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Kory’s Off-Campus Practice Thoughts – Freshmen Melodies

Aug 7, 2013, 11:50 AM EDT

Former Notre Dame football linebacker Kory Minor (@KMine4) took time out of his busy schedule to write a four-part series chronicling his experiences at off-site training camp facilities with the Irish. Minor, a four-year member of the football squad went on to the NFL for a few years and is currently traveling the country speaking at colleges, universities and corporations on leadership and the concept of winning. Minor’s first book, “Make a Touchdown of Your Life” is due out soon. You can order the book at 

August 5 • Team Building
August 6 • Kory’s Takeaways
August 7 • Freshmen Melodies
August 8 • Lou’s Metaphor

I was tasked with coming up with a funny story about my time at Culver. It is pretty hard to think of a funny story when you are in sweltering heat and football is the only objective. Think of 15 new freshmen recruits all with their heads shaved. I think that is funny enough, yet I need to mention that every night at least two or three guys would break down because we didn’t fully enjoy being at Culver (you can read between the lines on our actual state of mind).

Now a days I can look back and laugh about the times we shared at Culver, but during those times things did not seem so funny. The biggest asset we had at practice was the small lake that was near our practice field. Imagine about 80 or so guys jumping into a lake after every practice, sometimes in full gear. To make it even more hilarious, many of the guys on the squad couldn’t swim. So you have to picture a 6’6”, 355-pound lineman being afraid of going in the water, it was quite hilarious … at least for me.

If we are talking about laughter, I have to talk about the late-night rookie talent (or talent-less shows). These shows were put on by the incoming freshmen and it was required (aka mandatory). The shows last an hour to and hour and a half and were at times funny and at other times, not. Imagine the number-one high school linebacker in the country (which I was) singing on stage in front of his peers. I use the word singing loosely because my tune was absolutely horrific and my acting was no different.

Aside from all the laughs and good-natured ribbing, the rookie shows did allow us to work our way onto the team. I remember safety Mario Strayhorn, who hailed from Cincinnati, was a pure rapper and his melodies and thoughts came together so sweet. He was probably the only rookie that actually had talent (outside of football) and he had the place jumpin’. I give Mario the credit for carrying the rookie show for us; he really had a knack for performing.

Probably the most fun and exciting moment for me was when our freshman class had to learn and recite the Notre Dame Victory March in front of all the other players, staff and administration. The kicker was if you didn’t recite it correctly there would be a small punishment. It was such a big deal to know the words that if you walked through the dormitories in the evening you would every freshman studying the song diligently in preparation for the class sing-a-long. One last time imagine world-class athlete trying to pose as singers. I do have to say this was the highlight for me in my time at Culver and was the reason for many laughs and cheers along the way.

Check back tomorrow for the third part of Kory’s four-part off-campus story series entitled “Freshmen Melodies.”

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