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Breaking The Monotony – Meeting The 2013 Football Beat Writer

Aug 30, 2013, 9:59 AM EDT

Craig '15, with his sister, Lauren '13 at the Big House a few years back

This is Craig Chval’s introductory post about his expectations for the Strong & True (Notre Dame Football) blog for this upcoming season. Chval was recently named the Notre Dame athletic department’s official football blogger for the 2013 season. You can follow Chval and the rest of the student beat writers on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.

Have you ever noticed that you follow sports a lot more closely when your team is good? As a White Sox fan, I’ve kept fewer tabs on Major League Baseball this season than any since I was a little kid. If it weren’t for the hourly updates of his whereabouts, I’d be surprised if I would even know who Yasiel Puig was.


It’s not that I’m a fair-weather fan. I still follow the team, keep up with stats, and check that they lost every day. I’m just not particularly masochistic, so I don’t go searching for more articles that tell me how bad the White Sox are.


But when my team is really good? Oh boy, I can’t get enough – I thirst for any shred of information I can find. When the national news coverage dries up, I Google my team’s name to find lesser-known sources. I’ll dig up an article from a high school paper in Pigsknuckle, Arkansas just to soak it all in.


You’re reading a Notre Dame football blog, so you probably know what I’m talking about. Or maybe not – maybe I’m just weird. But last year I probably read every single article published about Notre Dame the last week of November, just to see the words “beat USC” and “BCS championship berth” over and over again.


And those are the key words: “over and over again.” In my search for all things Notre Dame that week, the available content was about as diverse as an episode of Friends.


To make a long story short (too late, I know), my goal this fall is to break up the monotony.


As the newest blogger for Strong and True, I will be writing multiple entries each week centered around that week’s game. But you don’t want to read the same thing over and over again, and I don’t want to write what everyone else is writing. Besides, if you want insight, you’re going to get it from people who are qualified. You watched the game – you don’t need some 20-year-old math major to tell you what you saw.


What separates me from my professional counterparts isn’t football acumen or eloquent charm. It’s not any skill that I have that sets me apart, but rather something I share with 8,000 other kids. As one student body, we live in the same dorms, eat in the same dining hall, and sit in the same classrooms – football players included.


When you Google “Notre Dame,” I want you to find something here that isn’t scrapped together from the AP release or postgame press conference. I want to be able to deliver the kind of depth you’re looking for. And I think I can do that because this isn’t the kind of student body that divides the athletes from other students based on how many online classes they have.


But before you close your browser because of how weak a credential that is, I am a little bit qualified beyond just my status as a student. Some of you might know me as the slightlyless-pleasant little brother of the adorable, teenage-looking girl who catalogued her magical senior year last season. Like Lauren, I’ve been writing for a while, including for Notre Dame’s website and football programs. Unlike Lauren, my blogs probably won’t be filled with rainbows and smiles. If that’s your kind of thing, she’s actually still writing for Strong and True – though she doesn’t even go here.


As Lauren often pointed out, one of the attributes that sets Notre Dame apart is the connection between its team and its students. Hopefully as the season goes along, this blog will become a reflection of Notre Dame’s uniqueness and excellence. It’s not like I have a lot of baseball to distract me.

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