You probably heard the phrase ” win one for the Gipper ” at a football game or from the Knute Rockney movie where a young Ronald Reagan played George Gip. What most people don’t know, is the Gipper was a Yooper.
George Gipp was born in 1895 and raised in Laurium on the Keweenaw Peninsula. He entered Notre Dame intending to play baseball for the Fighting Irish. While on campus, he was recruited by Knute Rockne for the football team, despite having no experience in organized football. During his Notre Dame career, Gipp led the Irish in rushing and passing each of his last three seasons (1918, 1919, and 1920). His career mark of 2,341 rushing yards lasted over fifty years. Gipp is still Notre Dame’s all-time leader in average yards per rush for a season
Gipp died at age 25 of a strep throat infection and pneumonia on Dec 14, 1920, two weeks after being elected Notre Dame’s first All-American by Walter Camp.It was on his hospital bed that he is said to have delivered the “win just one for the Gipper” line and said to Rockne;
“I’ve got to go, Rock. It’s all right. I’m not afraid. Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock. But I’ll know about it, and I’ll be happy.“
After his death, A memorial was erected in Larium honoring the football hero and Yooper.
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