Journal September 28, 2010

I had a blast today shooting a commercial for Sunkist Soda.  Starting in February 2011, Sunkist Soda will be having a "Phrases that Pay" contest.  Sunkist Soda will be giving away $10,000 a week for eight weeks, to the fan who comes up with my next great catchphrase. Just visit and submit your idea for a chance to win. I will be picking the winners each week and the grand prize winner gets their phrase used by me during a nationally televised game!  I can't thank Katie Hale, Abby Miller, and John Currie from Sunkist who were here to help with the commercial.  Also assisting at the shoot was Alex Kanaris, from the ESPN marketing department.  The producer, Brad Peenders and videographer, John Klein did an outstanding job orchestrating the day's events.  Also, a big thanks to my agent from IMG, Sue Lipton, who was there to oversee things as well.  


Journal September 25, 2010

I enjoyed another special football weekend up in South Bend, Indiana.  Despite the Irish losing to the Stanford Cardinal, we had a great time showing my friends from Lakewood Ranch, Holly and Patrick Wright and the Warren Family, all around campus.  They were mesmerized by the enthusiasm and spirit the campus has during a football weekend.  I especially had a great time as I had the opportunity to address the student body on Friday night. The people and students of Notre Dame could not have been nicer as they welcomed me with open arms.   I spoke on the importance of making good decisions in life and having a sense of pride in all that one does.  No doubt that the Irish are faced with a tough road ahead.  They have suffered some tough losses as of late, but I am confident Coach Brian Kelly will ultimately get the job done for the Irish.


Journal September 10-11, 2010


Well, we had a great weekend despite some questionable weather and a heartbreaking loss to Michigan this Saturday.  I was joined by my wife Lorraine, my daughter, Terri and her husband Dr. Chris Sforzo (both ND grads) along with their two children; Sydney age 9 and Ryan age 6.  We also had with us two guests from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.  They were Tony Ventiquattro with the newly formed IMG Lacrosse program and Graheme Lauriston with the Bollettieri Sports Medicine.  Graheme is the physical trainer for many of IMG’s elite athletes.  It was a first trip to the campus of Notre Dame for both of them.

Friday was a spectacular day and the weather was perfect as we strolled around campus and enjoyed time in the bookstore, at the Grotto, in the Basilica and of course, by the quad near the Golden Dome.   We took in a packed house for the pep rally Friday evening on the Irish Green and the place was electrifying.  We had a great dinner at my favorite Italian spot in South Bend, Indiana, Parisi’s Restaurant as we met up with my buddy, Digger Phelps, former ND star and player with the NY Giants, Tom Longo and former ND and Orlando Magic NBA player, Pat Garrity.  We also saw the new Notre Dame baseball coach, Mik Aoki along with some of his players at the restaurant Friday night.  I always enjoy the excitement that surrounds the campus on the night before a big game and we had a great time.

On Saturday, September 11, 2010 we woke up to a rainy, cold day.  Of course, we were all reminded of the sad anniversary of this day nine years ago and thought of those who so bravely gave up their lives on the day of the terrorist attacks in NY, Pennsylvania and in Washington DC.  Much of the campus proudly displayed red, white and blue ND logos to show their support of those and their families who lost their lives that terrible day.

As game time drew near, the rain stopped and we were ready to go see the Fighting Irish take on the Wolverines.  The campus was electric and everyone was fired up for the afternoon game.  Of course, we all know the outcome by now and I was disappointed to see the Irish go down 28-24, but it was a hard fought game and no one could deny the outstanding personal performance by Denard Robinson.  Ultimately, he got the job done for the Wolverines and took home the “W”.  

No doubt it was a heartbreaking loss, but the Irish need to regroup and focus on their next challenge with Michigan State.  Personally, I am excited about Coach Brian Kelly and what he brings to ND and I believe he will have a successful career during his time with Notre Dame.  I look forward to being back on campus for the Stanford game.


Journal September 3-4, 2010

It was a terrific opening college football weekend in South Bend, where a new era began under the helm of Brian Kelly.  The Irish looked impressive in their opener versus Purdue and I know all the fans and ND supporters are hoping Kelly can bring the Irish back to the level they belong.  There is nothing like fall college football games with all the school spirit and pageantry.  Notre Dame weekends are truly one of my favorites, with the quarterback luncheon and pep rally on Friday, and all the tailgating before the game. It is always a special time!!


Journal September 1, 2010

I had a great evening in a suite at Tropicana Field watching the Rays pull out a close victory over the Blue Jays.  I was joined by Patrick and Holly Wright, recording artist David Nail, Vincent Dolan, President and CEO of Progress Energy, and John Heltzer.  The game was auctioned off at a fundraiser a few months ago for the Payton Wright Foundation for Cancer Research, which is very near and dear to my heart.  Country star, David Nail, has become close friends with the Wright family after hearing about their tragic loss of their 4 girl old daughter, Payton, to cancer.  David performed at a fundraiser for the Wright Foundation and joined us in the box for the Rays game!  It was a terrific evening and I can't thank Vincent and the generous people at Progress Energy enough for their support!  


Quote of the Week

“All I can say is wow, two gladiators in Djokovic and Federer, put on a final for the ages.”

-Dick Vitale