Bard1 (Regular; 3480)
Posted on: 01-17-2013.
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I've heard rumor that the story was manufactured by Pop McKale. Obviously, the death of Button wasn't, but the Bear Down speech itself. Only Pop and Button would know for certain, and I'll believe he did.
Here's a Hansen story where it alludes to the questioning of the story:
"Three days later, playing its scheduled football game at New Mexico State, UA coach Pop McKale gathered his team before warm-ups and relayed Salmon's deathbed message.
"Tell them … tell the team to Bear Down."
It didn't take long for the Bear Down legend to grow. Marlar has in his possession the 1927 UA student yearbook. At the bottom of each page are the script words BEAR DOWN.
"Over the years, a lot of people have doubted the veracity of the story," Marlar said. "I have no doubt about the exchange between Pop and Button, but now, all these years later, it doesn't really matter.
"In the West, when there's a choice between legend and truth, legend always wins."
I think it highly more likely that Button said "Bear Down," over the "win one for the gipper" speech stated by a kid dying because of severe strep throat.
From George Gipp's wikipedia:
"It is more likely that Gipp contracted strep throat and pneumonia while giving punting lessons after his final game, November 20 against Northwestern University. Since antibiotics were not yet available in the 1920s, treatment options for such infections were limited and they could be fatal even to young, healthy individuals."
The win one for the gipper speech..
"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" ---A hell of a lot more articulate than "Bear Down" when you are dying from pneumonia/strep.
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