Knute Rockne

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One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.

Knute Kenneth Rockne (4 March 188831 March 1931) was a Norwegian-American football player and coach at the University of Notre Dame, regarded as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. He helped to popularize the forward pass and made the Notre Dame Fighting Irish a major factor in college football.

Quotes[edit]

Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up.
  • Let's win one for the Gipper.
    • Statement during a half-time speech to the Fighting Irish when they were tied with Army 0–0, inspiring the team towards a 12–6 victory, (10 November 1928), as portrayed in Knute Rockne, All American (1940)
  • Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.
    • As quoted in Knute Rockne: Man Builder (1940) by Harry Augustus Stuhldreher, p. 53
  • Win or lose, do it fairly.
    • As quoted in Swimming World and Junior Swimmer Vol. 20 (1979), p. 57
  • One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.
    • As quoted in The Reader's Digest Vol. 135 (1989), p. 34
    • Variant: One man practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundred teaching it.
  • The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.
    • As quoted in Coaching Champions: The Privilege of Mentoring (1994) by Jess Gibson, p. 160
  • Football is a game played with arms, legs and shoulders but mostly from the neck up.
    • Great Quotes from Great Sports Heroes (1997) by Peggy Anderson, p. 35


Disputed[edit]

  • Show me a good and gracious loser, and I'll show you a failure.
    • Attribution to Rockne sometime in the 1920s mentioned in Safire's Political Dictionary (2008) by William Safire, p. 401, but there is no definite mention of this yet located prior to the 1980s; in The Yale Book of Quotations by Fred R. Shapiro, a similar remark is credited to Arnold "Red" Auerbach, based on a 1965 citation in the Mansfield News Journal [Ohio]: "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

Quotes about Rockne[edit]

  • Now I'm going to tell you something I've kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. He was long before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame. And the last thing he said to me, "Rock," he said, "sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock," he said, "but I'll know about it and I'll be happy."

External links[edit]

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