As many of my long-time blog readers know, I never miss an opportunity to highlight Fordham alums' prominent place in the sports media world, because it is an excellent way of annoying Syracuse alums.
With that in mind, below is a news release I got about the many Fordham ties to Super Bowl XLVI. I could have put it in my own words, but much of the gushy charm would have been lost.
(One thing, though: It fails to mention "The Immortal" Chris Majkowski, on duty here as an engineer for WFAN and yet another proud son of Fordham.)
The Super Bowl is a proud time for Fordham University. The "Lombardi Trophy," which, of course, is presented to the National Football League’s championship team, bears the name of the university's most iconic sporting alumnus, Vince Lombardi, class of '37, and a member of the storied "Blocks of Granite."
But when the Giants are in the Super Bowl, the pride is multiplied exponentially. That's because Big Blue's late, great owner, Wellington Mara, is another illustrious Fordham product (like Lombardi, FC '37, Mr. Mara was a manager of the Rams football team during that fabled era). Mr. Mara’s wife Ann Mara, feisty as ever despite a shoulder injury, will be at the game, and has an honorary degree from Fordham; continuing in the family tradition, present co-owner, Wellington’s son, John Mara, graduated from Fordham Law School in 1979.
It doesn't end there, not by a long pass. Bob Papa, the play-by-play radio Voice of the Giants on WFAN (660 AM in New York) is a product of WFUV Radio, the university’s 50,000 watt radio station and a Fordham alumnus, 1986, too. Radio sports broadcasters Michael Kay (’82), (also YES Network’s Yankees play-by-play man) and Ryan Ruocco (’08) of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York, and Paul Dottino (’86), WFAN's Giants beat reporter, are also Fordham graduates covering the big game. Tom Canavan (’76), from New Jersey’s Associated Press headquarters, covers the Giants regularly, and will be chronicling history for the wire service.
"The Super Bowl is always a momentous occasion at Fordham since the ‘Lombardi Trophy’ bears the name of our iconic sporting alumnus, the legendary Vince Lombardi,” said Fordham President Fr. Joseph McShane, SJ. “This year's game, as it did in 2008, takes on added significance with the Giants participating in the championship, since Wellington Mara, the late, outstanding owner of the Giants is yet another distinguished Fordham grad. We of course are praying for divine intervention."
P.2, Fordham and the Super Bowl
WFUV Radio (90.7 fm/wfuv.org) also has two student broadcasters – John DeMarzo (’12) and Joe Vitello (’13) – are in Indy filing reports for the station. The duo will also be on the air with a podcast called “One-On-One’s NFL Friday.”
Emily Colter (’06), associate producer for the YES Network, and Sean Butler (’05) and Nick Kostos (’05), both producers for Sirius NFL Radio are all in Indianapolis for Super Bowl coverage for their broadcast outlets, and are WFUV products/Fordham alumni, as well.
Among Wellington and Ann Mara’s grandchildren destined for Indianapolis who have Fordham degrees include: Dan Mara, Fordham Law '08; Sean Mara, '11; Conor Mara, '11, and still attending Fordham as undergraduates, Rory Durkin, '13; and John McDonnell, '14. Yet another Fordham grad, Mara Durkin, '09, is a teacher in South Africa, so she will be rooting from afar.
As the university's fight song goes, "Hail Men of Fordham, hail, onto the fray."