Friendship or Control?

Elsewhere on this blog, I have told the story of bullying a classmate who had the last laugh in the end. But like many people, I’ve been on both ends of bullying. In early grade school, I had a “best friend” at school who I’ll call Andy. Lest I ever forgot that fact, Andy instructed me to repeat my allegiance to him every day on the playground. Out-loud and for his sake, I would say “We’re best friends forever.” And we were best friends (so long as I did everything he told me to do).

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The Indy 500 is 100 Years Old: “The Race” as Cultural Experience

My view of the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

Race day in 2014.

I didn’t grow up as a racing fan. In fact, I used to joke that that a competitive activity wasn’t a “sport” unless there was some sort of spherical object involved. But there was still something about attending the biggest car race in the world for the first time back in 2012 that felt like a cementing of my hoosier identity.

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Interviewing Brady Quinn

I enjoyed chatting with former Notre Dame and NFL quarterback, Brady Quinn, this past Friday morning. He weighed in on a number topics, including the 2016 NFL Draft, the Notre Dame quarterback battle, and a philanthropic initiative he and his wife are leading. Here is a glimpse of what Quinn had to say about his time at Notre Dame:

“People always think that for former players it’s all about what happens on the field. To me, the memories that stick out are the ones with the guys, whether hanging out before games and getting ready or at training camp or walking out of the tunnel for the first time. The game’s the game; there are always going to be two-minute drives and other things that are kind of fun, but it’s the memories of the guys that I’m still close with now; those are the memories that stick out more than anything else.”

For the article and part of the audio file, go to One Foot Down.

2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Covering the Notre Dame Women

I have long been a reader, commenter, and fellow obsessor over at the Notre Dame blog, One Foot Down. As such, it’s been exciting recently to get the chance to do some writing for the site. Though the team faltered earlier than expected — in the Sweet 16 after earning a well-deserved #1-seed — I enjoyed following the Notre Dame women’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament. The articles are linked for you below:


Growing Up in Ardoyne: An Interview about Northern Ireland with Darryl Petticrew

Darryl, far left, joins me and a few others for Thanksgiving dinner in Belfast.

Darryl, far left, joins me and a few others for Thanksgiving dinner in Belfast.

My In the Fray essay about Northern Ireland from a couple days ago focuses a lot on the Protestant side of things. Below, you’ll find an interview I conducted a couple years ago with Darryl Petticrew, a Catholic friend of mine. Darryl grew up in Ardoyne, a part of Belfast that is mentioned in the essay. I think you’ll find the transcript of our conversation interesting:

Me: “What was growing up in Ardoyne  like? How often did you cross over into the likes of, say, the Shankill?”

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