Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Must See TV: George Gipp

Another "Must See TV" show was recently filmed in Michigan, although I have to admit I find it a little macabre.
The body of U.P. sports hero George Gipp was exhumed from its gravesite at Lakeview Cemetery in Osceola last Thursday. The reason, according to the Houghton County Medical Examiner's office, was medical/genetic testing.
According to the Mining Gazette, the DNA testing is in conjunction with an upcoming book on the Gipp's life written by historian Michael Bynum, and an ESPN crew was present because the network is airing a program on the Gipp as part of a series on the top 25 college athletes of all time.

Bynum's book was postponed to include the results of the DNA testing, which he said will be detailed at a later date. I'm curious to know what it is Bynum's looking for, especially after reading that his book will seek to correct past works on Gipp that he claims were marred by sloppy research and exaggerated details. Maybe the Gipp didn't die from pneumonia and strep throat like historians claim. They also said the Gipp liked women and gambling. Can DNA testing verify that?!

I hope there was a good reason to dig him up. Gipp's great-nephew (who authorized the exhumation) apparently thought there was, but several other family members were less than pleased. Ron Gipp, a distant cousin, said, "I stayed right until the end when he was buried in the ground again. And this time, he'll rest in peace, and this will be over with."

The airdate of the ESPN program is unknown, and so is the guarantee the Gipp will rest in peace for eternity.

Update: Check out the comments and read the links Abi provided there. It appears the Gipp may have fathered an illegitimate daughter based on correspondence between Bynum and a woman that Abi found posted on a genealogy bulletin board.


Larry said...

Unbelieveable, anything for a buck.

abi said...

It looks like Bynum is trying to find out whether Gipp had an illegitimate daughter, Eva Bright. I Googled Gipp and Bynum, and found this and this.

Kathy said...

Larry, that was my thought too, but it looks like there might be more to it after reading what Abi found.

Abi, good catch! You are so smart! I thought of that connection too, but couldn't find any links. I noticed Bynum posted a note on the Pasty.com genealogy board asking for information from Gipp family members in the Laurium area. He said he was editing a book for the Gipp family. If they can prove he fathered an illegitimate daughter, it might help create more interest and sell more books.

How ironic (or maybe fitting is the appropriate word) that Ronald Reagan and the Republicans used the Gipp as a symbol. With all the recent corruption and moral scandals, this fits right in. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to thank Abi for the links. I'm a ND fan and was searching for some reason behind the Gipper's exhumation. Very interesting, good work Abi.