Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 55

50 JANUARY 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS Irish Roundup HOCKEY (9-7-2 OVERALL, 5-3-2 BIG TEN) Following an 8-1-2 start to the season, the No. 15 Fighting Irish lost their next seven contests. The skid be- gan with a 3-2 loss at Michigan State Nov. 23 and continued with a pair of 5-2 defeats in a post-Thanksgiving home-and-home with Bowling Green Nov. 29-30. Notre Dame then suffered 4-0 and 6-1 defeats at Boston College Dec. 6 and Dec. 8. The Irish hosted Penn State Dec. 13-14 and lost the opener 4-2, before snapping their losing streak with a 3-0 win the next night to head into their holiday break on a positive note. Notre Dame resumes action with a home-and-home series versus Western Michigan Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, before hosting Michigan Jan. 10-11. TRACK & FIELD Notre Dame opened its indoor season by hosting Bethel, Butler, DePaul, Detroit Mercy, Marquette and Valparaiso for the Blue-Gold Invitational Dec. 5-6 in South Bend. The Fighting Irish claimed victories in 12 events and amassed a total of 57 top-10 finishes. The Irish return to competition at the GVSU Bill Clinger Invitational Jan. 17 in Allendale, Mich. VOLLEYBALL (19-10 OVERALL, 12-6 ACC) Notre Dame capped the regular season with 3-1 victory versus Duke at home Nov. 29 and finished tied for third in the ACC. The Fighting Irish earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons, but were defeated 3-0 by UCLA in the first round Dec. 10 at Madison, Wis. — Steve Downey BY TODD D. BURLAGE M inding his own busi- ness over lunch with a friend in late November, Tommy McNamara had no intention of becoming a lo- cal hero. The Fighting Irish la- crosse senior midfielder was sitting in a South Bend restaurant shortly before Thanksgiving when a ner- vous-acting young man caught McNamara's eye. "He was coming in and out of the place," McNa- mara said. "He just looked suspicious to me." McNamara's instincts proved warranted when the young man eventually grabbed a patron's purse and fled the restaurant. Situated at a table close to the door, McNamara instinctively took off after the thief. "I'm not exactly sure what came over me," McNamara recalled. "I didn't really even think about it. I just went." It's a good thing that McNamara is a trained Notre Dame athlete because he said the footrace lasted for several minutes. "I wasn't chasing him to tackle him, or get him in trouble, or any- thing like that," McNamara said. "I really just wanted to talk to him and get the purse back." McNamara eventually persuaded the thief to stop running, retrieved the purse, and became curious about the young man's motivation and cir- cumstances for committing such a brazen crime. "He told me that he was in high school," McNamara said. "He couldn't have been more than 15 years old." An experienced summer camp counselor and just a caring guy, Mc- Namara wanted to help this troubled youngster. "I kind of put my counselor hat on," McNamara said. "We talked for quite a while. He was completely apologetic. He didn't want to steal the purse, he felt like he had to. It was a tough conversation, but it was a real one." McNamara admitted to finding it difficult to empathize with the young man. A graduate of the prestigious Haverford School back home in sub- urban Philadelphia, and a soon-to-be Notre Dame graduate, McNamara has enjoyed a comfortable upbringing. "The biggest takeaway for me is this kid, this young teenager, making this decision to steal a purse," McNamara said. "That's a circumstance that myself and prob- ably nobody else here at Notre Dame ever had to go through." Wanting to do more than simply retrieve a purse, McNamara slipped the young man $20 and his cell phone number. "I told him that if he ever just wanted to talk, or if he needed anything, he could call me anytime," McNa- mara said. "Unfortunately, he hasn't reached out, but maybe he will someday." McNamara returned to the restaurant, with the purse, and was greeted with a hero's welcome. "It was funny, the whole place broke into applause," McNamara said. "At the time, I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but reflect- ing on it now, I guess I'm proud that I tried to help without really even thinking about it. I just got up and started running after him." ✦ Irish Lacrosse Player Foils Robbery Attempt Tommy McNamara, a senior midfielder at Notre Dame, became a local hero when he chased down a teenage thief, recovered a stolen purse and then demonstrated remarkable empathy for the young man he caught by sharing $20, his phone num- ber and an offer to talk anytime. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH MEDIA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - January 2020