During the opening assembly on the first day of school, Friday, September 8, 2023, Headmaster Burke interviewed Jim Nantz, legendary CBS sportscaster and author of our All School Read, “Always by My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other.”
Headmaster Burke kicked off the interview asking Nantz to recall what he was like when he was the age of Arrows in the audience. “At the age that you are right now...I had a lot of dreams,” Nantz reminisced. “I knew then exactly what I wanted to do with my life.”
Not only did Nantz have huge dreams when he was young, but so did many of his closest friends. In college, all three of Nantz’ roommates aspired to be professional golfers, and Nantz dreamt of broadcasting for CBS and presenting the green jacket to the winner of The Masters. They believed so strongly in their dreams, that they even practiced the green jacket ceremony in their dorm room.
“I really believe that lifting each other up, thinking of the other first, it comes right back at you,” asserted Nantz. “Our dreams were pretty outlandish, and they were never met with ridicule. I never was surrounded by doubters. So as a result, they made me feel like what I wanted to do was going to happen. I like to think that my belief in them helped embolden them to be able to reach their dreams. A positive attitude goes a long way.”
This kind of brotherhood and positive encouragement towards each other, akin to what is taught at St. Sebastian’s, compounded and propelled their dreams into reality. Years after their dorm room rehearsals, all three of Nantz' roommates became PGA golfers, and one of them, Fred Couples, won The Masters. As fate would have it, Nantz was there to present the green jacket to him.
Nantz stressed the importance of a positive outlook during the interview with Headmaster Burke, as well as throughout his book. While there are doubters on social media and on the field ready to pick one apart, Nantz tells the story of players and coaches and sheds a positive light on them. In his book, Nantz shares his father’s story, who played a pivotal role in inspiring Nantz to be the man he is today. As Nantz says, “goodness always wins.” So, it’s fitting that all the proceeds from his book, which became an instant New York Times Bestseller upon its release, went to the Nantz National Alzheimer’s Center, at the University of Houston – another one of his dreams that came true.
Nantz encouraged Arrows to pursue goodness and to believe. By believing in their brothers’ dreams just as much as their own dreams, Arrows will truly realize Headmaster Burke’s favorite phrase, “the essence of life is in relationships.”
Special thanks to Berj Najarian P’24,’25 for helping bring Jim Nantz to St. Sebastian’s.