One-on-one with Mike Collins, the voice of Notre Dame football
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- In 1982, Mike Collins first welcomed fans to Notre Dame Stadium. Now nearly 4 decades later, Collins begins his final season as the public address announcer for Fighting Irish football. While it will be a very different atmosphere this year, Collins appreciates the job he has to do.
"This is unlike the previous 38 seasons. So many things are in flux. It hasn't been as easy to be prepared because not everybody can be ready to go. So you know, there might be a couple of hurdles but my attitude is, this is going to be really, really different and it will be a rather intimate gathering at the stadium and I think it's going to be my job this year to be better than ever. And I'm just hoping my voice will be a sense of normal for 3 plus hours. That's what I'm hoping for, that they'll hear that voice and they'll think, 'Oh, it's like a real football game,'" Collins said.
"Your voice is such a huge part of game day. On the field, inside the stadium, so yeah I mean that definitely does provide a sense of normalcy, maybe, for the players. They can't listen to every word you say but when they hear your voice, they hear you say, 'Here come the Irish.' they know it's time to play," Allison said.
"I have learned over the years, I call them kids, those players, oh they hear their names. Trust me. And their mothers and fathers hear their names. I've heard squealing from down below and I know it's a mom who just heard her boy's name. So that's not going to change. They can squeal again. I'm pretty sure the families of the players will be allowed to come into the stadium. So I want it to be the same for them. Ian Book or some running back says, 'I heard my name,'" Collins said.
“If we do have a full season and this is officially your final season of football. Have you thought about what life will be like without Notre Dame football?” Allison said.
“I’ll tell you what I’ve thought about. It will be real hard for me to get through the alma mater after the last game. And I don’t want to be a big cry baby in the booth but when they play it at funerals and weddings I get all weepy. So that’s what I’ve thought about. As for the first season I’m not doing this, I don’t know, I guess I can drink beer and watch it on television. I don’t know," Collins said.
Collins said if the Irish have to postpone the season he would consider coming back for a true final run.
He says the only way things could get tricky is if the season is moved to the spring. He and his wife Melissa live full time in Sarasota and he calls Spring Training games for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He says if it is moved to spring, he will rack up a lot of frequent flier miles.