October 11, 2007, - 1:57 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
The great Ronald Reagan’s most well-known role was as Notre Dame’s George Gipp in “Knute Rockne, All American.” The dying Gipp, an All-American football star, was the inspiration for the slogan Coach Rockne employed to encourage his players:
Win One For The Gipper.
Now, the real life Gipp–who died from pneumonia and strep in his senior year in 1920–has been dug up. And no-one knows why. According to AP, the body was exhumed for DNA testing at the request of some Gipp family members, while other family are upset by the exhumation. ESPN was there to film it.
What could relatives possibly want with a body that has decayed for 87 years? They’re not saying. It’s very strange:
[Houghton County Medical Examiner Dr. Dawn] Nulf referred a reporter to Mike Bynum, a sports author who has researched Gipp and attended the exhumation. Bynum said it was requested by Rick Frueh, whose grandmother was one of Gipp’s sisters.
“This is a very sensitive family matter,” said Bynum, of Birmingham, Ala., who described himself as a close friend of Gipp’s closest living relatives. He said they did not want to comment but would issue a statement in the future. . . .
Ron Gipp, a distant cousin of George Gipp who lives in Laurium, told The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton he watched the exhumation and described it as a “a desecration.”
“It’s absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for,” Karl Gipp, another distant cousin who lives in Skanee, told the Gazette.
Not knowing the legal basis for this strange event, I agree. It’s hard to imagine why someone would want to dig up a body 87 years later, when there was no foul play in the death and there are no trust and estate or inheritance issues.
What do you think is going on here?
Tags: Alabama, All American, Birmingham, Coach Rockne, Dawn, Debbie Schlussel, George Gipp, Karl Gipp, Knute Rockne, Laurium, Mike Bynum, pneumonia, reporter to Mike Bynum, Rick Frueh, Ron Gipp, Ronald Reagan, Skanee, The Daily Mining Gazette