"Fighting Irish"=Notre Dame (1914)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 21 00:14:04 UTC 2005

I just did a re-check and was surprised to find pre-WWI citations from  1914.
22 October 1914, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, pg. 8, col. 4:
We are glad we will be able, figuratively speaking, to sit on the sidelines
and not play with South Dakota when Notre Dame's Fighting Irish get even  for
the defeat suffered last Saturday at New Haven.
_YALE  DOWNS N. D., 28-0, BY VERSATILE ATTACK; Hoosiers Near Score as Call of
Time  Closes Each Half. RUGBY GAME UPSETS _
Chicago Daily  Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Oct 18, 1914. p. B1 (2
pages) :
In spite of the fact that they were out-generated and consequently
outplayed, the fighting Irish met Yale at its own game and never, even when it  was
inevitable that defeat would be their portion, showed a sign of  faltering.
The Fighting Irish

Exactly where and how Notre Dame's athletic nickname, "Fighting Irish," came
to origination never has been perfectly explained.
One story suggests the moniker was born in 1899 with Notre Dame leading
Northwestern 5-0 at halftime of a game in Evanston, Ill. The Wildcat fans
supposedly began to chant, "Kill the Fighting Irish, kill the Fighting Irish,"  as
the second half opened.
Another tale has the nickname originating at halftime of the Notre
Dame-Michigan game in 1909. With his team trailing, one Notre Dame player yelled  to
his teammates - who happened to have names like Dolan, Kelly, Glynn, Duffy  and
Ryan - "What's the matter with you guys? You're all Irish and you're not
fighting worth a lick."
Notre Dame came back to win the game and press, after overhearing the remark,
 reported the game as a victory for the "Fighting Irish."
The most generally accepted explanation is that the press coined the nickname
 as a characterization of Notre Dame athletic teams, their never-say-die
fighting  spirit and the Irish qualities of grit, determination and tenacity. The
term  likely began as an abusive expression tauntingly directed toward the
athletes  from the small, private, Catholic institution. Notre Dame alumnus
Francis  Wallace popularized it in his New York Daily News columns in the 1920s.
The Notre Dame Scholastic, in a 1929 edition, printed its own version of the
"The term 'Fighting Irish' has been applied to Notre Dame teams for years. It
 first attached itself years ago when the school, comparatively unknown, sent
its  athletic teams away to play in another city ...At that time the title
'Fighting  Irish' held no glory or prestige ...
"The years passed swiftly and the school began to take a place in the sports
world ...'Fighting Irish' took on a new meaning. The unknown of a few years
past  has boldly taken a place among the leaders. The unkind appellation became
 symbolic of the struggle for supremacy of the field. ...The team, while
given in  irony, has become our heritage. ...So truly does it represent us that we
 unwilling to part with it ..."
Notre Dame competed under the nickname "Catholics" during the 1800s and
became more widely known as the "Ramblers" during the early 1920s in the days of
the Four Horsemen.

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