FORMER SUBWAY ALUMNI LEADER REFLECTS ON HIS "NOTRE DAME ODYSSEY"
My Greatest Day In Sports Caught Last Gipp Pass: Barry By Norman Barry Chicago-American February 23, 1962
Norman Barry, now a Superior court judge, was one of Notre Dame's greatest halfbacks during the Knute Rockne era. In 1920 he was named on many All-American teams.
We were playing Northwestern in Evanston in 1920, around Thanksgiving day. George Gipp hadn't been in the game. He suffered a shoulder separation a week before against Indiana, and since we had a big lead, Rockne didn't want to play him.
But the people wanted to see the Great Gipp. They were calling for him from the stands. It was real acclaim, and finally, in the last few seconds, Rockne sent him in. He had this great big pad on his left shoulder, but he threw with the other arm.
We ran from a punt formation so that Gipp could drop back from his tailback position. We wanted to give him as much protection as possible for that shoulder. I was playing at right half.
The ball was snapped to Gipp and he threw a pass to me that traveled 55 yards in the air. I caught it and ran 15 more yards for the touchdown to make the final score 33-7. Rockne took Gipp out right after that. I think he was only in for that one play.
The 70-yard gain was the longest pass play on the books at the time. That was my biggest thrill in football, but I'll always remember that play for another reason: It was Gipp's last.
He went back to South Bend after the game, and he developed strep throat. The following Saturday we played Michigan State (then Michigan Agricultural), but Gipp was in the hospital. He died about three weeks later.
It was a terrible blow to all of us. Gipp had a great influence on the whole team. He was older than we were, 25 at the time and were only 19 and 20. We all had great respect for his ability and judgment.
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