Growing up in Northern Indiana in the 1990s it was considered sacrilegious not to admire Notre Dame’s Head Football Coach. Whether you were a diehard Fighting Irish fan or had tremendous disdain for the Golden Domers, one thing was for certain; you respected Lou Holtz as a man. Fast forward two decades later to the Fall of 2013 when I had recently departed Indiana University as a Sports Communications graduate, my father invited me to join him for an outing to listen to Coach Holtz speak at a local college near Fort Wayne, IN. Even though I'd become neutral towards Notre Dame, I didn't think twice about going to see the man speak.
For all of Holtz’s quips and anti-politically correct jokes, one statement stood out to me above all. He began, “When I was born, I had a silver spoon in my mouth. I was rich beyond what many could comprehend. I popped out of my mother right there in the chute of their coal cellar in Follansbee, West Virginia.” Holtz paused to soak in the perplexed look on all of our faces.
“No...”, he continued, “It was not money that made me wealthy. It was the love I was surrounded by in that moment.” Taken back by this punch line of an all too real experience, I froze in my seat. This man had been through it all and had seen it all, yet still knew how to captivate his audience and connect with me in a way I still remember a decade later.
My own childhood was certainly not desolate, but I never considered myself to have grown up with wealth. At least not until Lou Holtz made me realize that even though I did not grow up “with” wealth, I grew up “in” wealth. I had two parents and an older sister that loved me and instilled in me morals and values. Among those principles was a fierce competitive nature. One that drove me to have a deep passion for my faith, my country, and sports.
It is truly a pleasure to have you along for this new journey as each week we will be bringing you the hottest topics and latest scores from professional and college sports around the state of Tennessee. Since finishing my Army career a little over a year ago at Fort Campbell, I chose to stay in the area for the long haul and immerse myself in the local sports scene. Following teams such as the Predators, Titans, Nashville SC, Vandy, and UT has quickly become a passion of mine, and I look forward to sharing those experiences with you.