Bob Smizik

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Ex-Steelers and Butler High grad Terry Hanratty will be a lot more nervous sitting in the stands tomorrow night watching Notre Dame play for the national championship than he was 46 years ago when he quarterbacked the Fighting Irish to the national championship: The reason: His son, Conor, will be playing for Notre Dame.

By Dave Ruden, Connecticut Post

NEW CANAAN -- The football field was a place of solace for Terry Hanratty. It was the easel where he painted his greatest masterpieces, the stage from which he commanded and earned his loudest applause.

"I never got nervous for games," Hanratty said. "Never once. In the locker room I would be making jokes. The hard part of the job was Monday through Friday. The fun part was Saturday. I was as loose as can be."

Perhaps it was such carefree abandon that allowed Hanratty to enjoy a stellar high school career as a quarterback in Pennsylvania, help lead Notre Dame to the national championship in 1966 and play for seven years in the NFL, including on two Super Bowl winners with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hanratty admitted, however, that when he takes his seat Monday night at Sun Life Stadium in Miami to watch his alma mater in the BCS title game, his stomach will be churning, the same as when he was sitting in the stands at Dunning Field on Friday nights.

Read the rest of the story.

Comments (19)Add Comment
written by csf, January 06, 2013 - 02:17 pm
I find it somewhat ironic that Hanraty's were voted No. 1 in '66 despite finishing with a tie while Alabama went undefeated and finished No. 2
written by The Blob, January 06, 2013 - 02:44 pm
Golden memories - Hanratty to Seymour. Used to watch the replys Sunday morning with Linsey Nelson.
written by Darkhorses, January 06, 2013 - 02:55 pm
"I find it somewhat ironic that Hanraty's were voted No. 1 in '66 despite finishing with a tie while Alabama went undefeated and finished No. 2"

Just read an artice on Alabama/ND rivalry that touched on that. Alabama finished third behind michingan State. Alabama felt they victim of their views on civil rights and ND's media perception
written by 123, January 06, 2013 - 03:33 pm
I believe the best sports book about football ever written is "About Three Bricks Shy Of A Load," by Roy Blount Jr. covering the 1973 Pittsburgh Steelers who were the formative stage of building their dynasty.

Hanratty, Joe Gilliam and Terry Bradshaw all played QB that year and the Steelers were going through huge growing pains.

Also, captured a lot of the lore of the franchise as many of the principals from their past were still present like The Chief!

Notre Dame has some other legacy NFL players this year...Mike Golic's two kids and George Atkinson's son.

I see where ND QB legend and Bishop Canevin grad Tom Clements is getting some interviews as an HC. That'd be great.
written by csf, January 06, 2013 - 04:02 pm
Darhorses, FWIW, ND's John Huarte also beat out Bama's Joe Namath for the Heisman in '64
written by hammertime, January 06, 2013 - 04:54 pm
he won't have to be nervous for long. they're going to get crushed.
written by SonnyDrysdale, January 06, 2013 - 06:39 pm
The '66 MSU ND game had about 20 guys that played in the AFL and NFL. Hanratty started as a sophomore and was great from the beginning. The 66 team gave up less than 40 points for the season.

I remember going to see ND Pitt the next year and the shear numbers of players ND had on the sideline was impressive. My cousin played DB for Pitt and he just shook his head after the game at the talent that team had
written by SonnyDrysdale, January 06, 2013 - 06:42 pm

Jim Seymour recently passed away.
written by lordbyron, January 06, 2013 - 08:40 pm

Nice find and story. As I remember, Terry was a pleasant surprise for ND as well.
written by Max, January 06, 2013 - 09:19 pm

Across failed series after failed series, painful step after painful step, Washington coach Mike Shanahan stuck to his guns and to his hobbled quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose damaged knee left him almost incapable of playing.

Sounds like a case to Tomlin-Leftwich syndrome. smilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/cheesy.gif
written by Max, January 06, 2013 - 09:30 pm

Butler High turned out several pro players around that time. There was Bill Saul who played MLB for the Steelers, and his younger twin brothers Ron and RIchie, I think, who also made it to the pros. And there were some others I can;t recall the names of.

written by Whistle Pig, January 06, 2013 - 09:49 pm
Mike Kelly made it to Congress. Lots of good players who went on to college ball. Not sure there were others who mad the pros from that era.
written by Whistle Pig, January 06, 2013 - 09:51 pm
Hanratty was an amazing athlete. Not real big, but a heckuva high jumper.And I think he was a great d-back until the coach awakened. Art Bernardi had no clue what a QB he had. And he was blessed @ NDU with a great receiver in Seymour.
written by The Blob, January 06, 2013 - 10:17 pm
Hanratty used to drive Noll crazy because of his shenanigans. Hanratty could have been a good offensive coordinator if he was more serious about the game.
written by mustard, January 06, 2013 - 11:42 pm
ND did not go for a two point conversion late in the 1966 game with Michigan State and should never have been given the Natl Championship
written by SonnyDrysdale, January 07, 2013 - 05:31 am


What game were you watching? It surely wasn't in 1966
written by BBnG, January 07, 2013 - 10:54 am
Go Irish!
written by lambert58, January 07, 2013 - 12:26 pm
mustard: By playing for a tie, ND did save the national championship. Your opinion - - 48 years later - - that they "should never have been given the Natl Championship" don`t mean bupkes.
written by Whistle Pig, January 07, 2013 - 09:57 pm
Would have to agree about ND not meriting the title. Except for one thing.

They were Notre Dame. While still expensive perfume today (as we see in their being invited to the BCS with clearly any number of teams, probably 3 or 4 in the SEC alone vastly better), not what it was then. But still good enough to get them into the big dance.

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