Since I was little, all I can remember is watching my friend Tom yell at the television every Saturday.
Why was he yelling at the TV? Well, seven-year-old me had no idea. All I knew was that football was on, the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t playing, and I had no idea what league we were watching.
Then, as I grew up, I found myself yelling at the TV. Sometimes, I yelled worse than him. For two 13-year-old kids sitting in the basement of his house, we were about as loud and destructive as they come.
One time, he kicked a door off the hinges and broke a lamp all in one-half of a Michigan game. Can I blame him? No. If it was my house, I would’ve ripped the door clean off, walked outside, and thrown it as far as I could.
I wasn’t born into it. My dad was never a college football fan, and I grew up in a family of Penn State fans. Really, I was the rebel of the family, all thanks to my buddy Tom.
It took years for me to get into Notre Dame. I knew I was a fan of them, but I was much more of an NFL fan than I was college football. At 7, 8-years-old, you could ask me anything about the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I’d be able to answer it. At 13, that’s how I was with Notre Dame.
I’m a fan by choice. Most people can’t say that, but I can. The only influence I had was my best friend and Brady Quinn. Outside of that, everyone is lucky I didn’t jump on the Michael Robinson train and throw on some blue and white.
Today, I consider myself a die-hard. Actually, more than a die-hard; I consider myself a part of Notre Dame football. When I decided sports journalism was my future career, I knew there was no better place to be than covering the Fighting Irish.
That is why this is so hard for me. Over the last seven months, I’ve lived the dream. Not many people can say that at 21-years-old, they’ve done exactly what they’ve wanted to with their career, but I can.
But like every dream, I need to wake up. That is why, as of today, I will be stepping down as the site expert for Slap the Sign. Although I’ve loved every second of working on the site and the incredible people within it, it’s time to move on to the next chapter of my career.
I saw this title on SB Nation. Everyone was posting why they’re a fan of the sport they cover, and I thought, “FanSided readers deserve to know as well.” Because just like everyone who reads these articles, I’m a fan as well.
Each Saturday, when you’re putting out the bag of Doritos, cracking your drink of choice, tossing on the 20-year-old jersey, and yelling at the TV, I’m doing the same.
This is also a thank you. I’ve covered sports for six years and have never had the experience I’ve had with Slap the Sign. Each reader, whether they loved me or hated me, has made my writing better and I appreciate that to the fullest.
I’ll continue to scream at the television each Saturday and put on that #7 Carlyle Holiday jersey at 9:00 am. That will never change.
I’m a fan because there’s no better feeling than waking up and knowing it’s game day. I’m a fan because no matter who comes and goes, my Carlyle Holiday jersey will forever fit me best. I’m a fan by choice. I’m a fan because there will never be another team who makes me scream, break things, cry, jump for joy, and hug random people quite like Notre Dame.
I’ll forever be a fan.
Thank you, Slap the Sign; for allowing me to live my dream and make being a fan a job. I can never repay you for the experience I’ve had.