Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gipper's Zipper: DNA proves George Gipp didn't father illegitimate child

DNA tests on the moldering corpse of Notre Dame football legend George Gipp have proven that the old fella didn't father a baby that his former girlfriend gave birth to months after he died of pneumonia and strep during his senior year in 1920. Another 87-year-old rumor bites the dust.

The Gipper -- made famous by coach Knute Rockne in a half-time pep talk and played in the movies by a nearly unknown actor named Ronald Reagan -- was dug up last month amid great secrecy. Why?

Years ago, a Gipp biographer stumbled on an Internet posting by a woman who claimed to be a descendant of the football great. Her grandmother was Eva Bright, whom Gipp had dated for about a year before he died. Her claims caused a Gipp grand-nephew to exhume the body for a DNA test.

So last month, Gipp's right femur was snatched and his other legless remains were reburied. A Dallas testing lab this week confirmed no link between Gipp and the Bright granddaughter.

In other news, 1-9 Notre Dame's backfield still sucks. Perhaps they can put the Gipper's spare leg to good use.