Monday, November 10, 2008

Anniversary: Win One for the Gipper

On this day in 1928, legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne delivered the most famous locker room speech in sports history. With his struggling Fighting Irish team facing an undefeated Army team, Rockne invoked Notre Dame great George Gipp, who had died just after his All-American senior season 8 years before. Rockne is reported to have said "The day before he died, George Gipp asked me to wait until the situation seemed hopeless -- then ask a Notre Dame team to go out and beat Army for him. This is the day, and you are the team."

Tragically, Rockne died in a plane crash only 3 years later. His legend continued to grow. The 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American celebrated his life. The movie starred Ronald Reagan as George Gipp and provided the nickname Reagan would have throughout his life, "The Gipper".

Here is a clip from the film:

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