Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eighty-One Years Ago Today: Rockne's Death

March 31, 1931 -- in a Kansas cornfield, a plane went down killing legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and seven others.  Rockne, only 43 years old at the time, had just visited his two sons in Kansas and was on his way to the west coast to participate in the production of the movie "The Spirit of Notre Dame."

What's not often discussed is Coach Rockne left the ND Football team in the middle of a nineteen game winning streak -- having gone undefeated his last two seasons as head coach (1929 and 1930) winning "back to back" National Championships.

The season after Coach Rockne's death (1931), the Irish extended the unbeaten streak to 27 straight games before losing the last two games to USC (who was visiting ND for the first time ever) and Army at Yankee Stadium.