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"Around 20 Questions" with...Former Notre Dame football player Darrell "Flash" Gordon

Welcome to the latest installation of "Around 20 Questions," a feature hoping to become a regular fixture on Insights. The hope is to do a few of these a week with the tentative schedule being Mondays -- non-revenue athletes; Wednesday -- an athletic alumni; Thursday -- football/men's basketball/women's basketball player or coach. If there is anyone you want us to talk to or any tips on who inside the wacky Notre Dame world might be a good, pithy interview subject, drop an e-mail to mrothstein@jg.net Darrell "Flash" Gordon played on Notre Dame's 1988 National Championship football team, a 6-foot-3, 214-pound defensive end that helped anchor a defense which stopped, among others, Miami, USC and a Major Harris-led West Virginia team on the way to the championship. Sadly, though, he wasn't this Flash Gordon. After a couple weeks of phone tag, we caught up with Gordon.

Irish Insights: What have you been up to lately?

Flash Gordon: "Currently, I've recently completed my law degree and got my master's from Notre Dame, worked for the NCAA for a while and at law firms and a company called IMG, a sports management firm in Cleveland. Now, I'm running and CEO of a residence for kids who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. I'm just enjoying what I'm doing. I'm doing adjunct work at Ball State in sports law. That keeps me real busy."

II: How'd you get involved in Wernle Children's Home?

FG: "I've always enjoyed that aspect of my work and when I was with the NCAA, I was working with legislation and I was also responsible for a character development program for youth. It was a national program at the NCAA and then was contacted about this opportunity for this home. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to help."

II: When you teach at Ball State, do people know who you are? That you won a national championship?

FG: "You know, some see the ring and they recognize it and some people don't. It just depends on the group. But normally by the time it's over, everybody kind of understands."

II: Do you mention it at some point?

FG: "I'm not that kind of guy. But then you'll get somebody who will put me in Google and come back and say 'Hey.' And then they normally find out that way, fortunately or unfortunately."

II: At Notre Dame, you were known as "Flash." When did that go by the wayside (giving way to Darrell)?

FG: "Uh, I still go on Notre Dame's campus and people still call me by Flash. When I hear people call me that name, I know it's a Notre Dame contact. I still get it today. But as time progressed, more folks called me by Darrell because they didn't understand my background. But when I'm around Notre Dame, I hear Flash."

II: I know this is going back, but where did the nickname come from?

FG: "Actually, it came from my older brother. I think it was in high school. Actually, Pop Warner, there was a coach who saw my speed and said 'Maybe we should call him Flash.' And, that's kind of how it started. Then my older brother became a professional boxer and he kind of stole the name. He kind of stole it and then I kind of stole it back. We've used that name all throughout the family."

II: So did you have tattoos of lightning bolts? Did you dress up as "The Flash" for Halloween?

FG: "(Laughs). I've always been a modest individual and never did those kinds of things but, everyone was quick to buy those things for me, though. It was interesting."

II: Have your kids stolen the nickname from you now?

FG: "Yeah, I've tried to start my son with it. He's five. We call him 'Little Flash.' So we've passed it on to the next generation. We'll see how it plays out."

Previous "Around 20 Questions:" Aug. 11: Christina Kaelin, women's volleyball.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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