FORMER SUBWAY ALUMNI LEADER REFLECTS ON HIS "NOTRE DAME ODYSSEY"


Herb Juliano
(1922-1998)

Herb's Archive features eulogies of Gipp given on the occasion of the dedication of the  George Gipp Memorial Park in Laurium, Michigan. (Courtesy of the Archives of the University of Notre Dame.)

 

 

This image is of the recently restored Gipp Memorial in Laurium, Michigan.

James E. Armstrong, ND Alumni secretary, wrote this to the Gipp Memorial Park Committee in 1935:

"We who are fellow alumni of George Gipp have of course noted with interest the splendid recognition of his brilliant though short career that you are giving him in his home city. Circumstances, ever since his death, have not smiled on such a concrete tribute to his memory here on the campus, or elsewhere through the agency of his Notre Dame friends. But in a school of this kind where the aura of immortality pervades every residence hall and class room, we are possibly not as remorseful for this lack of tangible memorial as we might be. George Gipp is haloed in the mind and heart of every Notre Dame man with an immortality, so far as this world is concerned at least, that monuments cannot copy. So we are proud rather than concerned, over our particular memory of this brilliant boy from your community. Nevertheless, we, too, being human enjoy with you the knowledge that for the strangers who will pass your park in years to come, the story of young manhood, young courage, and your appreciation of it, will be immediately and unmistakably told in this dedicated park."

Sports writer Grantland Rice said of Gipp:

"I first saw Gipp play for Notre Dame against the Army, where both had great teams, In that game Gipp's all around play, his passing, his kicking and ball carrying was about as fine as anything I have ever seen on a football field. He had a dash and a slash as I have seldom seen since, and never surpassed. After the game I asked Coach John McEwan of the Army what he thought of Gipp as a football player. 'A football player?' McEwan said, 'he's no football player, he's a runaway horse.' George Gipp as a football player must always be listed as one of the greatest backs of all time."

Star Calumet athlete and Michigan State Baseball Coach, Lyman Frimodig said:

"The memorial to George Gipp will undoubtedly do in a small measure what he would have accomplished so abundantly if he had lived. The memorial will inspire boys (and girls) to make the most of the abilities which they have and to believe that their efforts will be a boon to themselves and a pleasure to others."

Quotes from Knute Rockne about Gipp taken from his writings.

"I felt the thrill that comes to every coach when he knows it is his fate and his responsibility to handle unusual greatness --the perfect performer who comes rarely more than once in a generation."

"Gipp was one of the greatest. His kind comes once in every college generation. He was fast enough to run the ends, had enough weight to plunge the line and was a great defensive player. Because of his speed, he could sweep out wider than the ends and charge in at a play that attempted to cut back."

"1 don't think I ever saw Gipp blocked out of a play entirely. In carrying the ball, he used every ounce of his weight. When the opposing tackle grabbed him he knew he had 180 pounds of lightning to haul down. Unlike many great running backs, Gipp was one of the greatest drop kickers I have ever seen. In his first year against Western Reserve he booted a 62-yard drop kick. He was a sure fire three points inside the 40 yard line."

"It seems to me that anything Gipp made up his mind to do he could do better than anyone else. It wasn't necessary for him to have background or much preliminary work in any spot to get the hang of it. You did not have to tell him more than once what was the thing to do before he was doing it correctly. More often than not he did the correct thing as if instinctively."

Four Horseman and ND Head Football Coach, Elmer Layden said:

"We on the campus look upon George Gipp as the greatest football player ever turned out at Notre Dame, one whose ability has been surpassed if at all by few cleated warriors since the game was introduced in this country. Gipp is hallowed in the minds and hearts of every Notre Dame man and more than once it's been the memory of ‘Gipper' that pulled a slipping Rockne machine together to take the gridiron on the short-end of the score in the second half only to turn apparent defeat into victory." 

 

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