ND News | May 17, 2016
Let’s get something straight right off the bat. I don’t like John Boehner. I love him. Father Jenkins, Notre Dame, thank you. Thank you for this honor — the Laetare Medal. I can say, without fear of contradiction, it is the most meaningful award I’ve ever received in my life. And my mother Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, I wish she were here, but she’s looking down to see me receive this.
But I must say, Father Jenkins, my grandfather, Ambrose Finnegan, who played for Santa Clara at the turn of the century and was a newspaperman at Scranton, always resented Notre Dame. Because Santa Clara had a football team, particularly in the teens and ’20s and ’30s, referred to as the Notre Dame of the west. He said, “Hell, they’re the Santa Clara of the Midwest.” Grandpop, forgive me. I played football at the University of Delaware and in high school, and I finally made it to the 50-yard line in Notre Dame Stadium, man. This is worth the trip, man. You all think I’m kidding. I’m not.