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The Triple Option: The Time I Chose Viggo Mortensen Over Notre Dame Football

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Plus: Mike Gundy, Alohi Gilman and Green Bay’s economic forecast

US actor Viggo Mortensen (C), supporter
 US actor Viggo Mortensen (C), supporter of Argentina’s football team San Lorenzo, attends Argentina’s First Division football match against Argentinos Juniors at Diego Maradona Stadium in Buenos Aires on December 14, 2008. San Lorenzo won 1-0 and qualified for playoffs aganist Boca Juniors and Tigre.
JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images

Notre Dame is re-airing its 2006 game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at 7 Eastern tonight, which is a game I missed the first time because I was waiting for Viggo Mortensen.

Mortensen had returned to Watertown, where I was a local political reporter, for an appearance with Robert Johnson, a Democratic congressional candidate. I had started Thursday with the Academy Award nominated actor and Dr. Bob in Plattsburgh; the culmination of this three-day fundraising blitz coincided with that afternoon’s game.

I can’t say enough nice things about Mortensen, who called me from Madrid, Spain, about two weeks before the road tour. He was incredibly generous with his time, and we discussed everything from politics to our shared affinity for the New York Mets.

Notre Dame released the entire Penn State game in mid-April, so I was able to see it for the first time. It’s a very lopsided affair. If you have to choose between seeing Viggo Mortensen in person or watching Irish football, I’d recommend the actor 10 out of 10 times. (If the actor is Ed Harris, choose Irish football. But that’s a story for another time.)

INSIDE THE MIKE GUNDY PR CRISES, AS TOLD BY FOIA’ED EMAILS

In his Extra Points newsletter today, Matt Brown and his colleagues at the Intercollegiate dive into the crises caused by Oklahoma State Cowboys Coach Mike Gundy.

Here’s the most interesting part, to me, at least, is that OSU’s top athletics spokesman drafted a statement for Gundy that was actually a lot better than the nonsense that spilled out of the coach three hours later.

I made a horrible mistake in wearing a shirt promoting OAN, a highly political news network, and I am genuinely sorry. I regret the controversy and apologize. While I meant no harm, I know it was inconsiderate-dumb on my part. For too long, Blacks in this country have been treated unjustly and unfairly. I stand solidly with those organizations such as Black Lives Matters to address the systemic racism in our country. Again, I apology to my fellow coaches, players, and fan.

One last point: I love stories told through the Freedom of Information Act. I know too many bloggers who think that requesting documents through FOIA is too intrusive or too complicated. That hasn’t been my experience. And you learn a lot, as Brown and others can attest to.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

My father and I were supposed to go to a bluegrass festival in March, where Cam was scheduled to perform. This was the song I was looking forward to hearing the most. “Diane” is a pretty straightforward song about a woman calling her lover’s wife and apologizing. But there’s a line in there that really resonates: “I’d rather you hate me than not understand.”

SCUTTLED LAMBEAU GAME WORTH $15M TO LOCAL ECONOMY

The game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Wisconsin Badgers, originally scheduled for Oct. 3, would have been worth $15 million to the Green Bay economy, according to tourism officials.

Both Wisconsin and Notre Dame are committed to making up the game at an unspecified future date, at which point Green Bay would theoretically benefit.

DEAR ALOHI

Former Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman, one of seven children, received seven wishes of encouragement from his family:

  1. “Always keep your belief in God and remember that you’re a part of him. Remember who you are.”
  2. “You are Hawaiian. Continue to carry the Hawaiian values of unity, hard work and using your heart to lead. And know that your ancestors have paved the way for you and continue to walk with you on this journey.”
  3. “Be a humble leader, a leader who serves others.”
  4. “Continue to remain a warrior on the field and a gentleman off the field.”
  5. “Despite many challenges along the way, you’ve always been driven by your passion for football.”
  6. “Always trust your gut as you make decisions during this journey.”
  7. “Go crazy! Just do you and enjoy this part of your life. Know that your family loves and supports you always.”