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Play Like A Champion Today: The story behind the iconic sign

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - By definition, time, is a measured period during which action process or condition exists.

200 years from now, how will your time be remembered?

Will it be by single acts of kindness or maybe by the journey, the process of getting from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’.

Is it the state of mind the feeling to which you shed onto others?

200 years from now how will you be remembered for today?

Today is special day for Laurie Wenger.

A day rooted in action and process.

And hampered only by condition.

“I was the only one who did it. All by hand. I took commercial art in high school,” said Wenger.

30 years ago Wenger worked at the University of Notre Dame as a graphic artist and sign painter.

Hundreds of signs and footballs all by brush stroke.

When one day in 1986, newly hired Head Football Coach Lou Holtz sent her another project.

“It was just another sign. I had other things on my desk they wanted me to do. Somebody from football came in and gave me a scrap of paper and it said play like a champion today. And it said coach want this in blue and gold. I used the colors available to me at the time and the rest is history,” said Wenger.

And with permission from the University, Laurie could sell the sign.

“A lot of people wanted it. I was floored,” said Wenger.

It was then that the Play Like A Champion Today brand would begin with her husband Ron and brother-in-law, Don Padgett.

But in a moment, everything would change.

“When your wife is diagnosed with MS, they is sickness and health I take it seriously. Its not easy but her smile that keeps you going. So proud of her everyday. Its rough though,” said Ron.

The disease stripping her of even the simplest of passions.

Since her diagnosis in 199, Laurie has lost much of her mobility.

But today after a decade, this painter is re-united with her past.

Waking up the echoes in her mind that can’t be forgotten.

And it’s in brush strokes that her time is told.

“Her sign is going to be there in 200 years. Her legacy is going to live on in that sign. Her artwork is going to be there. Its neat. That’s a good legacy for her to have,” said Ron.     

200 years from now how will your time be remembered?

Will it be action?

Will it be the process?

Or will it be condition?

How will you be remembered for today?

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