morning at at Eck Baseball Stadium on the Notre Dame campus. - A golden goal in the first minute of overtime from Adam Mena gave the 16th-ranked men's soccer team a 2-1 triumph of Michigan on Friday evening at Alumni Stadium ... Mena scored both Irish goals on the evening and Greg Klazura assisted on each tally. - Kristen Dealy became the eighth player in Notre Dame volleyball history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career with a 13-kill effort in a 3-1 win Friday evening over Western Michigan in Madison, Wis. ... Dealy hit .306 with 21 digs, one ace and a solo block for the Irish ... entering the contest, Dealy had 995 kills and 1,042 digs ... her 1,000th kill came in the second set to make her the first Irish player to join the 1,000-1,000 club since Adrianna Stasiuk did so in 2007. - Louisville's Erin Yenney scored the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute and the Cardinals made it stand, upsetting the Irish women's soccer team, 1-0, Friday night before a crowd of 2,501 fans at Alumni Stadium ... the loss was the first for the Fighting Irish in BIG EAST regular-season action since Sept. 30, 2005 (a 4-1 defeat at Marquette), snapping a 62-match unbeaten streak in the process. - The men's tennis squad won five doubles contests and four singles matches on day one of the season-opening Illini Invitational in Chicago, Ill. ... Notre Dame's doubles tandems went 5-3 on day one with victories over teams from Texas and Alabama ... the Irish were a combined 4-0 in doubles against the Crimson Tide. - Jessica Rydberg won the women's 5K race and Martin Grady finished second in the men's five-mile race to power the Notre Dame women's and men's cross country squads to a pair of victories at the 32nd annual National Catholic Championships on Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Cross Country Course ... Rydberg's time (17:16) was the fastest since Notre Dame's JoAnna Deeter ran 16:52 in 1999 ... it's also the third-fastest time in the meet's history ... she is the ninth straight Notre Dame women's runner to win the meet ... the Irish women have won 18 times out of the last 20 years, including each of the last 10 ... the men won for the third straight year and for the 20th time in the last 24 years. - Former Notre Dame Bengal Bout champion Mike Lee won a unanimous four-round decision Friday night over Jacob Stiers of Kansas City, Kan., in front of 3,296 fans at Purcell Pavilion ... Lee is now 7-0 in is professional career ... the event benefited both the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and the Robinson Community Learning Center. - Lou's Lads, the organization of former Notre Dame football players who played under Lou Holtz, presented its first scholarship on Friday night at a dinner at the Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend to current Notre Dame senior Paul Moya from Los Lunas, N.M.
NESN.com - The Red Sox have 31 active players with them in Toronto after another round of September call-ups Monday.
Slugging catcher/designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway, infielder Nate Spears and right-hander Kyle Weiland have each joined the club for the stretch run.
Weiland may make the most immediate impact of the three if he is chosen to take the start of Erik Bedard on Friday in Tampa Bay. Bedard will be skipped due to left knee pain.
In two starts filling in for Jon Lester back in July, Weiland was 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA. The right-hander, who turns 25 next Monday, was 8-10 with a 3.58 ERA in 24 starts for Pawtucket.
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