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September 30, 2008 - Joe Gorman
Those who know me know that I am loathe to praise, let alone mention, a member of one of my rival sports teams. Going to Ursuline, therfore, did not instill me with a love of Cardinal Mooney, which anyone who read my football blog last year would know, so this is not a secret.
Compounding matters is the fact that the Cardinals in recent years have pounded the Irish to the point that last season, even though Ursuline made it to the state finals, I debated long and hard the question of if the season was successful because Ursuline was demolished once again by Mooney.
Which brings me to today's rant. Kyle McCarthy is a safety for Notre Dame who won all state honors at quarterback and defensive back for Mooney. In his first season as a starter this year he has shown a nose for the football, leading the nation in solo tackles and being credited with causing a key fumble in the opener against San Diego State which took a touchdown from the Aztecs (who I was rooting for because let's face it, I can't stand Notre Dame either).
Talking to an attorney and a Notre Dame freak today, he mentioned a big play McCarthy had in this past weekend's victory over Purdue (or Purdon't,' as some call the Boilermakers who haven't won a big game since Bob Griese was the quarterback). He mentioned a blog that gave a shout out to McCarthy for a play where McCarthy hustled down the field and chased down a Boilermaker who was outrunning the rest of the Irish and was expected to score a touchdown. Although Purdue had a first down inside the Irish 10, penalties and other misfires kept them out of the end zone. It kept Purdue from going up by two scores and may have changed momentum, according to the blogger.
The blogger said most players would've given up, but not McCarthy. He then quoted former ND player and coach Hugh Devore, who was recruited by Knute Rockne and coached under Pat Leahy before being the head coach at two colleges as well as well as two short stints as coach of the Irish and a stint as the head man for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here's what Devore said:
``Always get someone from Youngstown. Everyone from Youngstown is tough.'
How true. Think of Youngstowners who have played in the NFL or starred in college. Their is a tougnness in them. Like the Calganis, or Matt Cavanaugh or Mike Zordich or Jerry Olsavsky (here's another thing they have in common: They're all from the West Side).
There are others -- Sherman Smith comes to mind. But you get the idea. Guys like Youngstown are around the ball and stick their head in the pile and don't give up.
So thumbs up to McCarthy. Although he's from Mooney, I search for him on the tube on Saturdays and hope he does well. One thing about Youngstown: we have our differences and our rivalries, but we put that aside whenever our town is on the map.
I'll try and supply a link to the blog tomorrow. The web address is www.ndkgreen.com
As for why a Catholic school boy roots against Notre Dame? That is a subject for another blog at another time.
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