And as the Grateful Dead sang ... what a long strange (AMAZING!) trip it has been!
I will admit, going into this, I never thought this was going to be quite the incredible experience that this truly has turned out to be, but I must say this has been one hell of a ride! Let me extend a HUGE thank you to Volvo and the Big East Conference for giving me this incredible opportunity!!
It all started back in October with our trip to New York City to attend Big East Basketball Media day. We got two all-expenses paid days in New York City. We got to attend Big East Basketball Media day, and rub elbows with the players and coaches. And I got a chance to catch up with a few college friends while I was there. I couldn't have asked for anything more ... well, except for a bit more sunshine!
Then, the challenges began!
Challenge #1 ... Build your Big East Basketball Dream team. This was fun for me because I really got to dig into what makes Big East Basketball great, and create a team that encapsulated the best of the best of Big East Basketball!
Challenge #2 ... Create the Ultimate Notre Dame Weekend. I think this was one of my favorite posts. I love to share places to see and things to do at my alma mater. And seeing as my friends have so lovingly given me the nickname the "Mayor of Notre Dame" I think I am just the person to tour you around Notre Dame!
[Grotto photo courtesy of Kathleen]
Challenge #3 ... Create the Ultimate Big East Road Trip. This post was fun for me to write, because I combined a road trip, in a nice shiny VOLVO, to three great Big East Schools that are also three of my all-time favorite cites ... Milwaukee, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. I just may have to make this road trip this summer! ... in my new Volvo?!
[Georgia O'Keeffe, Art Institute of Chicago]
Challenge #4 ... Customize a Volvo S60 with your school spirit. This post was a blast to write, and really let my school spirit creativity shine. There are a few Catholic references in this post that you may have missed if you are not Catholic, but I think this car would be a big seller amongst Notre Dame alum and fans!
Challenge #5 ... What are the best traditions for your Alma Mater and why? This post gave me a chance to share the Notre Dame traditions that most non-student Notre Dame fans may not have known about. Along with sharing some of my own personal stories. I know every Notre Dame fan knows the usual football/sports related traditions, but I did my best to touch on some of the not-so-known traditions of Notre Dame du lac.
And then came my Alma Mater weekend. I was very much looking forward to my Alma Mater weekend, but I had NO IDEA it would be the absolutely incredible weekend that it turned out to be. I was pretty psyched to be at Notre Dame to see number ranked Syracuse come to town. And I was fairly confident that this Irish team could beat Syracuse. But as the seconds of this game ticked down, and I could see history being made, I seriously had to pinch myself ... was this real?! The weekend is honestly my new best Notre Dame moment. I'm not sure that this one will be topped for a long time. I am so truly thankful to Volvo and the Big East Conference for making this all possible for me. Amazing.
[Photo courtesy of Matt Cashore]
Not to mention the amazing (AMAZING) folks at Notre Dame who helped me video document my weekend. I cannot thank you all enough either!!
Alma Mater Video #1
Alma Mater Video #2
Oh ... and did I mention ... they got me on the JUMBO TRON!!!
Challenge #6 ... What are your favorite places to watch your team when you can't be at your hometown arena (for me … The Purcell Pavilion)? This post was great because I got to share the fun places that we head out to when we watch Notre Dame Basketball. And of course, where else would you want to be to watch Big East Basketball other than Madison Square Garden!? Duh!!
Challenge #7 ... Please make a blog post about your opinion of the following:
10 Best Big East Basketball Moments of all time
10 Best Big East Basketball Teams of all time
10 Best Big East Basketball Players of all time
This post was quite a challenge indeed, but I had a blast writing it. There are so many great players, teams, and moments in the Big East Conference. It is extremely difficult to narrow it down to ten in each category. But I had a great time putting it all together!
And here we are, almost at the end of the road! Once again, I'd like to thank Volvo and the Big East Conference for making all of these wonderful experiences possible for me. This is definitely an experience I will not likely soon forget!
Of course ... while I've got you here ... can I make one more shameless plug for votes. Please go to my profile, vote, and vote often!!
Thank you again, to all of my blog readers and Twitter followers, for all of your support over the last several months. You have all been absolutely amazing. Thank you! When I win the Volvo S60 ... you can all have a ride!
I would also like to mention how absolutely wonderful my fellow contestants have been. It has been really fun [and entertaining] getting to know this awesome group of bloggers, and I know that I will keep in touch with many of them for years to come!
[Here is the motley crew!]
Okay, I guess that's it! I hope that you all have enjoyed coming along with me for this ride, and thank you ... once again ... for all of your support!!