By Ray Robinson

To claim that Knute Rockne was once the easiest trainer who ever lived is to understate his significance to soccer. real, in a trifling twelve years, his "Fighting Irish" received a hundred and five video games, together with 5 impressive undefeated seasons. yet Rockne was once greater than the sum of his victories--he was once an icon, a legend on a par with Babe Ruth, a activities tremendous who, greater than someone, made soccer an American obsession. In Rockne of Notre Dame, Ray Robinson promises a memorable portrait of 1 of the good American activities figures. The booklet offers us colourful descriptions of such Rockne groups because the undefeated 1924 11 led by means of the illustrious 4 Horsemen, and the 1930 squad, Rockne's final and maximum. right here too are bright money owed of a few of the good video games in Notre Dame historical past, together with epic battles with arch competitors military, Nebraska, Carnegie Tech, and USC. however the center of the booklet is Rockne himself. A well known motivator whose "Win one for the Gipper" is the main well-known locker-room speech ever, Rockne used to be additionally football's such a lot really good innovator, a pioneer of the ahead cross, a grasp of the mental ploy, and an early recommend of conditioning. even though Robinson does not pull punches, Rockne emerges as an exemplary and intricate determine, a fierce competitor who was once beneficiant in victory and defeat, an inspiring father determine to his avid gamers, and a guy so respected national that once he died in a aircraft crash in 1931, on the top of his profession, he was once mourned by way of the full state. A banquet for all Notre Dame grads and for subway alumni all over, this enticing biography is the best portrait we now have of the fellow who replaced soccer in the United States.

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Extra resources for Rockne of Notre Dame: The Making of a Football Legend

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Sullivan, who boasted he could lick any "son of a bitch in the house," and his rival, San Francisco bank clerk James J. Corbett. " In time the footballers of Notre Dame would inherit that cognomen, which gave off echoes of heart and pugnacity. 27 This page intentionally left blank 4 Knute Suits Up WHEN ROCKNE FIRST set foot on the gracious, gently rolling campus of Notre Dame, the school, with its six student halls, was still struggling and praying for its place in the sun. Set well away from any large, crowded metropolis, Notre Dame, living alone on mattresses of green grass, was an environment of stately Gothic buildings whose spires pointed to the heavens.

Though Knute was basically shy, especially in the presence of 35 ROCKNE OF NOTRE DAME girls, he delighted in playing in campus theatricals and often took the role of a clown or of a woman. Francis Wallace tells of how Knute, decked out as a squaw and garnished with a heavy, clumsy wig and long braids, was a convincing female impersonator. Some amateur psychologists might conclude from this that Rockne was pleased to ridicule women. The explanation, more likely, is that it was not uncommon in those years for college productions to feature boys playing girls—and not in the most flattering way.

Aware of Knute's all-around athleticism, Harper had given him a football, suspecting that there would be some spare time for the team's new captain to play catch with Dorais on Cedar Point's sandy beach. On any number of sweltering summer afternoons the two friends, in their bathing suits, rehearsed a variety of pass patterns. "Go out to the right," Dorais would say to Knute—and Knute would go right. "Go down the middle," and Knute would follow that command. A small man who probably would never have been able to play in the modern game, Dorais possessed a surprisingly strong arm.

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