Notre Dame nation isn't as strong today as it was a day ago, and that is because we lost the great, incomparable Lou Somogyi of Blue & Gold Illustrated.

If all you knew about Lou was his tremendous writing and brilliance when it came to knowledge about Notre Dame football then you were certainly blessed. Lou defined greatness when it came to writing, telling stories and displaying a passion for what makes Notre Dame unique. It was always fun watching him walk out of the stadium after games, and inevitably there was always someone who recognized Lou, and they would come up and say hi, thank him and you could see the joy they had from reading his words over the years.

What you missed, if that's the only part about Lou Somogyi that you knew, is that as great as he was professionally, it doesn't come close to how amazing he was as a man, as a human being. Lou was genuinely one of the most amazing, wonderful people that you could ever meet.

Lou was kind, he was caring, he had a gentle soul, he felt deeply and no matter what might have been going on in his life, he cared more about making sure others were in a good place. When we did shows together I often called him things like "great" and "the legend." I did that for two reasons, one is because it was true. Two is because it made Lou blush, because he didn't see himself that way. He was far too humble, far too modest, quick to deflect praise onto others. Lou felt those around him lifted him up and made him better, but anyone that knew Lou or worked with Lou knew the truth, he made us better. If you were blessed to be around Lou for any period of time you were not going to be the same, you were going to be better. Lou challenged you to be better simply by being himself.

The world was better with Lou in it. My life was better when Lou was in it. Everyone that knew him was touched by his kindness, his mercy, his grace and his smile. Lou worked constantly, but he was quick to stop whatever he was doing if someone was in need. When my wife and I had to make the decision to part with our beloved dog, Lou took the time to cry with me, and he gave me a card that was instrumental in us getting through that tough time. When my wife got sick with Covid, Lou immediately stepped up and went to the grocery store for us, without asking, and I know he had a lot of work to do putting out the magazine. He called me almost daily during that time to make sure our needs were met.

I could share a million similar stories, and so could everyone that ever worked with him. 

That's who Lou was. He was the embodiment of how we are supposed to be as people. Always outward focused, caring more about those around him than he did about himself. Incredibly loyal. Kind. He leaves this world having made the kind of impact we should all strive for. He won't be remembered just for his brilliance professionally, but the people that knew him were impacted positively for him. The world around him was brighter because of how his light shined.

Working with Lou was truly an honor and a privilege. Having him as a friend meant even more.

In an era where people like to debate about the GOAT, when it comes to Notre Dame football there is no debate. That answer is easy, it is Lou Somogyi.