Eat One for the Gipper!

In 1920, at the tender age of 25*, a young man by the name of George Gipp died of strep throat and pneumonia.  Antibiotics weren't prevalent.  It's a death that would be unheard of now.  Yet it's a life that resonates with all of us.  Who hasn't heard the phrase "Win one for the Gipper!"  Some may attribute the phrase to politics.  Others to athletics.  If you haven't heard the phrase then you, yourself, have likely not reached the tender age of 25.  George Gipp played for Notre Dame in the early 20th century (I apologize.  For those of you who were not raised in my household, I mean to say that he played football).  On his deathbed he told Coach Rockne that "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."  Coach Rockne then used those words to inspire his underdog team to defeat Army in 1928.  In 1940 Ronald Reagan played "Gipp" in the movie, "Knute Rockne, All American".  By 1988 Reagan was using the line he'd learned nearly 50 years earlier to push George H. W. Bush into the Whitehouse.  And at some point during the late 21st Century Somebody opened up a sports bar in Cascade, Michigan called "Gipper's". (It's very difficult from the website to determine who and when.)

The bulk of my family was in town for Labor Day Weekend (and by bulk, I mean just over half).  Considering the fact that my brother is the father of a 2 year-old and four month-old and we refuse to eat at Applebee's, we typically order take out when the family is around.  He suggested a local sports bar, Gipper's. 

Atmosphere: 2/5: As I already mentioned we did take out.  But my dad and I did have to pick up the food at the bar in order to take it out.  It was a little too dingy and a little too sportsy for my taste.  The two points are allocated to the skinny old man in a black polo hunching over his glass of red wine while his bar mates drank beer to celebrate the Tigers overcoming their 8-4 deficit in the fifth with two homeruns in the bottom of the ninth.  Alright, so all of that excitement boosted the atmosphere to a 3. 

Presentation: 3/5: The food came in a Styrofoam box. While I'm adamantly opposed to Styrofoam, the food looked appetizing once the box was opened.  

Technique: 3/5: For starters, the tomato and bacon I requested with my burger didn't come out to play.  My mom argued that her bun to turkey club ratio was a little high.  Mollie thought her roast beef sandwich could have been a titch more crispy on the outside.  And Will suggested that dinner should have been ice cream. All that aside, Gipper's didn't fail. The hamburgers were cooked perfectly.  So were the onion rings.  The breading to onion ratio was spot on.  There were no burn marks.  There were no mushy parts.  Most importantly, the onion did not slide out of the ring when bitten. 

Taste: 4/5: While there were certain criticisms of the excessive breading or inaccuracy of the order, no one complained about the actual taste of the food.  Let's call it what it is.  It's bar food.  It's bar food done well.  The bar does lose a point for their potato chip quality.  They were terrible.  Overcooked.  Flavorless. Be sure you upgrade to the fries.  When I asked Will how his food tasted, he responded "fench fies".  He couldn't be more right.

Value: 4/5: Six adults and one toddler ate for about $55.  That's a steal in my book. The biggest problem with Gipper's is it's location.  (I gather the residents of Cascade would disagree.  It's just that there aren't many of them.)
Overall Experience: 5/5:  Always a 5/5.  While Will recommended that we have ice cream for dinner, the responsible adults said no, put him to bed, and made an ice cream run.

*What I find to be the most intriguing part about the Gipp's life is that he was 25 when he died AND a Senior at Notre Dame.  That is roughly seven years of undergraduate work. Neither Wikipedia nor the official George Gipp website addressed the issue.   


  1. This is my new favorite blog. You are one brilliant SOB. I give it 4.5/5.... Only because It makes me wish with all my might that I could be there to tour GR with you. Im sure I'd have plenty of material to contribute.

  2. Amy B,

    It only takes one plane ticket to make that 4.5 a 5.