Sept. 23, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Former Indiana State Police Sgt. Tim McCarthy, who retired in April after 55 seasons of delivering safety messages (and accompanying puns) at Irish home football games, will be recognized and will deliver his final safety tip live from the field Saturday at the Notre Dame-Massachusetts game at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Notre Dame game management staff has used taped messages of previous McCarthy messages in conjunction with the first two Irish home games in 2015. However, McCarthy has agreed to attend the game this weekend. He will be recognized at the end of the third period and plans to reprise the first safety message he used back in 1960.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, McCarthy also served until 1987 as Porter County sheriff and still lives in the Valparaiso, Indiana, area. His wife Carole also worked for the sheriff’s department, and his father was a career police officer in Fort Wayne.
It’s been McCarthy’s messages over the Notre Dame Stadium public address system that—like the “Play Like A Champion Today” sign, the Hesburgh Library mural (dubbed “Touchdown Jesus”) and the “Win One for the Gipper” saga—turned him into an iconic figure relative to the Notre Dame football experience.
McCarthy became an integral part of the fabric of a Notre Dame football weekend—and his opening line, “May I have your attention please? This is Tim McCarthy with the Indiana State Police,” became one of the institutions of a home football Saturday.
For years, McCarthy was simply the voice in the wilderness at Irish games. Slowly but surely that changed. In 1992, the University published a book titled “Notre Dame Football Today” that included a feature piece and full-page photo of McCarthy at the Stadium. McCarthy earned more and more invitations to more and more events, often related to delivering some sort of message akin to his safety puns. He—somewhat grudgingly—became a celebrity in his own right. The Notre Dame Monogram Club presented him with an honorary monogram in 2013.