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BCS Championship: Trick Shot Monday

Jan 7, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT

If you’re a Fighting Irish fan, you know all about tradition. There are few words as commonplace as “tradition” back on campus in South Bend. From dorms to tailgates, Notre Dame students, fans and alums have countless traditions.

A couple of seasons ago, a few members of the Notre Dame football team started a new tradition – Trick Shot Monday.

When it began, it was nothing more than a mindless locker room diversion – a quick weekly break from the hectic schedule of being a student-athlete at Notre Dame.

After a few weeks, the guys started recording it, and Jake Golic put one of the videos on YouTube.

Soon, they began putting a little more effort into it, with multiple cameras and iPhones recording from different angles. We decided to start posting the videos on our football YouTube channel and throughout the 2011 season, Trick Shot Monday, or TSM as it is affectionately known, became a bit of a sensation among the Notre Dame community on social media.

Week in and week out, it was a lot of fun to read the tweets and Facebook posts from fans waiting for the latest video.

Then, in the first Trick Shot Monday of the 2012 season, this happened:

Jake’s shot was featured at #2 in Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays, and just like that TSM went viral.

Before College GameDay visited South Bend for the game against Stanford, reporter Samantha Steele joined the crew in the auditorium.

For the final TSM of the 2012 season (USC Week), the guys took to the training room at the Gug. Manti Te’o even took part in the fun.

In the days and weeks following Notre Dame’s win over the Trojans, people were clamoring for the BCS Championship Edition of Trick Shot Monday, for as important as tradition is to Notre Dame fans, superstition may be a close second.

When there was no video on New Year’s Eve (the final Monday before game day), some Irish supporters started freaking out, like they did when the team skipped BYU week (which fell during fall break, when the team’s practice/meeting schedule was slightly different).

A few of the guys were hoping to do a final trick shot at the team hotel in Florida, but for a while, it seemed like it would not work out.

Then, BCS Media Day happened.

After helping FIDM with an interview with John Goodman, I turned around and saw Jake Golic, who was with none other than than Samantha Ponder (the former Samantha Steele).

She was holding a ping pong ball. “We’re going to try to do trick shot with the Coaches’ Trophy.”

I thought to myself, “What?! No way. This could be the greatest possible finale for Trick Shot Monday.”


Photo from Instagram (@samsteeleponder)

Waiting for a few other players to finish up interviews, I spent some time talking to Jake and Sam. She told us that people have stopped her in airports, and said, “Hey, you’re the girl from Trick Shot Monday!” (Really. I’m not making that up.)

We talked to her about how TSM had inspired spin-offs from fans and even a couple of the other Fighting Irish teams (softball and hockey). The Observer and the Notre Dame football fantasy campers also got in on the action.

I still didn’t think it would happen. I didn’t believe the the Irish could possibly use the coveted crystal football as a prop in Trick Shot Monday.

But after a few minutes of planning (there’s a lot of strategy that goes into TSM), Samantha and the gang started attempting shots. Dozens of media members crowded around, hoping to get a great photo or video of the fun (Some were very confused, a few others possibly offended).

After lots of attempts and a few close shots, an announcement came over the PA, “There are 10 minutes remaining for Notre Dame Media Day.”


Quickly approaching the “zero hour” as Mike Golic Jr. and Kapron Lewis-Moore call it.

Following several misses by the veteran Irish trick shooters, Samantha gave it another go, and in her second attempt off the wooden block, made a significant breakthrough in Trick Shot Monday history.

The first guest winner in TSM history! Some media asked if that might be a bad omen for the Fighting Irish, but as at least one player put it, “Sam is a part of the Trick Shot family.”

Tonight, the Irish play for that same trophy that was used as a backboard for their game. And at the end of the evening, hopefully they will be jumping around, hooting and hollering with it once again, just like they did on Saturday, and like they’ve done each Monday over the past couple years.

With nearly all of the “founding fathers” graduating, I have a tough time seeing TSM carry on next season. But who knows? There’s no telling if Trick Shot Monday continues. I’m almost certain some fans will keep it going.

We’ll always remember this team, and I’m confident that we’ll always remember Trick Shot Monday too.

Years from now, we’ll look back fondly and laugh at the Golics, Kap, Toma, Cierre, Carlo, Stockton, Goody, Braxston and the rest of the gang, for doing something very few people can – making Mondays fun.

If that wasn’t enough, here’s a look back at all the Trick Shot videos from the 2012 season.


Photo from Instagram (@samsteeleponder)


Photo from Instagram (@samsteeleponder)

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