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Notre Dame Football Bye Week Q&A, Part 3: Partially Resolving a One-Sided Feud with Pete Sampson

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Bye Week means I’m out here interviewing lots of people: Jessica Smetana, Ty Hildenbrandt, Pat Kuntz, Tom Noie...here’s Part 3 with Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson, talking about nothing, but at the same time, talking about EVERYTHING

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan State Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Bye Week Saturday, Irish fans!!!!!

The Bye Week Q&A continues this morning with Part 3, an interview with Irish Illustrated’s Pete Sampson.

However, I didn’t ask Pete any questions about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team’s 2017 season. Nay, I have been in a major feud with Mr. Sampson for over a year now, and so I felt the need to pepper him with more...unorthodox questions for this interview.

But before we get to that, I feel the need to explain this “feud,” because it’s absolutely a feud that I concocted and that likely only exists in my head (and maybe in the heads of my friends).

Nevertheless, it’s one of the most important conflicts of our time, and you need to be knowledgeable about it so you can take my side and help me accomplish the ultimate goal — getting Pete and his fellow Irish Illustrated podcast hosts Tim O’Malley and Tim Prister to answer one of my questions on their weekly podcast.

It All Started With Ocean’s Eleven

I’ve never met Pete in person. I think one time we shared an elevator at a hotel in Greenville during Clemson weekend, but I’ve never spoken to him in real life.

No, like any good millennial, I first reached out to Pete via Twitter, in response to his sincere request for football questions for the Irish Illustrated podcast in late summer, 2016.

I...did not provide the type of question he was looking for, at all. However, in my humble opinion, I provided an even better question than the boring football questions he normally has to answer. I was looking out for the entertainment value of his podcast. This was meant to be a favor.

8/25/16

Pete disregarded my question, though, and failed to even acknowledge the greatness of it, and this left me quite miffed. I know, you know, and we all know that this is the kind of thing people want to hear about on a Notre Dame sports podcast.

So, I let him hear it.

8/26/16

This got Pete’s attention, and he made excuses about needing time to answer such a heavy question, and began to discuss with me some of his preliminary thoughts.

I had him thinking about it.

“Okay, I can buy that,” I thought to myself.

This seemed like we were on the brink of a fantastic answer being introduced on the Irish Illustrated podcast, and a lively discussion between the three hosts was certain to follow.

Fast-forward two weeks, and I’d heard nothing since then. Things were looking bleak, and I was at a crossroads.

I could abandon the question and chalk it up to a busy reporter with lots of questions coming at him just not having the time to tackle a beautiful question that melds football and cinema into one complete package.

Or, I could persist, constantly asking Pete the question until he became worn down and decided to answer it on his podcast just to shut me up.

This, obviously, was the path I chose. Little did I know, though, that Pete was willing to hunker down and withstand a Twitter onslaught that eventually ended up including my friends joining in and asking Pete the same question with me.

Our questions falling on non-listening ears went on for about a month...

9/8/16

9/14/16

9/15/16

9/21/16

Then, finally, on September 21st, a breakthrough!

9/21/16

Pete finally responded, and promised to cover the topic in the bye week podcast. This was positive news, even if he did use a very fake and passive aggressive “Haha” at the end of the tweet (if he actually wanted to convey he thought it was funny, he should have used 3, not 2, “ha”s.

Nonetheless, it was a heartening development. So, we patiently waited, but still made sure to keep it atop Pete’s mind, knowing full well this wasn’t his top priority and could easily fall by the wayside.

10/13/16

Finally, the bye week came. We were excited, and we were anxious.

10/18/16

Then, disappointing news was delivered.

After 2 months of Pete ignoring us and then assuring us he would tackle the issue during the bye week, he did not tackle the issue during the bye week.

Pete’s promise of answering it on his podcast the next week helped a little, but still seemed like a potentially empty promise based on what had already transpired. My personal beef with Pete was growing.

Then, finally, the next week’s podcast came around, and Pete failed to deliver again.

He did finally answer the question in detail a couple days later in a screenshot of his choices that he tweeted to me.

10/27/16

But he never brought it into the podcast, and so the lack of on-air discussion about Notre Dame players and Ocean’s Eleven casino heists stoked a fire within me that would only grow during a long offseason.

Double Dare 2000

After a winter, spring, and summer spent stewing over Pete’s lackadaisical effort to bring the Ocean’s Eleven discussion to Irish nation, I noticed Pete asking for questions for the podcast once again as the 2017 season drew near.

So, refusing to be bested, I redoubled my efforts in getting Pete to answer another great question on his podcast. And my friends once again jumped in to help me out.

8/6/17

8/14/17

The constant trash talk from us about Nickelodeon game shows clearly began to get to Pete, who normally shows very little weakness in our Twitter interactions.

And when he showed weakness, we piled on. We were going for the kill.

As August moved forward, we continued to pepper Pete with the now infamous Double Dare question, as well as a few other classic game show/ND football mashup questions.

8/21/17

And although he still refused to answer the Double Dare question, Pete began to meet us in the middle and show some general interest in what we were talking about. Here he is asking a clarifying question about Who Wants to Be A Millionaire on August 21st:

So, we kept going, as we knew we had Pete on the ropes. We NEEDED Pete to answer this Double Dare question, and it was only a matter of time. We just had to keep asking.

8/28/17

Despite our steely resolve, there were moments when we thought it was a lost cause, or even that we didn’t deserve Pete’s Double Dare analysis.

But we could not be denied. I refused to quit tweeting my Double Dare question. This was about journalistic integrity.

I had to do this — for not only myself, but for the people, and for the profession.

On Labor Day weekend, I responded to Pete’s request for game predictions, and he replied with a Double Dare reference of his own.

Even when I didn’t bring it up, clearly it was haunting Pete:

9/1/17

Indeed, Pat from September 1st. We are, indeed, now cookin’ with gas.

I began taking every chance I had to work Double Dare into a Twitter reply to Pete. It was time to overwhelm him and push him to the brink of sanity. I had to break him.

9/10/17

9/14/17

Even people I’ve never met before began to have my back in this endeavor. This was becoming a #movement.

Pete took notice and tried to buy himself some time.

And so we kept at it, every week, like clockwork. We even used Pete’s own time-buying tactics against him.

9/21/17

Then, at the end of September, we had a huge moment that would only serve to fuel the fire inside our hearts. It began with my normal response to Pete’s weekly tweet.

9/28/17

Then, thanks to a strategic tweet from my friend Pat C, something truly amazing happened...

That’s right folks, our constant tweet-storm of questions drove Pete Sampson to make and send a fantastic photoshopped image of Dexter Williams as a team member of the Blue Barracudas from the old Nickelodeon game show, Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Unfortunately, Dexter could not confirm the accuracy of the image...

...but it was still a huge step forward.

Then, finally, this past week, we had an even bigger breakthrough.

I asked Pete to answer a question for my Bye Week Q&A series, and despite making it clear I only wanted to ask him the one all-important question, he finally folded and decided it was time to stop fighting the Double Dare Revolution.

10/10/17

So, I sent Pete an entire list of non-football-related questions, and even buried the Double Dare question at the bottom of the list out of spite.

Pete went silent for 2 days, so I decided to give him one, final, public nudge. It was time to bring it home.

10/12/17

This was the finger pushing the first domino over. This was your friend pulling the wrong Jenga block. This was a person on the bottom row of a human pyramid deciding to get up and leave. The flood gates opened, and the Pete Sampson answers came through all at once.

And so, without further ado, despite the fact he STILL hasn’t brought any of our questions to his podcast, here are Pete’s unedited, unfiltered answers to all the most important questions we had for him (collected from people on Facebook and Twitter).

Hopefully, with this major step of him agreeing to a full interview on inane topics, we can get the next question we ask him actually into the podcast and officially accomplish what we set out to accomplish all those months ago.

We aren’t completely there yet, but damnit if this isn’t the second-to-last step in what has been a truly miraculous, arduous, and rewarding journey.

***

1. If the Irish Illustrated writers were the members of Destiny’s Child, who would be Beyoncé? And Kelly and Michelle?

My knowledge of this subject is limited, but as the only person on staff who’s seen Jay-Z in concert, I think that automatically makes me Beyoncé. Obviously, I don’t quite measure up in pipes, hair or general style. I also don’t have a child named after a color. But let’s just roll with this.

I feel like Prister is more Kelly and O’Malley is more Michelle. But I have a hard time defending those positions.

ahhhh heck yeah

2. Have you seen all of The Office? If so, where does Dwight’s go-to warehouse guy Nate rank in your favorite characters? I’d also be curious just to see your top 15 characters list in general, if possible.

Have I seen The Office? I used to work on a CSA farm and guess what my primary crop was?

Damn right, beets.

From the hours of 7-10 a.m. every Wednesday for about three straight summers I was a beet farmer. I identify with Dwight in so many ways.

I’m sad to say that I never had much of an affinity for Nate in the warehouse. Darryl was such a major influence on that crew that he threw my perception of the warehouse off its axis. Anytime I enter a warehouse now, including Costco, I simply think of Darryl. It’s a warm feeling.

My Top 15 characters? At least you’re not asking me to identify who is whom on The Office relative to Notre Dame football.*

Top 15:

  • Michael Scott
  • Creed Bratton
  • Karen Filippeli
  • Gabe Lewis
  • David Wallace
  • Erin Hannon
  • Andy Bernard
  • Darryl Philbin
  • Todd Packer
  • Stanley Hudson
  • Deangelo Vickers
  • Charles Miner
  • Pam Halpert
  • Jim Halpert
  • Kelly Kapoor

*Editor’s note: this is a pretty good idea for the next question to annoy Pete with

3. If you schedule your wedding for a USC football weekend at a venue with no TVs, does that make you a bad friend?

Until this year, “a venue with no TVs” would have included Notre Dame Stadium, which would have made you a great friend if you picked Section 119 as the location of the actual wedding/reception.

Imagine having an usher oversee the ceremony and then when everyone rises for the bride’s entrance, for that usher to then tell everybody to sit down and shut up.

4. Do you prefer the peanut butter or jelly (I assume this friend was talking about in a PB&J sandwich?)?

Peanut butter.

5. Taco vs. burrito. Choose one, and give a reason why.

This is a temperature question for me.

After most Brian Kelly press conferences on Tuesdays, I’ll go to Chipotle for lunch. If the temperature is above 60 degrees, I order tacos (soft shell, flour). If it’s below, a burrito.

To me, the burrito is a means to harden yourself against the harsh Midwest winter (and perhaps the disappointment of November home schedules. Hi Wake Forest!). Tacos keep you lighter on your feet.

6. Answer my Double Dare question, please and thank you.

Chase Claypool, Julian Okwara, Tyler Newsome, Brian Kelly (USF game version)

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game
It’s gotta be the hair, Cotton. It’s beautiful. Feathered, AND lethal!
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

***

I want to give a huge shout out to my arch nemesis Pete, for being a great sport through all of this and answering my questions (although, if he had just brought the original Ocean’s Eleven question to the podcast, none of this would have been necessary).

I implore you all to follow Pete on Twitter, mainly to see me tweet at him some more (and for you to help me tweet at him), but also I guess for his Notre Dame coverage or whatever.

With your help, we can make #PeteShouldAnswerPatsQuestionsOnThePodcast a reality. We just gotta keep our feet moving. We’ve got this.