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ND.edu - (Editor's note) When the Brian Kelly era began two years ago, it got Ted Mandell ('86), Notre Dame professor of Film, Television and Theatre, thinking. The more he thought about Notre Dame's 29th head football coach, the more he thought he saw the second coming of Lou Holtz. Now, last week's announcement that Kelly had been offered and had accepted a two-year extension of his contract through the 2016 season has triggered another Mandell epiphany. I saw that BK got a two year extension, and I thought, Hmmm, after two seasons is he still the New Lou? Well, let's see ... Brian Kelly has the exact same record after 26 games as Lou Holtz (16-10). At the conclusion of Holtz's second season (1987), the greatest receiver in ND history (Tim Brown) finished his ND career on the sideline during the fourth quarter of a bowl game loss against a top defensive foe. At the conclusion of Kelly's second season (2011), the greatest receiver in ND history (Michael Floyd) finished his ND career on the sideline during the fourth quarter of a bowl game loss against a top defensive foe. Timothy Brown and Michael Floyd both have exactly 12 letters in their names. Louis Holtz and Brian Kelly both have exactly 10 letters in their names. After two years, Holtz replaced his defensive coordinator with a position coach on staff and hired a new offensive line coach. After two years, Kelly replaced his offensive coordinator with a position coach on staff and hired a new offensive line coach. Notre Dame finished the 1987 season 8-4. Notre Dame finished the 2011 regular season 8-4. In 1987, Notre Dame beat #17 Michigan State 31-8, highlighted by two kick returns for touchdowns by Tim Brown, future Oakland Raider. In 2011, Notre Dame beat #15 Michigan State 31-13, highlighted by a kick return for a touchdown by George Atkinson III, son of a former Oakland Raider. In 1987, Notre Dame beat Navy 56-13. In 2011, Notre Dame beat Navy 56-14. In 1986 and 1987, Notre Dame had 10 losses by a total of 90 points. In 2010 and 2011, Notre Dame had 10 losses by a total of 88 points. In 1987, Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Charts. In 2011, Jon Bon Jovi spent two minutes on the field at Notre Dame Stadium as the ND Band played "Livin on a Prayer." The live recording of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" was first released in 1987. The studio recording of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" was first played live inside Notre Dame Stadium in 2011. And just in case you're wondering for season three ... In 1988, Notre Dame defeated four teams ranked in the Coaches' Poll Top 10. In 2012, Notre Dame plays four teams ranked in ESPN.com's preseason Top 11. Meet the New Lou ... same as the Old Lou.
NCAA.com - Tim Brown, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner, set two single-game, nine single-season and eight career records during his time at Notre Dame and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection was drafted sixth overall in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles (Oakland) Raiders. Brown serves as the national chairman and spokesperson for Athletes and Entertainers for Kids and 9-1-1 For Kids. Each year, Brown hosts the Tim Brown Charity Golf Classic to benefit 9-1-1 For Kids, and the Mentor Mini Camp at the Raiders' headquarters for fatherless boys. The Silver Anniversary Award honors former student-athletes and distinguished individuals are recognized on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Brown and fellow recipients Doris Burke, Kevin Johnson, Sean Payton, Amy Perko and David Robinson were honored Jan. 13, 2012, during the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. Q: What would you say was your top academic achievement at Notre Dame? Brown: ...The one thing I love about Notre Dame is the fact that we didn't stay in the athletic dorms, we lived with the other students. I have to tell you I learned more from the students there. One of my best friends ended up being a kid from China, Tony Lee. We are still best of friends today. I don't think I would have gotten that anywhere else...There was only one other athlete in the whole dorm that I was living in so I think from that standpoint, yes, we talk about the education and what a great academic school, but for me what I took away from it was all the different relationships from people all over the world literally. I'm just so thankful that I had that experience. Q: What was life like on campus for you as a student-athlete? Brown: ...We were literally student-athletes there. We were required to sit in the front rows of classes. There was never a situation where it was okay for us not to go to class or it was okay if we did [bad] on tests or anything of that nature. Your freshman year you were required to get tutoring; after that it's if you need it. After my freshman year I didn't need any more tutoring by the time we finished practicing. We had no special anything there besides a training table and they had to feed us, right? Everyone was already done with dinner by the time we finished practicing. Besides that we really had nothing on campus that set us aside and the great thing about that is you don't walk out of there thinking somebody owes you something, or looking for somebody to give you something. Everything that you earn in life, you are going to earn in life. That's what they teach you there. When something goes wrong, you can't go pointing fingers at other people. It's all about you. Q: While you were at Notre Dame how you did find a balance between sports, your studies and community involvement? Brown: It's just a part of the atmosphere; it's how it is...When I won the Heisman I can remember Jim Nantz interviewing me and he asked some questions. He said, "A lot of people think that because you went to the University of Notre Dame, it helped you get to this position of possibly winning the Heisman Trophy." [They were interviewing the candidates before.] I said to him, "Jim, I didn't go to the University of Notre Dame to win the Heisman Trophy. I went there to get a great education; if it helps me win the Heisman Trophy than that is just icing on top of the cake for me." Q: What expectations does Notre Dame hold for student-athletes? Brown: If you are student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame, you are expected to do great things. Not good things, you are expected to do great things. You go to that university because you have all these contacts and all these things that are accessible to you and it's up to you to utilize them in the proper way. The great thing about what the university does, it doesn't put you in a position where you are going to walk away from that place used to people handing you stuff... Q: Why is giving back important to you? Brown: You're in a position for a reason...God put you in a position for a reason and you have to give back. I was on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 1996 for athletes and celebrities who had given back. Not for how many touchdowns I've caught, not for the Heisman Trophy, but for celebrities who are doing philanthropic work. I told her, and it's what I say all the time, "At the end of the day I sleep a lot better at night because I know I tried to change somebody's life in a very positive way." Q: How did you get involved with Athletes and Entertainers for Kids? Brown: ...I went to a miniature golf tournament for at-risk kids in Southern California and that was it. That was 1992. I took over the next year in '93. We did a couple of miniature golf tournaments and then for the last 18 years we've done [we still count the miniature golf tournaments], but we've done a full golf tournament for 18 years. We expanded from that to 9-1-1 Kids, teaching kids proper use of 911. Then we expanded from that to the Tim Brown Mentor Mini Camp and that's really my baby. The Mentor Mini Camp. That's the one event that I have opportunity to [I have 150 to 175 fatherless boys out there] and I get a chance to really put my hands on them, rub 'em on the head, shoot 'em a couple of elbows and let them know somebody cares for them. It's only one day. I understand that, but we try and hook them up with mentor dads in hopes that those mentor dads will keep in touch with these kids. That's a program that I can't wait for every year because that's the one that, like I said, I really, really feel good about.
If you checked out Irish UNDerground last month, you may have read about Jerome Bettis and his efforts on Capitol Hill. The Bus also recently teamed up with the EPA to talk about the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which will help limit pollution from power plants. Here's more on the former Irish running back's recent work. Fuel Fix - The Bus is on the EPA bandwagon. Jerome Bettis, the iconic Pittsburgh Steelers running back affectionately known as "The Bus," is starring in a new Environmental Protection Agency ad touting the need for new regulations to limit pollution from power plants, POLITICO reported. Bettis, who suffers from asthma, has campaign for two new regulations - the MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution - that aim at cutting air pollution produced from power plants and ease health issues associated with the smog. The EPA released its first-ever standards for mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, capping a long debate with Republicans and utility companies over the new regulations. The agency is still working with business, states and Republicans over regulations that would regulate cross-state air pollution. Texas and Gov. Rick Perry have vocally opposed both measures. Bettis, who meet with EPA Chief Lisa Jackson last month, said the regulations are important to reduce air pollution and ease health concerns, including asthma, associated with the pollution. - Dan X. McGraw
The Responsibility Project by Liberty Mutual recently featured a roundtable on the state of college sports and includes Troy Vincent, who says around the 4:10 mark, "Notre Dame has a model that works for student-athletes." Vincent played college football at Wisconsin and is currently the vice president of the NFL Player Engagement Organization.
Props to former Irish tight end Kyle Rudolph on being named to the 2011 NFP All-Rookie offensive team. Here's an excerpt from NFP's site on Rudolph, who scored his third professional touchdown on - appropriately - Christmas Eve while guiding Minnesota to a 33-26 win over Washington. NationalFootballPost.com - 2010 had one of the best tight end classes ever. This year wasn't quite as good. Two stood out from an average class and they were Rudolph and Lance Kendricks with St. Louis. Kendricks is more of a move tight end while Rudolph has the bulk, size and power to play as an inline tight end and the speed and finesse to be a move type. He put up good numbers with 39 catches and 3 touchdowns.
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