Oct 9, 2013, 11:47 AM EDT
Yesterday, Notre Dame’s manager of social media, Christianne Harder, talked about how where she went, success followed (you can read that here). Today, I give you the story of the @NDSportsBlogger. I fully expect to be fired by days end (and hired by Coach McGraw). Enjoy…
According to Webster’s Dictionary, superstition is “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.”
I’m not a superstitious person, but it is hard to not look at the facts of the subject at hand – I’m bad luck to most athletic programs I’m involved with and I can prove it.
Let’s start with simple facts; I graduated from Indiana University (Bloomington), worked in their sports information office while in school, worked at the University of Notre Dame sports information office from 2008-2012 and at DePauw University in 2012-13 before returning to Notre Dame in June of 2013.
So why is this so important you ask? Well, I have a long theory that wherever I work has losing in football, underperforms in most of their Olympic sports and is randomly really good in women’s basketball.
Additionally, everywhere I work does not retain their head football coach at some point in my tenure (I’ll get to this later).
Let’s begin where it all started – Indiana University. IU has a long tradition of great men’s basketball, men’s soccer and swimming and diving. All together, IU has accumulated 24 national titles in their sports, 19 of which come from those three sports.
While at IU, the men’s basketball program hired Kelvin Sampson, fired Kelvin Sampson, committed major infractions (not in that order) and proceeded to win 28 games (28-66) over my final three years on campus …
… since then IU has gone 56-16, made two NCAA Championship “sweet-16” appearances, won a Big Ten regular season title, had two top-four NBA picks and has a bright future.
The men’s soccer program was just a year removed from back-to-back NCAA titles when I came to campus in 2006. The Hoosiers made the tournament nearly every year I was at IU, getting as far as the NCAA quarterfinals before bowing out, fired their head coach (Mike Freitag) and won three Big Ten titles …
… since I left campus, IU just added an eighth NCAA title in men’s soccer after a 1-0 victory over Georgetown in last year’s title game.
Oh, and head football coach Bill Lynch was fired when I was a senior.
Next, let’s move onto my time at Notre Dame. In the summer of 2008 I began working in the sports information department and would come back for football games and breaks to help out the office at events.
Before I came to Notre Dame, the Irish had just gone to BCS bowl games in two out of the last three years, once I got there they had a 7-6, 6-6, 8-5 and 8-5 season, never making a BCS bowl (for full disclosure as well, one of my college roommates at IU, Lance Moade, is 0-5 when attending Notre Dame football games (Syracuse ’08, Connecticut ’09, Michigan ’10, USC ’11, Oklahoma ’13) …
… since I left campus all they did was go 12-0, tally a berth in the BCS Championship Game, garner a runner-up finish in the Heisman Memorial Trophy voting, bring home multiple national awards including the Maxwell, Mackey and Coach of the Year and rise to the top-ranking in college football for the first time in over a decade.
Oh, and head football coach Charlie Weis was let go after my second year at Notre Dame.
After spending the full 2011-12 academic year at Notre Dame working in sports information after graduating from IU, I left to work as the assistant sports information director at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.
Before I arrived at DePauw, the football squad was 43-16 in the previous six years, and just two years removed from a berth in the NCAA playoffs. Once I arrived, DePauw began the season abysmally by getting outscored 134-52 in the first three contests. DePauw would begin to turn the corner and would finish the season 2-8.
On, and head football coach Robby Long was let go after the second game of the season.
… since I left campus, the Tigers may be 0-4, but the future is looking bright after the hire of Bill Lynch (yes, the one who was at IU) as head coach. Lynch previously coached at DePauw in 2004, prior to going to IU, and went 8-3 with a Monon Bell win (the oldest small school football rivalry west of the Alleghenies, dates back to 1890).
So, the question is, am I just bad luck? The answer is simply, no.
If you are a women’s basketball coach you want me at your school.
While at Notre Dame, the two years I worked closely with the women’s basketball squad were in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. I was tasked with secondary contact responsibilities for the 2011-12 season. In those two seasons, the Irish lost in the championship game to Texas A&M in 2011 and Baylor in 2012.
My time at DePauw was along the same lines. A senior-laden squad, the Tigers would run through North Coast Athletic Conference play and garner the top ranking in national polls early in the season, a ranking they would never relinquish.
Needless to say, the team would visit President Barack Obama at the White House after they completed a 34-0 season and a NCAA title.
So in ending, if you’re a women’s basketball coach you want me at your school.
If you are a football coach, you want me far, far away …
… or you need to update your resume.
Oh, and did I mention I worked the 2012 Ryder Cup?
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