Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 10 of 55 NOV. 26, 2018 11 UNDER THE DOME Notre Dame's Unsung All-American A college football record 85 consensus All-Americans (16 of them two-time selections) have suited up for Notre Dame, easily ahead of No. 2 USC with 71. The most recent came last year with offensive linemen Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. While other "firsts" from the first President of the United States (George Washington) to the first man to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong), etc., are ingrained in history, Notre Dame's first consensus All- American is often overshadowed. Until now. The publishing this year of the 229-page book with the simple title Gus Dorais provides an illuminating in-depth account of the man who became Notre Dame's first consensus All-American in 1913 while help- ing revolutionize the game of football and putting the small midwestern Catholic school on the map with a sensational November in which the Irish played all four games on the road en route to one upset after another. It is authored by award-winning author and library director Joe Niese, who resides in Dorais' hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wis., while Bob Dorais, a grandson, researched and collected information. The confluence of Jesse Harper as the new head coach and Knute Rockne as his roommate made Dorais somewhat an overshadowed figure, but it was the all-around skills of the 5-7, 145-pound Dorais — among his many nicknames were Will O'Wisp and Mighty Mite — that spearheaded Notre Dame football into the national spotlight. His passing heroics have been well documented in the stunning 35-13 win at Army, but the next week versus another powerful eastern school, Penn State, it was Dorais who led the 14-7 win, and when trail- ing at St. Louis later he rallied the Irish with a 60-yard punt return for one touchdown and a 35-yard scor- ing run for the go-ahead tally. In the finale at southwest power Texas, Dorais concluded the 7-0 season with another touchdown run and three field goals — a school single-game record that stood for 66 years. The 11 chapters track everything in Dorais' life from his childhood, to his initial cold reception at Notre Dame and a coaching career that earned him induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the year he passed away. "Gus did as much as any man that ever lived for the game of football," said Art Rooney, the founder, owner and chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1933-88, upon Dorais' death. Finally, his legacy has been recorded for posterity. — Lou Somogyi Gus Dorais became Notre Dame's first consensus All-American in 1913. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS Notre Dame Legend • Notre Dame's First All-American - 1913 • Team Captain - 1912 • Four Year Starting Quarterback - 1910-1913 • Rockne's Teammate, Roommate and Friend • Forward Pass Pioneer • Gipp's Backfield Coach " ... It is a story researched and told lovingly, one that helps provide immense context and understanding not just of Dorais' life and compe ve fire but of Notre Dame' s rise as a power and the founda on of American football itself… " – Roland Lazenby; Most prolific sports author of our me ALAN PAGE RECEIVES PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM On Nov. 16, Notre Dame 1967 graduate Alan Page was one of seven American icons, and three former athletes, who were bestowed the United States' highest civilian honor when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contribu- tions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. A member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, Page helped the 1966 Fighting Irish capture the national title and earned NFL MVP honors along with nine Pro Bowl honors. While playing in the NFL, he obtained his law degree and practiced law in the off-season. He won a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, where he served more than 20 years. In the last 30 years his Page Education Foundation has provided scholarships to nearly 7,000 students. Page joined legendary baseball player George Herman "Babe" Ruth, who died in 1948, and former Navy Heisman Trophy winner and two- time Super Bowl champion Roger Staubach among the athletes. The other four recipients were singer Elvis Presley, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, doctor and humanitarian Miriam Adelson, and Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

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