Rockne held a special nursery hour with his children, constantly reciting poems and telling stories. His sharp wit never deserted him, even during the children's hour. He once seriously asked one of his sons how old he was. "Seven." the youngster replied. "Impossible," said Rockne in mock surprise. "No one could get that dirty in just seven years."
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After the 1926 season Rock came to New York to address the Notre Dame alumni. His team had gone through its schedule undefeated until the end of the season, when it was upset by Carnegie Tech. With a glint in his eye, Rockne began his speech in this manner:
"Gentleman of Notre Dame, allow me to congratulate you on your undefeated season." The Grand Ballroom of New York's Commodore Hotel immediately filled with coughs of protest and dissenting remarks. Rockne brushed them aside. "You folks don't know everything," he continued, straightfaced. "I hold in my hand a cablegram, Dated the Vatican at Rome, and it reads: 'This day his Holiness the Pope has annulled the Carnegie Tech game."'
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Told by Marchy Schwartz, famous halfback on Rockne's 1929 and 1930 teams...
"Another Rockne story? Well, in my junior year I was sitting in my room in the dorm one night and one of the student football managers dropped by. He suffered from curvature of the spine and was quite lame. Yet he never let his handicap bother him. You never heard him complain. I told him to sit down and we started shooting the breeze. I asked him how he happened to come to Notre Dame.
"I was working in an electrical plant back in Schenectady," he said, "and Rockne happened to come in with some of the high officials on an inspection trip. He singled me out and asked me to tell him about the particular job I was doing. I gave him the details. He then said: 'Have you ever thought about going to college?' I said, 'No, I haven't.' Then he said, 'Well, why don't you come out to Notre Dame next semester? We need a lot of managers and you strike me as a young fella who does a pretty good job. I know we can work something out for you.' Which is how I happen to be at Notre Dame today. I owe my college education to Coach Rockne."
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