Scholastic, 1944

Nov 08, 2013

I have never heard this one before...it certainly explains Knute's nose...

Kansas Boxing Match Changes Life of Knute Rockne; Day's Incident Brings Him to N. D.
 

"The little town was buzzing with an excitement that was rare on the Kansas prairies in the early 1900's," begins an article in the September issue of Coronet magazine. The excitement centered around a slender, sturdy-legged, tow haired youth who strode briskly along the twilight streets with a newspaper wrapped package under his arm. In it were a pair of rubber-soled shoes, a pair of boxing trunks and a sweat shirt.


The young man walked so fast that his heavy-set companion breathlessly begged him to slow down lest he wear himself out before he got to their destination an improvised boxing ring where waited Frankie Brown, a professional boxer...stocky, thick-necked and round headed. Outside the ring were the Kansan's friends, shouting words of encouragement, urging him to show the skill that had made him the pride of that little town. The Kansan was lean and rangy and fast. And his excellent footwork was to his advantage. He danced back from Frankie Brown's stinging left jabs and rolled his body under the powerful right hand punches. He realized early in the match that his only chance to win a clear-cut victory over Brown was to outgeneral him. Coronet relates. But Frankie Brown was a ring-master too. It was a clean, hard fight. A case of one natural-born fighter pitted against another who fought because he loved it. They were as evenly matched as any two boxers who had ever stepped in the ring. The bout was declared a draw and even the spectators agreed with the judges that this was the only possible decision. After the match was over, Frankie Brown caught up with the smiling towhead who had wrapped up his paraphernalia and was started home. They began a conversation and stopped off in a lunchroom to talk over a sandwich and a glass of milk. Frankie Brown told his opponent how much he had admired his ring style, what a great boxer he'd make. But the other smiled. "I'm going to college and get an education, so I'll be able to carve out a career to suit my own ideas.  They talked till nearly midnight, says Coronet, and in the end, it was the views of Frankie Brown that were changed. He decided to give up boxing as a career and enter college, even if it meant working his way through. He thanked the Kansan for the advice. "You're welcome Frankie," the young Kansan laughingly replied.
 

At that Brown grinned back. "Forget the Frankie Brown stuff. That's just my ring name. My real name's Rockne—Knute Rockne. And say if I should want to write you, how should I spell that last name of yours?"

"E-i-s-e-n-h-o-w-e-r. Dwight Eisenhower," the lanky Kansan smiled.


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