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"One For the Gipper" – The Original Story
President Ronald Reagan fondly referred to him as “The Hyper” as a result of the film’s portrayal of the legendary Notre Dame football player. This nickname is so strongly attached to the president that the real Gipper is almost forgotten.
The true story is shrouded in the mist of time. His hometown of Laurium, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has a website dedicated to their local hero. This much is certain: he was born on February 18, 1895, to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Gipp.
He attended Calumet Public Schools, but he never played high school football. However, he was a versatile athlete. He participated in track, hockey, sandlot soccer and organized baseball. Laurium’s baseball team was the Upper Peninsula champion in 19l5 and George played center field.
Gipp wasn’t thinking about going to college. However, he was good at baseball, pool, poker and dice. Her greatest achievement was winning a gold watch for ballroom dancing.
At age 21, the six-foot, 180-pound hippy convinced a Notre Dame graduate that he might have a baseball scholarship.
Beyond these statistics, we have to rely on sports historians.
A colorful account of Gipps’ remarkable career by James A. Coke is delivered. It follows two freshmen playing baseball on the playground of a Midwestern university one fall afternoon in 1916.
Without warning, the soccer ball goes over the fence from the nearby fence where the school’s students were practicing. It falls on one of the young men. He catches the stray football and returns it 70 meters away from the wall.
On the other side of the field, the coach whistles excitedly and runs. “Hey, you! You with the baseball. What’s your name?”
“Gipp,” comes the short answer.
“Where are you from?
“Play high school football?”
“Well, I think you will become a football player,” says the coach. – Come out tomorrow, we will catch you and see what you are doing.
The young man shrugs his shoulders. “I don’t know,” he says vaguely. “Don’t particularly care about football.”
This is how George Gipp and Knut Rockne met. A few days later Gipp shows up for a test.
* * *
When it was learned that he could run 100 yards in under ten seconds, throw half the length of the field and facilitate 60 yard punts, there was no problem in switching scholarships. He became an All-American quarterback.
Gipp made a name for himself in his first out-of-town game with the first team against Western Michigan State Normal. Cox wrote:
“With a play from the quarterback, Gipp increases the field. But the score is 7-7 as the fourth quarter ends with a few minutes left.
“Irish have the ball. In the quarter-finals called punt formation – kick from a distance and play for a draw.
“Gipp demurs. He wants to try a field goal. Jamie looks at him like a crazy man. From where he stands to the goal post, which was on the goal line at the time, more than 60 yards. However, the quarterbacks command , which is “Punt”.
“The ball is snapped, Gipp throws it to first – as it were – gets a perfect return and blasts the ball over the uprights. It was a 62-yard field goal that earned a permanent place in the book. record”.
* * *
In the spring of his freshman year, Gipp tried out for the baseball team and made it as an outfielder. He only played one game.
Ignoring the tape signal, he blasted the ball over the fence for a home run.
“Why?” – demanded the manager. – Don’t you remember the signals?
“Sure,” replied Gipp, “but it’s too hot to be running around the bases after a while.” The next day he put on his baseball uniform and focused on football.
He earned his way by waiting tables in the university cafeteria for food and lodging. He earned cash by playing in nearby semi-professional and industrial baseball leagues.
He also frequented pool halls and other low-key joints in South Bend.
A hangout called Hullie & Mikes became his second home. He once said, “I’m the best free kicker that ever attended Notre Dame.”
His colleague Arthur (Dutch) Bergman commented:
“No one around South Bend could beat him at poker, shooting, billiards, poker, or money. He learned the percentages in dice rolling and could fade those bones in a way that would make the pros roll. In three-man pool, he was terrifying. salons.
“He never gambled with other students, although his shooting skills helped pay for more than a few of his friends to go to Notre Dame. I saw him win $500 in a crap game and use his winnings to buy food for poor families. spends. in South Bend.”
In 1919, Gipp cut so many grades that he was expelled. He worked as a house player at Hullie & Mikes Gambling Emporium.
Notre Dame August alumni fans bombarded the college with complaints. The university gave him a special test — which he passed — and rehired him. After that, Gipp came to practice when he chose and did what he wanted. No one complained. The coaches and players knew that he was very committed to winning. The team circled around him.
The 1920 season established Gipps as an “immortal”.
Notre Dame found itself trailing Army 17-14 on Saturday afternoon.
In the locker room, Rockne gave one of his most famous halftime fight speeches. Gipps looked bored. Rockne turned to Gipp and addressed him: “I don’t think you have any interest in this game.” Gipp replied, “don’t worry, I have $500 in it and I’m not going to throw my money away.”
By the end of the game, Gipp had rushed for 385 yards, more than any other Army team. He scored a touchdown with a running back, threw two touchdown passes that set up a touchdown. He almost single-handedly led Notre Dame to a 27-17 victory.
Gip gave an assessment for the performance of that day. He was tired, pale and slightly bloody. His anxiety was so evident that the West Point crowd stood and watched in awe as he walked off the field.
There were four games left in the season. Going clean gives Notre Dame a chance at a national championship.
Purdue lost 28-0. The following week at Indiana, Gipp suffered a dislocated shoulder that sent him to the bench in a bandage. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 10-0 lead, which they held on to in the fourth quarter.
Irish pushed to the 2-yard line but was stopped. Gipp got up from the bench and shouted to Rockne: “I’m going in!”
“Come back!’ Rockne roared.
Gipps ignored the order. In the second game, he crashed through for a touchdown. He then kicked the extra point and returned to his seat.
On Notre Dame’s next possession, the Irish ran the ball to the 15-yard line as time expired. Again Gipps rushed from the bench to take charge.
He left the game behind for a game-tying dropkick. The Huzirs prevented him by attacking him. Gipp calmly threw the ball to the receiver on the 1st line. In the next game, when the entire Indiana team rallied around Gipps, he took a hit with his recently injured hand. It was a deception. The Notre Dame quarterback danced into the end zone with the ball for a winning touchdown.
When the team returned to South Bend, Gipp went to Chicago to teach the prep school team how to hit. The icy wind brought pain, fever and sore throat. Back in South Bend, Gipp took to his sick bed.
The following Friday, against Northwestern, Rockne Gippy kept the fever on the bench until the fourth quarter. Then, to the voice of the people – “We want Gipp!” — he allowed his star to get involved in a few plays — followed with a 55-yard touchdown pass to cap a 33-7 rout. .
* * *
On Thanksgiving Day, Notre Dame beat Michigan State 25-0 to complete its second straight all-win season, but Gipp wasn’t there. He was in the hospital with pneumonia and strep throat – a serious illness before antibiotics.
It was clear that Gipps was dead. On December 14, 1920, he was converted to Catholicism and received the last rites. His mother, brother, sister and mentor, Rockne, kept vigil at his bedside – while students across the campus knelt in the snow and prayed for him.
When he was in a coma, someone whispered: “Ravan is difficult.”
Gipps heard this and woke up. – What is difficult? – he said sarcastically.
Other than that, we only have the Rockne version.
Gipp turned to Rockne. “I have to go, Rock,” he whispered. “Nothing’s good. Sometimes, when the team is up against it, when things go wrong and the breaks hit the boys, tell them to go in there with all their possessions and just win one for the Gipper.”
There is some doubt that Gipps, usually modest, gave a dramatic deathbed speech, but Rockne always swore it was true.
However, it was eight years before Rockne found it necessary to use George Gipp’s last words.
It was on November 12, 1928 at Yankee Stadium, New York City. Notre Dame lost two games. The unbeaten Irish Army side held on for a goalless draw at half-time. In the locker room, Rockne stood up and addressed his tired players.
“Guys, I want to tell you a story I never thought I’d have to tell.”
Rockne then addressed George Gipp’s final challenge in a serious voice. When he peaked – “Get in there and win one for Hyper” – the players are said to have burst through the locker room door and rushed onto the pitch. The Irish played the second half as if the legend of Notre Dame had led the way.
At the end of the game, the score was Notre Dame 12, Army 6.
The Gipper scored one last time – from the grave.
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