Married couple enjoying life together as Notre Dame ushers
With so many sights and sounds involved in game day at Notre Dame, it's easy to look past certain essentials such as the hundreds of employees lining the sidelines and concourse throughout the day.
While they may be overlooked by most, two ushers in particular love what they do.
“If you like your job, it’s not a job," said Tom Tyks. "It’s doing what you want to do and enjoying it.”
But further, doing it with the one they love.
“When we’re walking from our car to Notre Dame to go to work," said Tom, "we’re holding hands because we care about each other.”
Tom and his wife, Marietta, may seem like the stereotypical married couple, but they aren't your average gameday employees.
"Yes, granny and grampy have rockers and we watch the days go by," said Marietta. "But we talk, and you have to be able to talk to each other.”
While working several sports, including football, basketball, hockey, and soccer, their love for fan interaction is what makes it all worth it.
“Working in the steel mill," said Tom, "then the prison system in California, then becoming a teacher, we had an opportunity to expand our horizons on meeting and talking to people.”
At most other schools, that atmosphere could be a little too much.
“We love working at Notre Dame," said Tom. "It’s a hoot. I work in the student section and the students are so well-behaved.”
When dealing with students, humor and a youthful disposition can often be the best approach. For the Tyks, that's the case at home as well.
“When I’ve gotten upset and he knows I’m upset, it lasts about that long," said Marietta, snapping. "He’ll do something stupid and make me laugh!”
While they may not be professors at the university, they often find themselves passing on lessons of their own, whether it be for life or love.
“20-year-olds to us are kids," said Marietta. "They are adults, and they just have to remember to keep their head on their shoulders and what they’re there for: to get the education so they can grow old with their mate and have fun, don’t lie to each other, love each other, and enjoy life.”