On March 31, 1931, Knute Rockne, the greatest college football coach of all time, boarded a plane in Kansas City. He was headed to west coast to work on the motion picture, “The Spirit of Notre Dame.” Rockne never made it to California, as one of the wings of the wooden plane, resulting in it’s crash. You can thank him for many of the modern regulations in air travel (seriously).
“March 31, 1931, was not only a dark day in Notre Dame football History, but a dark day in American History as well.”
Rockne will forever go down in Notre Dame lore for leading the Irish to 105 wins over his 13 year career, 5 undefeated seasons and 3 national champions. He also delivered the “Win one for the Gipper speech,” during the halftime of the 1928 Army game. Notre Dame, who was losing 6-0 at halftime, came back to win 12-6. That game is regarded as one of the greatest games in football history. Note: All respectable #NotreDameGuys should have the speech memorized by age 6.
“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 ‘em all. (Rockne pauses and says quietly). 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.”
“Mr. Rockne so contributed to the cleanness and high purpose in athletics that his passing is a national loss.” – President Hoover
“We thought it would take a president’s death to make a whole nation, regardless of age, race or creed, show their heads in real sincere sorrow…Well, that’s what this country did today Knute for you. You died a national hero… Notre Dame was your address, but every gridiron in America was your home.” – Will Rodgers
“Knute Rockne has had a wider influence in developing the ideals of fair play than any other man in his generation, and he did it under the banner of the Mother of God.” – Rev. John F. Ohara
Let’s win it all for Rock and the Gipper this year.
We say it every year as Notre Dame fans. But, this year is our year. Proof? Brian Kelly just said it in a hype video. That’s all I need. No conference championships. We don’t have a conference. We’re here for one thing, a National Championship.