PINKY: Get back out there, Brain Piccadilly, and win one for the Giffords! Um… put a halo on Mary!
When the University of Notre Dame’s George “the Gipper” Gipp, a star of their football team, was laying in his hospital bed and dying of pneumonia, he was visited by his coach, the legendary Knute Rockne. He then gave Rockne a message:
Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.
Rockne kept the message in mind, finally delivering it eight years later in a game against the undefeated Army team of 1928. Properly inspired, the Notre Dame lads went out and achieved a 12-6 underdog victory.
Gipp’s message was entrenched as one of most famous sports quotes of all time when the event was dramatized in the biopic Knute Rockne, All American (1940). The actor who played Gipp also got nicknamed the Gipper, and “Win one for the Gipper” became a campaign slogan of sorts for him when he turned to politics. The actor? Ronald Reagan.
Bonus fact: Pinky mangles the name of the Hail Mary football play, a very long forward pass usually used in a desperate situation at or near the end of a half. The term likely also originated in the Notre Dame football program as well.