December 24th, 2017

Timeline – 1971 Part 4

by Mort Walker

Beetle Bailey Sunday page color proof, May 30, 1971.

Although it is not currently baseball season, this gag is adaptable to any team sport. Sarge could just as easily be giving a pep talk to the football team.

This Sunday page was inspired by the famous “win one for the Gipper” speech. George Gipp was an all-American halfback, quarterback and kicker for Notre Dame from 1917 to 1920. He died of a throat infection days after leading his team to a victory over Northwestern in his senior season.

On his deathbed in the hospital, Gipper allegedly gave his coach Knute Rockne these words of encouragement: “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.”

Rockne used these lines in a pep talk to his team in 1928 to inspire them to a 12 to 6 victory over an undefeated Army squad. This scene was recreated by Pat O’Brien in the 1940 film, Knute Rocke, All American. Ronald Reagan played George Gipp.

Sarge eventually has to resort to a different form of motivation in the episode above. The men at Camp Swampy do not respond to sentiment or pride.

We would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

In 2018 we will continue our Timeline series with the year 1972, so be sure to check back.

– Brian Walker




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