The Matthew brothers: Pluck of the Irish

From Wayne Scanlan at the Ottawa Citizen on November 9, 2012, with mention of SABR members John Matthew, Paul Matthew and Cappy Gagnon:

If it’s the Thursday before a Fighting Irish home game, then Ottawa’s Paul Matthew has a train to catch.

Not just any iron horse – the 9:40 p.m. train to the land of the Four Horsemen. The overnight train from Syracuse, N.Y. to South Bend, Ind., following a three-hour drive to Syracuse from Ottawa.

Meet Matthew, Canada’s only full time usher at Notre Dame football games, and perhaps the only volunteer in the world who commutes 1,160 kilometres to report for duty. Paul’s brother, John, is also an ND usher, but occasionally has conflicts with his full time job as marketing producer for in Toronto.

The two used to drive together to South Bend, but now they meet there. John usually flies from Toronto. At the university, they sleep in bunk beds at the home of the man who used to be in charge of stadium security, the man who made it all happen.

The Matthew brothers grew up in Ormond, off Highway 31, south of Ottawa and north of Winchester, On. So, how did a couple of Ottawa area guys end up with a gig at historic Notre Dame Stadium, astride the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus?

Sitting in a chair at his day job with Statscan at Tunney’s Pasture, Paul Matthew answers the question with a Sammy Sosa quote:

“Baseball been berry berry good to me.”

Yes, baseball, not football, is the link to the usher duties at the University of Notre Dame. The Matthew brothers are sabermetricians, baseball number geeks who belong to the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). More than a decade ago at one of the regular SABR conventions, they met former SABR president Cappy Gagnon, who happened to be head of security at ND Stadium until he retired a couple of years ago.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 9, 2012. Last Updated: November 9, 2012.