Sep 25, 2012, 10:11 AM EDT
Yesterday on UNDerground, we announced an upcoming Google+ Hangout with University Vice President/Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. Like the Hangout that took place this summer, Swarbrick will be discussing the state of Fighting Irish Athletics with representatives from several Notre Dame online fan communities. This week’s Hangout will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7:00 pm ET.
Next up in our series of panelists is Ryan Ritter, aka “NDTex” (@HLS_NDtex). Ryan is a 2007 Notre Dame graduate with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. During the 2011 season, he joined the team at HerLoyalSons.com and is now co-editor on the site. As a student, Ritter was a student manager for football during 2005, before moving on as the head manager of men’s and women’s golf.
Best Notre Dame athletics memory?
So many to pick from, but I’ll definitely have to go with ND/USC in 2005. Yes, the result was unfortunate, but I am able to take two incredible stories away form that game.
First, I helped the team change into their green jerseys. The managers didn’t even know about it. I wasn’t even told why I had to go back into the locker room to help out. Then I saw the green jerseys all neatly hung in their lockers and I got chills. Watching the players’ reactions was unbelievable, and even inside the locker room, I could hear the stadium explode as they came out.
Second, I was one of the few people that knew the game wasn’t over when the clock first hit 0:00. I was right next to the Leinart fumble on the USC sideline and had a perfect angle of watching Bush shove him into the endzone a few minutes later.
The second part was awful, but still — a part of ND history. If you ever watch a replay of the game, I’m the guy right next to the first down mark on the USC sideline. I even got some sweet ups while trying to avoid a player running into me (spoiler: said ups weren’t that sweet and I look ridiculous).
Favorite Fighting Irish athlete of all-time?
It’s a toss up between Manti Te’o and Louis Nix. As I’ve said many times on HLS, Nix has been winning my heart via his Twitter account, Chocolate News videos, and just being a beast on the field in general. Te’o of course, has embodied everything that ND stands for on and off the field. He has especially shined these past two weeks and watching the ND Family stand firmly in his corner this Saturday was incredible.
Matchup you’re most looking forward to seeing in the ACC?
For football, I’m really looking forward to Clemson and Virginia Tech, mostly because those are places that I want to see football in. For basketball, I’m both terrified and looking forward to annual matchups with Duke and UNC.
First Notre Dame football game you saw in the stadium?
My first game in ND Stadium was my first game as a student: 2003 vs Washington State. It was also the first college football game I ever attended. At the time, I remember being thrilled that my first college game was not only in ND Stadium, but an OT “thriller.” However, that ended up being the high point of that season…
If you could choose one Notre Dame game to have seen in person, which would it be?
“Catholics vs. Convicts” in 1988. From the pre-game brawl until Pat Terrell broke up Steve Walsh’s pass, that game was just incredible and I get chills any time that I watch it or any clip from it. The heated rivalry with Miami has always fascinated me and I would’ve loved to have had actual sports consciousness for this game which, to me, is the pinnacle of it all.
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