November 10, 1928 - Win One for the Gipper

Notre Dame Army 1928 ProgramNotre Dame was already off to its worst start ever under Knute Rockne with a 4-2-0 record, the only season Rockne had with more than one loss. Army came in undefeated at 6-0-0 and more than 90,000 fans packed the stands in Yankee Stadium while another 5,000 watched from roof tops and fire escapes.

With the game still tied 0-0 at halftime, the Great Motivator looked to inspire his team and perhaps save an already lost season. Rockne relayed the story of George Gipp and the last moments the two spent together. It is uncertain if Gipp actually said these exacts words to Rockne or if Rockne used it as a motivational tool. There is doubt that George Gipp would have referred to himself as the Gipper, a nickname he did not have at the time, and some question why Rockne would wait eight years after Gipp's death to relay the story. Regardless of the origin to the stoy, here it is:

Well, boys. I haven't a thing to say. Played a great game, all of you. Great game. I guess we just can't expect to win them all. I'm going to tell you something I've kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. It was long before your time. But you know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame.. And the last thing he said to me "Rock," he said, "sometime, when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock", he said, "but I'll know about it - and I'll be happy." Alright. - Knute Rockne, November 10, 1928
Audio by Pat O'Brien in Knute Rockne All American

The team came out of the locker room inspired and ready to play. Army would score first in the third quarter to take a 6-0 lead. As the Irish mounted a scoring drive, Jack Chevigny would cross the goal line for Notre Dame's first score. As he scored he shouted "There's one for the Gipper!" The game would be tied 6-6 through the fourth quarter. With two minutes left to play and Notre Dame facing a 4th & 26, John Niemiec lofted a touchdown pass to Johnny "One Play" O'Brien for what would be the winning touchdown. On Army's final possession, the Cadets would close to within feet of the endzone but the final whistle blew before they could snap the ball. Notre Dame would hold on to win one for the Gipper, 12-6. The story would become an American legend and a phrase that is still mentioned over 70 years later.

The phrase "Win one for the Gipper" would be voted #89 on the AFI 100 Years 100 Quotes list. It also would be used as a political slogan for Ronald Reagan while he was President. And of course be sure to go out there and win one for the Zipper too...

Keywords: football, army, knute rockne, win one for the gipper, george gipp, yankee stadium, baseball stadium, knute rockne all american, airplane, jack chevigny, john niemiec, johnny obrien

Posted On: 2011-11-10 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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