"One For the Gipper" – The Original Story

President Ronald Reagan is tagged fondly as “The Gipper” as the result of his movie portrayal of Notre Dames’ legendary football player. The nickname is so firmly attached to the president that the real Gipper is nearly forgotten.

The true story is clouded by the mist of time. His hometown of Laurium, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, maintains a website devoted to their local hero. This much is certain: he was born Feb. 18, 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Gipp.

He attended the Calumet public schools, but he never played high school football. However, he was an all-around athlete. He participated in track, hockey, sandlot football and organized baseball. The Laurium baseball team was the champion of the Upper Peninsula in 19l5, with George playing center field.

Gipp had not given any thought of going to college. He was, however, proficient in baseball, table pool, poker and dice. His greatest achievement was winning a gold watch for ballroom dancing.

The husky six-foot, 180-pound Gipp at age 21 was persuaded by a Notre Dame grad that he could have a baseball scholarship for the asking.

Beyond these statistics, we must rely on sports historians.

A colorful account of Gipp’s spectacular career is rendered by James A. Cox. It begins one autumn afternoon in 1916 with two freshmen playing baseball catch on the playing field of a Midwestern university.

Without warning, a football sails over the fence from a nearby gridiron where the school’s varsity was practicing. It hits one of the young men. He picks up the errant football and kicks it back over the fence 70 yards away.

On the other side of the field, a coach whistles in awe and races over. “Hey, You! You with the baseball. What’s your name?”

“Gipp,” comes the laconic answer.

“Where you from?

“Michigan.”

“Play high school football?”

“Nope.”

“Well, I think you’ll make a football player,” says the coach. “Come out tomorrow. We’ll suit you up and see what you can do.”

The young man shrugs. “I don’t know,” he says vaguely. “Don’t particularly care for football.”

Thus was the meeting of Gorge Gipp and Knute Rockne. A few days later Gipp shows up for a tryout.

* * *

There was no difficulty in switching scholarships when it was learned he could run 100 yards in ten seconds, throw pin-point passes half the length of the field and kick 60-yard punts with ease. He became an All-American halfback.

Gipp established a reputation in his first out-of-town game with the freshman team against Western Michigan State Normal. Wrote Cox:

“Playing halfback, Gipp piles up yardage. But the score is 7-7 as the fourth quarter grinds down with only a couple of minutes to go.

“The Irish have the ball. The quarterback calls punt formation – kick away and play for a tie.

“Gipp demurs. He wants to try a field goal. The quarterback looks at him as he would at a crazy man. From where the kicker will stand, to the opposing goalpost — which at that time was on the goal line — was more than 60 yards. Nevertheless, the quarterback orders, ‘Punt.’

“The ball is snapped, Gipp drops it end-first to the ground – as was the custom then — gets a perfect rebound and booms the ball through the uprights. It was a 62-yard-field-goal that earned an enduring place in the record book.”

* * *

In the spring of his freshman year, Gipp tried out for the baseball team and made it as an outfielder. He played only one game.

Ignoring a signal to bunt, he blasted the ball over the fence for a home run.

“Why?” the manager demanded. “Don’t you remember the signals?”

“Sure,” replied Gipp, “but it’s too hot to be running around the bases after a bunt.” The next day he turned in his baseball uniform and concentrated on football.

He earned his way by waiting tables in the university dining room for board and lodging. He picked up cash by playing in nearby semi-pro and industrial baseball leagues.

He also frequented the pool halls and other low joints of South Bend.

A hangout called Hullie & Mikes became his second home. He once said, “I’m the finest free-lance gambler ever to attend Notre Dame.”

His room mate, Arthur (Dutch) Bergman, explained:

“Nobody around South Bend could beat him at faro, shooting pool, billiards, poker or bridge. He studied the percentages in dice rolling and could fade those bones in a way that made professionals dizzy. At three-pocket pool, he was the terror of the parlors.

“He never gambled with other students, though his crap-shooting skills helped pay the way through Notre Dame for more than a few of his friends. I’ve seen him win $500 in a crap game then spend his winnings buying meals for destitute families in South Bend.”

Gipp cut so many classes in 1919 he was kicked out of school. He took a job as a house player at Hullie & Mikes gambling emporium.

Aghast, Notre Dame alumni sports fans deluged the college with complaints. The university gave him a special exam — which he passed – and reinstated him. Thereafter, Gipp came to practice when he chose, doing what he felt like doing. No one complained. Coaches and players knew he was fiercely devoted to winning. The team revolved around him.

The 1920 season established Gipp as “immortal.”

One Saturday afternoon, Notre Dame found itself down 17-14 to Army.

In the locker room, Rockne unleashed one of his famous half-time fight speeches. Gipp seemed bored. Rockne turned to Gipp and challenged him, “I don’t suppose you have any interest in this game.” Gipp responded, “Don’t worry, I have $500 on it, and I don’t intend to blow my money.”

At game’s end, Gipp had piled up 385 yards rushing – more than the entire Army team. He scored one touchdown by running back a kick-off, threw two pin-point passes setting up a touchdown. He almost single handedly led Notre Dame to a 27-17 comeback victory.

Gip paid a price for that day’s performance. He was weary, pale and a little bloody. His distress was so obvious, the West Point crowd stood and watched in awe as he left the field.

There were four games left in the season. A clean sweep would give Notre Dame a shot at the national championship.

Purdue went down 28-0. At Indiana the next week, Gipp suffered a dislocated shoulder that sent him to the bench with bandages. The Hoosiers shot to a 10-0 lead, which they held into the fourth quarter.

The Irish pushed to the 2-yard line but stalled. Gipp jumped from the bench and shouted to Rockne, “I’m going in!”

“Come back!’ roared Rockne.

Gipp ignored the command. On the second play, he crashed through for a touchdown. Then he kicked the extra point, and returned to his bench.

On the next Notre Dame possession, as time was running out, the Irish worked the ball to the 15-yard line. Again, Gipp rushed from the bench to take charge.

He dropped back for a game-tying dropkick to tie the game. The Hoosiers stormed to block him. Calmly Gipp tossed the ball to a receiver on the 1-yard line. On the next play, with the whole Indiana team converging on Gipp, he smashed off tackle with his injured arm tucked close. It was a ruse. The Notre Dame quarterback danced into the end zone with the ball for the winning touchdown.

While the team returned to South Bend, Gipp went to Chicago to teach a prep-school team how to drop kick. Icy wind brought on aches, fever and sore throat. Back at South Bend, Gipp took to his sick bed.

The next Friday, against Northwestern, Rockne kept feverish Gipp on the bench until the fourth quarter. Then, to chants from the crowd -“We want Gipp!” — he allowed his star to participate in a few plays – topped off by a 55-yard touchdown pass to pile up a 33-7 rout. .

* * *

On Thanksgiving Day, Notre Dame trounced Michigan State 25-0 to complete its second successive all-win season, but Gipp wasn’t there. He was in the hospital with pneumonia and strep throat – serious illness before antibiotics.

It was clear that Gipp was doomed. On Dec. 14, 1920, he converted to Catholicism and was given the Last Rites. His mother, brother, sister and Coach Rockne kept vigil by his bedside — while the entire student body knelt in the snow on campus praying for him.

While he was comatose, some one whispered, “It’s tough to go.”

Gipp heard it and roused. “What’s tough about it?” he said scornfully.

Beyond this we have only Rockne’s version.

Gipp turned to Rockne. “I’ve got to go, Rock,” he whispered. “It’s all right. Sometime, when the team is up against it, when things are going wrong and the breaks are beating the boys — tell them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.”

There is doubt that the usually modest Gipp actually made the dramatic death-bed speech, but Rockne always swore it was true.

It was eight years, however, before Rockne felt it necessary to invoke George Gipp’s last words.

It was at Yankee Stadium, New York City, Nov. 12, 1928. Notre Dame had lost two games. An undefeated Army team held the so-so Fighting Irish to a scoreless tie at halftime. In the locker room, Rockne stood up and addressed his weary players.

“Boys, I want to tell you a story I never thought I’d have to tell.”

Then Rockne related — in serious voice — George Gipp’s final challenge. When he reached the climax – “Go in there and win one for the Gipper” – it is said the players tore the locker room door ajar rushing to the field. The Irish played the second half as if the legend of Notre Dame led the way.

At game’s end the score was Notre Dame 12, Army 6.

The Gipper had scored one last time – from the grave.

Australian Punter Don Scott

Don Scott is the inspiration behind many punters today. A former student of Theology and Law at Sydney University, Scott decided to quit studying and become a professional punter at an early age. He obviously had a betting formula that worked since he won consistently for more than 20 years, with tax records to prove his winnings. Starting out with $2,000 in the betting ring, Scott ended up with a fortune that many punters wouldn’t even image winning without plenty of help from lady luck.

Born in 1932, he took an interest to racing in his early years. Don Scott formed the Legal Eagles, a syndicate of successful punters that used Scott’s betting methods. The team included former chairman of the AJC, Bob Charley and the late Kerry Packer’s brother, Clyde Packer. The syndicate made the most of Sydney’s betting circle, giving bookmaker’s a run for their money. Scott shared his secrets with Australian punters in four books. Some critics say he probably gave up too much of what he enjoyed with the bookmakers over the years. His first book, ‘Winning’ was published in 1978, ‘The Winning Way To Successful Punting’, in 1982, ‘Winning More’ in 1985, and Winning In The 90’s in 1990. These books gave gamblers ideas to research the form of runners with a methodical approach. Don Scott was well known in high circles with dignitaries like Prime Minister Bob Hawkes attending the launch of his first book in Melbourne in 1978.

For the most part, Don Scott was a mathematical genius with combinations and permutations that are far beyond the reach of gamblers with average skills. Don Scott revealed one of the many secrets punters needs to know that of being consistent. Consistency was a major part of Scott’s formula for winning, which he mentions in his book. "Winners keep on winning, while losers keep on losing."

While Don Scott was well known as a punter, he wasn’t short of being a gentleman either. Analysts who have studied his books say that Scott followed three basic systems. Punters need to consider race meetings in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane on Saturdays and public holidays. To have a good chance it is prudent to wager only on horses with at least 20 starts, out of which those with a win percentage of 30 or more ought to be considered.

Don Scott did create a chapter for himself in racing history in addition to teaching a lot of people how to beat the bookmaker and make money out of racing. One of the people to work closely with Don Scott on the development of class and weight standards for Australian and New Zealand racing was form and ratings analyst Gary Crispe.

Don Scott’s untimely and mysterious death gave rise to plenty of speculation. Don Scott was caught up in an Australian Jockey Club investigation into the application for the return of racing by Rob Waterhouse, against whom he gave submissions. Earlier, he had broken ties with Warren Block of EagleForm. One of his close partners, Greg Middleton, took his life due to domestic problems, which also left Scott deeply disturbed: a fact that many of his friends noticed during dinner at Rosehill Gardens, the night in which he ended his life in his Sydney apartment. During the dinner, Scott spoke about phone threats he had been receiving and a private investigator who was prying on his personal and business life in a bid to discredit him.

Advice on the Play of Manila Poker

Manila is a game of 32-card deck poker, the deck consisting of eights or better. It is sometimes referred to as Seven Up Poker and is mostly found in Asia and Australia as a peculiar variant of Texas Holdem. Like in Holdem, players are dealt two cards, thereafter, there are very few similarities. Manila is really gaining ground in Australian casinos, but rare in online poker rooms. It is less rare in home games and is often seen as a poker form to provide variety to the play.

So, How Do You Play Manila Poker?

Manila is composed of five betting rounds where one card is visible at each turn. A player is required to use both cards at showdown as building blocks to the superior five card hand. In addition, chances of drawing a different hand given the 32-card, 8 low composition of the deck and that a flush stomps a full house and aces are only high in a straight are next to none. Manila is generally played with a fixed limit betting format, and occasionally you will run into a table with only three betting rounds. Five betting rounds prolong the game and require greater concentration and focus, making them unsuitable for some casual games.

Some Thoughts on Ideal Manila Strategies

With the deck foreshortened as it is, drawing to a powerful hand (full house or better) is a good ploy so you can see that position is all in figuring the correct play in the game. You should play pair cards when in early position or even high suited connectors, like a suited Jack-ten which has the advantage of being the dynamic duo in every straight in Manila. All the players around the table will be holding high cards so you must choose your hands with discrimination, playing pairs, the high-suited connectors and draw hands when in good position. Any hand below a King-Jack may be discarded..It takes a full house or higher to make a hand a winner, though drawing to a flush is not unheard of.

You may find it to your advantage to discard straight draws as the board will undoubtedly pair, trumping your straight even in the event of an on-the-mark draw. Focus on the betting patterns of your fellow players through all of the rounds. They often are drawing to a full house. If and when the board pairs or a player becomes zealous, attempt to squash him on a specific hand. A high percentage of players are very discriminating when it comes to their initial hand selection, given that there are no pot odds for a lucky draw to a flush or higher. In these circumstances, you should bless the five betting rounds for offering up more good data so you can readjust your anticipation of the triumphant hand.

The bluff strategy is not usually a good one in Manila as many players tend to stay in the pot due to the limit betting structure and the obstacle-free path that exists to draw to a strong hand. For this reason, one must be very careful when taking on an aggressive stance in a multi-way pot unless he is extremely certain that his hand is the nuts. Given good pot odds, you might want to stay on a strong draw because of the fixed limit format, but do stay clear of any multi-way betting Armageddons.

I’m A Celebrity BET Me Out Of Here

This year another desperate collection of has-beens, never-were’s and soap opera cast-offs have been flung into the Australian jungle to raise money for “charidee”, although we know it’s to get their faces back on the box and bank a nice Christmas bonus in the process. “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here”, now in it’s fifth incarnation, is one of the more entertaining Reality TV shows and is car crash television at it’s dumbed down best.

Where else can you see a moderately recognisable media personality covered in molasses and green ants, eating cockroaches and other “jungle delicacies” or dumped in a water tank surrounded by crocodiles and eels in a bid to rescue a flagging career?

While the show has audiences squirming as “that bird who used to be on telly” munches down another especially fattened up caterpillar to try and win meals for hungry camp-mates restricted to rations of rice and beans, there are also plenty of betting opportunities for armchair fanatics.

Here we will take a look at the runners and riders and how they have got on after the first few days spent in the jungle.

SID OWEN

Best Price: 3/1 (Sporting Odds)

Played “Rickaaay Butcher” in Eastenders on and off since 1989 but has spent the last few years running his restaurant in France. He has been out of the media spotlight since his singing career failed to take off and admitted he was “bored” and jumped at the chance of appearing on the show. Ricky, sorry Sid, was immediately instilled as the bookie’s favourite to win as he appears to have the “everyman” quality that saw Phil Tufnell romp to victory in Series Two.

SHEREE MURPHY

Best Price: 7/2 (Sporting Odds)

Another ex soap “star”, Sheree’s character, Emmerdale’s “Tricia Stokes” was killed off almost three years ago when a pub chimney fell on her head during an uncharacteristically violent storm, on Christmas Day of all days as rotten luck would have it. Since then she has been raising her young children and living the life of luxury thanks to footballer husband Harry Kewell’s £65,000 a week wage.

Her arrival in the jungle wasn’t the best and comparison’s to I’m A Celeb legend Natalie Appleton were drawn when she wasn’t keen on jumping out of an aeroplane into the camp. At least she wasn’t frightened of the trees. However, she redeemed herself magnificently by retrieving five stars during a live jungle task despite being scared stiff and remains one of the favourites to win.

JIMMY OSMOND

Best Price: 11/2 (Tote Sport)

“Little” Jimmy Osmond became the youngest person to have a number one single with the annoying “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” back in the 1970s. He has since become a successful property mogul but is still inflicting his brand of music onto the general public. He’s a difficult one to call. While he seems nice enough and undoubtedly has an enormous fan base, he comes across as a little, well, odd. Recent polls in the tabloid press rate him as favourite to win so the 11/2 price may shorten as the show progresses.

CAROL THATCHER

Best Price: 6/1 (Tote Sport)

The daughter of former Prime Minister Margaret and “famous” in her own right as a writer and broadcaster. Undoubtedly a “chip off the old block”, Carol has participated in two Jungle Trials so far and tackled them with relish. First she drove a kart across a ravine along a rope bridge and a few days later sat down to dinner with Jilly Goolden to enjoy a meal of grubs, cockroaches, fish eyes and finally a kangaroo’s testicle.

You get the impression that nothing will phase Carol during her stay in the jungle and the producers will have to come up with something rather nasty to put her off. She will have staying power in this competition but may not have enough of a fan base to lead her to victory.

TOMMY CANNON & BOBBY BALL

Best Prices 18/1 and 15/2 (both Bet365)

One day you have a hit TV show with millions of viewers and your own comic strip in “Look In” magazine and the next you are the faces of “Safestyle Windows” and doing gigs at Crown Hill Community Centre and the like. Ageing comedy duo Cannon and Ball were drafted into camp on Day Five, begging the question: “What’s the point?”

Latecomers never do well in Reality TV shows as they are subconsciously seen as “outsiders” and a threat to the already-formed group. Upon his arrival Ball wasted no time in “entertaining” the other campers with his “Rock on, Tommy” catchphrase and it seems inevitable they will do a task together with “hilarious consequences”. However, prices for them to win individually? Surely you can’t have one without the other?

DAVID DICKINSON

Best Price: 10/1 (Sporting Odds)

The perma-tanned “Bargain Hunt” antiques expert best known for his “Cheap as Chips” and “Bobby Dazzler” catchphrases. Like Cannon & Ball, he seems a bit of a strange choice to go into the jungle but his stay may be a short one in any case. He wasn’t overly pleased to see the newcomers while the other campers embraced their arrival and he may find himself the first celebrity voted out.

JENNY FROST

Best Price: 22/1 (Bet365)

Jenny has become the third member of Atomic Kitten to try their hands at Reality TV, following Kerry Katona’s success who won the show in Series Three and Liz McLarnon’s stint in “Celebrity Love Island” during the summer. She has been paid more than any of the other campers to appear on the show with a reported fee of £100,000 being quoted in the press which is bound to cause some friction. While she appears pleasant and pretty enough to look she hasn’t had a chance to do anything to convince she can become the second Kitten to reign as “Queen of the Jungle”.

ANTHONY COSTA

Best Price: 25/1 (Tote Sport)

Used to be in boyband “Blue” but unlike his three former band-mates, he doesn’t have a solo record deal – yet. He looked the odd one out during his band days and didn’t really cut it as a teen “heart throb”. His swarthy and permanently unshaven appearance made him look better suited to running a kebab shop than appearing on stage and hanging on bedroom walls in poster form. Another who seems nice enough but doesn’t have enough about him to stand out from the crowd.

JILLY GOOLDEN

Best Price: 50/1 (Tote Sport)

Jilly was famous for presenting “Food & Drink” on BBC2 for almost two decades and becoming the most recognised wine expert in the UK. However, she wouldn’t have come across anything like the grubs and kangaroo todger she downed when performing a joint task with Carol Thatcher. Her performance in that task will earn her respect and the 50/1 odds may be worth an interest and laid off at a shorter price as the competition progresses.

KIMBERLEY DAVIES

Best Price: 50/1 (Bet365)

Former “Neighbours” eye candy and ironically the first Australian to appear in the series. Good looking women never do well in the show and even though the permanently fresh-faced beauty gave her task her best shot on Day Two she may find herself voted out sooner rather than later.

SUMMARY

The three bookies favourites arguably have the strongest cases to win the show. Sid Owen has been one of the most recognisable faces on TV over the past 15 years or so while if it came down to sheer voting power, Jimmy Osmond and his hoards of crazed fans would win it for him comfortably. However, I am inclined to back Sheree Murphy to become only the second Queen of the Jungle. She has a vulnerable quality about her that people will warm to while stubbornly refusing to wimp out of tasks even though it’s plain to see she isn’t enjoying one second of them. Another performance like her showing in the live task will see her 7/2 odds tumble.