Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Wizard of Notre Dame | by Pat

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the passing of Notre Dame's greatest coach, Knute Rockne. The small memorial located in the middle of a field in Bazaar, Kansas has served as a pilgrimage of sorts for Notre Dame family and friends for close to three-quarters of a century. With the upcoming 75th anniversary next year I suspect even more will visit and pay their respects to the man credited with transforming a small Catholic school, tucked in northwest Indiana, into a national spectacle and source of inspiration for countless Americans. If you do go, keep an eye out for Easter Heathman, a witness to the crash who still takes visitors out to the nondescript landmark.

In the end, perhaps Will Rogers summed up Rockne's passing the best:

"It takes a big calamity to shock a country all at once, but Knute, you did it. You died one of our national heroes. Notre Dame was your address, but every gridiron in America was your home."