Ok, so he doesn't look that imposing.
The man in this photograph remains Notre Dame's all-time leader for a career in average yards per rush (8.1), average yards per play for total offense (9.37), and average yards per game for total offense (128.4).
Look at him; in this photo, he doesn't seem to inspire much fear, does he?
Yet, George Gipp was named one of ESPN's top 25 college football players of all time.
Yes, George Gipp stood the college football world on its ear in the late 1910s, leading head coach Knute Rockne's Fighting Irish to national prominence. A multi-talented athlete, Gipp first played baseball for the Irish before Rockne convinced him to try football.
Sadly, Gipp died of strep throat soon after his last college football game and only a couple of weeks after being named an All-American.
The legend of The Gipper was already rife at South Bend before coach Rockne used Gipp as a motivation for a team later in the decade of the 1920s. According to the legend, Rockne said that, on his deathbed, Gipp told him, "I've got to go, Rock. It's all right. I'm not afraid. 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. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock. But I'll know about it, and I'll be happy."
That speech, and perhaps Gipp's memory, led the Irish to a defeat of Army, and it has echoed down through Irish lore since then, most recently in the popular film, Rudy.