The Story Behind “The Gipper” Speech, the Greatest Pep Talk in Sports

By | December 26, 2018

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George Gipp played fastback for Notre Dame. (Getty Images)

“Win One For the Gipper”. If you’re a fan of college football, you know that this was the one impassionate plea that rallied the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame to an improbable victory over the undefeated Army in 1928. But who was the Gipper and what was his story?

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George Gipp Was a Natural Athlete

Hailing from Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula way up at the top of the Upper Peninsula, George Gipp was born in 1895. A natural athlete, Gipp enrolled in the University of Notre Dame intent on playing baseball. His size, speed, and strength caught the attention of Knute Rockne, the head coach of Notre Dame’s football team. Without ever playing organized football, Gipp was added to the football team.