November 30, 2012

Merrimack Lacrosse Has a Fan on 'Always Sunny'

Charlie Day, who plays Charlie Kelly on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," sported a Merrimack lacrosse t-shirt on Thursday's episode.
Image courtesy Mike Morgan

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

Those famous alumni publications sometimes pay off.

Charlie Day, who plays Charlie Kelly on FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," sported a blue Merrimack College lacrosse t-shirt in honor of his alma mater on Thursday's episode of the show, much to the delight of those associated with the Warriors program and the school.

The shirt came directly from the Merrimack men's team.

Coach Mike Morgan said about two years ago the Merrimack admissions department published a famous alumni list, and ever since members of the lacrosse team found out Day was an alumnus, other alumni and current members of the team have sent Day apparel and encouraged him to wear it on the show.

"We jokingly said, 'We're going to send you something every year until you wear it," Morgan said.

Day, who also is a writer and executive producer for the hit sitcom, attended Merrimack and played shortstop on the Warriors' baseball team "which is ironic about the whole thing. It's kind of funny," Morgan said. Day also was among the first to major in fine arts at the school, and graduated in 1998.

Morgan, the Warriors sixth-year head coach and a 2000 Merrimack alumnus, shares a mutual friend with Day and Morgan exchanged Facebook messages with him prior to this season's taping of "Always Sunny."

The actor had been following the lacrosse team and shared congratulations about the program, which since Morgan took over made its first-ever Division II final four in 2009, won a Northeast-10 tournament title in 2010 and has appeared in four straight NE-10 championship games dating to 2009. The Warriors finished 13-3 last year.

"Keep an eye out this season," for some apparel, Day also wrote to Morgan, but Day didn't say for which episode or scene. Morgan kept it a secret from his players and staff, but all fall, they were watching and waiting anyway, knowing the connection. Then toward the end of Thursday night's seventh episode of the show's eighth season, Day's character is shown trying to pitch a workout drink to investors — wearing rolled up sleeves of a Merrimack lacrosse shirt.

"I'm sitting there last night and it shows up," Morgan said Friday. "It was kind of weird. My wife was in bed. Originally I thought 'Wow, this is cool.' Then I thought, 'Our program's logo is on TV at a national level.' Now everyone is talking about it.

"In terms of how many high school and college kids watch it, it's pretty cool to have your program showcased on a national stage on a show everybody is watching," Morgan said. "My Facebook and cell exploded today, as you can imagine. It's great for the school and for our program. You don't really see lacrosse on national television so often and to have our program and logo on one of the most popular shows right now is pretty cool. Our guys and all the Merrimack people are all over Twitter and everything about it."

Contrary to popular belief, Day is not from Philadelphia. He was born in New York City and raised in Rhode Island. He graduated from Portsmouth Abbey (R.I.) High before heading to Merrimack, located in North Andover, Mass.

He's also starred in the movie "Horrible Bosses" and hosted "Saturday Night Live" in 2011.

So now that Merrimack has made it to primetime television?

"I sent him a thank you message and I'm sure we'll end up sending him something else," Morgan said. "He's probably received something from our program, or our guys, the last 2-3 years. He definitely made it worth it."

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