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  Editor's Note
     
   

When I mentioned to Frank Mastrandrea ’88, the College’s director of athletic media relations, my notion of running a “Top 10 Holy Cross Athletes” list, his response was immediate and blunt—“Are you out of your mind?”

“Bad idea?” I asked.

Frank gave the bemused smile of one who has survived more than his share of debates over things both athletic and Holy Cross.

“You can’t win,” he counseled. “No matter how much you research and weigh the choices, you’ll leave out a hundred worthy people.”

“But Frank,” I pleaded, “that’s the point of a top 10 list. To get people talking. To spur interest and memories. Lists like this are subjective by nature. They’re pure entertainment.”

Frank shook his head at my naiveté.

“You know how passionate Holy Cross sports fans are,” he said. “And there are a lot of issues involved here. Men’s sports have 150 years of history to draw on. Women’s sports have only 25 years. How do we compensate for that?”

“A separate list for men and women athletes?” I ventured.

“Some people might find that patronizing,” he said. “And what about the possibility that football and basketball players might swamp lesser known—but equally talented— athletes in non-revenue sports?”

“You’re taking this too seriously,” I answered. “Our alums will understand that a top 10 list is just an invitation to gab about Holy Cross sports.”

He laughed and said, “Suit yourself. But I’m sending all the angry phone calls your way.”

As I walked from the Field House back to the Hogan Center, I thought about Frank’s warning and, no stranger to angry phone calls, decided to form a committee of experts to assist us with our picks. So we called the dean of sports journalism, our own Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Anderson ’51 of The New York Times, and asked if he’d help out. Dave obliged, along with fellow sports experts Dan Shaughnessy ’75 of The Boston Globe, Bob Gamere ’62, former sportscaster for WNAC-TV in Boston, and Maureen Milliken ’83 of The Manchester Union Leader. You can still send your polite disagreements my way, however.

Alongside our experts’ top 10 list, we’ve provided an ancillary list comprising ballot responses from you, the readers of our winter issue. And we’ve printed the full list of inductees to the Varsity Club’s Hall of Fame. We hope this gives a broad sampling of the men and women who have made Holy Cross athletics such a heartfelt interest for so many alumni and friends over the years.

We anticipate disagreement. We anticipate protracted arguments. We anticipate—and we welcome—letters reminding us of Holy Cross athletes we failed to mention.

In the past, our time-lines have proved a popular feature in the magazine, and athletics seemed a perfect subject for such depiction. Perfect, that is, until we began trying to make item choices from a history too rich and multifaceted to fit into such limited space. We’ve chosen, therefore, a selection of moments both memorable and forgotten, with an eye toward giving a sense of the general evolution of athletics over the life of the College.

Finally, apologies are due Nancy McGinniss and Bill Wenthe. Nancy is the wife of Joe McGinniss ’64, the subject of last issue’s cover story, and she—along with several of Joe’s friends—wondered how we could cover her husband’s life story without mentioning his wife, children or grandchildren. (Nancy, if you can convince Joe to come back to Worcester to speak to our students some night, dinner is on Holy Cross Magazine.) And, in an issue dealing with Holy Cross writers, we certainly should have mentioned Bill Wenthe ’79, whose book, Birds of Hoboken: Poems was published to acclaim a few years back by Orchises Press.

Jack O’Connell ’81
joconnel@holycross.edu

 

 

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