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NDSportsBlogger Retrospective: One Last Post

Jun 9, 2013, 4:36 PM EDT

A new NDSportsBlogger starts tomorrow, so here’s one final post before I retire (emeritus status?). Enjoy.

Two summers ago, I was back home in New York, a recent ND grad with not much of a clue about where life after college was going to take me. I knew I wanted to work in sports. I had applied to a position at ESPN and been through a couple of phone screenings with the Worldwide Leader. I had a phone interview with Bernie Cafarelli, my boss when I was a student worker, for an internship in Notre Dame’s media relations. Then one evening in early July, I received a phone call from Dan Skendzel, who told me about Fighting Irish Digital Media, a new division within Notre Dame athletics. Dan and his fledgling team were seeking a social media intern who could write and work closely with the football program for the 2011 season.

Almost like David in the infamous post-dentist YouTube video, I asked myself, “Is this real life?”

This sounded like the perfect opportunity for me.

Almost two years later, I firmly believe my internship with FIDM was one of the best jobs in all of athletics (as I wrote about in two previous retrospective blog posts – here and here). It was an absolute privilege to give fans a behind the scenes and all-access look at Fighting Irish athletics, and my list of memories is almost immeasurable.

I traveled with Notre Dame football to Washington, Orlando, Dublin, East Lansing, Chicago, Norman and Miami.

I filmed and produced a YouTube series that made it on Sportscenter, College GameDay and NFL Films, and maybe best of all, inspired numerous spin-off attempts from loyal fans.

I chatted with Jake Golic and Samantha Ponder for a half hour while waiting to film Trick Shot Monday at BCS Media Day…off The Coaches’ Trophy.

I was courtside as men’s hoops beat #1 Syracuse, took down defending champion Kentucky and outlasted Louisville in a 15-round prize fight, and as the women’s squad defeated Connecticut in three overtimes.

I saw Notre Dame pep rallies on the National Mall, in Millennium Park and on South Beach.

I shot hoops with Fr. Pete on the famous Madison Square Garden floor while with the Irish for the BIG EAST tournament.

The places I visited, the people I met, the games I saw. The list goes on.

I can’t thank Bernie, Dan and the FIDM team (Oak, Christianne, Alan, Gary, Nathan, Ryan, Scott, Jack, Ted, Alex and Fred) enough for the once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s been a little more than two months since I started with the Monogram Club and I love it, but I will always be especially grateful for my time with FIDM. It was a truly incredible experience, particularly to work with that team in its early stages. Years from now, maybe when the FIDM facility is inside a newly-renovated Notre Dame Stadium, I look forward to being able to look back and say I was there when it all started.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has read, watched, followed, liked, shared, commented, retweeted, favorited or given any other stamp of approval to the pictures, videos or blogs I’ve posted. I really appreciate it, and I can’t even tell you how awesome it feels when I meet someone and they say they have read the blog or followed my tweets.

I feel this final blog post would be incomplete without a couple of small shameless plugs, so I encourage everyone to check out the Monogram Club blog, which we just launched a few weeks ago. If you’re feeling really adventurous, follow me on Twitter at @jflyntnd518. While @NDSportsBlogger was all ND, all the time, I should warn you that a lot of my tweets are about the Red Sox, Celtics, my distaste for the Miami Heat and their “fans,” and the Dave Matthews Band.

Don’t worry, there will be a lot of Irish tweets too. Only 12 more weeks ’til kickoff.

Josh Flynt

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A few of the venues I’ve been fortunate to visit. From top left: FedEx Field, Gillette Stadium, PPL Park, Madison Square Garden, Greensboro Coliseum, Aviva Stadium, Sun Life Stadium, Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and Soldier Field.

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..And some of the great people I’ve been able to share those visits with. From top left (with Alan Wasielewski and Ryan Camden at Soldier Field; with Ryan Camden, Christianne Harder, Tim O’Connor, Jen Vining-Smith and Alan Wasielewski at Soldier Field; with Gary Paczesny and Ryan Camden at the Miami Dolphins Practice Facility; with Kali Hofer at Soldier Field; with Sarah Lawless at the Champs Sports Bowl; with Scott Rinehart, Christianne Harder, Ted Mandell and Ryan Camden at the BCS Championship).

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And a few of the people I have had the opportunity to meet. From top left: Samantha (Steele) Ponder, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, Kirk Herbstreit, Ara Parseghian, Lee Corso, Johnny Lattner, Rocket Ismail and Bon Jovi.

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