Have you seen the movie Rudy? It’s one of the most inspirational movies I’ve watched—and it’s based on a true story which makes it even better.
Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger dreams of playing football from a young age. He plays in high school in the early 1970s, but has neither the size (5’6″ tall) or the money to attend Notre Dame. Despite his obstacles he continues to tell his father and others that he will one day play football for Notre Dame. After an accident at the power plant kills his best friend, he decides it’s time to pursue his dream.
When he arrives at Notre Dame with no money for tuition, he appeals to a priest who befriends him. He is told to attend the community college to get his grades up and he “could” gain admittance.
Rudy asks a stadium groundskeeper if he can work with him in the stadium for free just to be on the field, close to the action. He has nowhere to live and sneaks into the groundskeeper’s office every night to sleep on a cot.
A tutor at the community college agrees to help Rudy in exchange for help with girls. He has him tested and confirms that he has dyslexia which contributes to his low grades. After learning this, his grades improve. But three times, at the end of each semester Rudy is told no when he applies to study at Notre Dame.
Finally after his fourth semester, and his last opportunity to transfer, he’s admitted. Rudy convinces the football coach to give him a place on the practice squad. The older, bigger guys give him a beating every practice. Rudy jumps back up, play after play and is ready to go again, despite the bumps and bruises.
In the beginning some of the other players pull him aside and tell him to cool it, because he’s putting in so much effort he’s making them look bad. One day on the field a player goes after him and chastises him for acting likes it’s the Super Bowl every practice. The coach boots that player as he wishes all his players had as much heart as Rudy.
Rudy’s family and friends don’t believe he’s on the team, because he never suits up or sits on the sidelines. He asks coach to allow him to suit up for one game during his senior year—and coach agrees. But then, that coach steps down. The new coach agrees to keep him on the team, but even in the last game of the season won’t let him suit up.
Rudy gets angry and quits. But his groundskeeper friend tells him how he rode the bench for two years and quit because he didn’t get to play and how he regrets it every day. So Rudy goes back to practice and all the players applaud as he walks on the field. After practice, one-by-one each player brings their jersey to the coach and says, let Rudy suit up in my place. So the coach agrees.
The players let Rudy run out of the tunnel first, he’s is so excited, his parents are there. He’s on the sidelines, suited up in a Notre Dame Uniform! It’s down to 37 seconds left in the game, the players begin to chant his name, “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy…” The students and parents in the stadium join in. Coach finally says okay, Rudy gets to play. The assistant coach tells him to stay on the field for the last play. Georgia Tech snaps the ball, Rudy blasts across the line and sacks the quarterback!
His teammates put him up on their shoulders and carry him off the field. Something that as of the making of the movie, hadn’t been done since.
Rudy followed his dream. He didn’t give up in the face of defeat time and time again. Not big enough, no money or scholarship, grades not good enough, his family laughing at his dream…but he persisted. And in the end, with less than 37 seconds left in the game, his teammates who admired his heart and passion, pulled for him and he got to experience his dream and make it a reality.
What would happen if you were to continue to pursue your dreams against all odds? What means so much to you that you will never give up? That kind of persistence and passion will make you an incredible person. It’s Rudy time…time to take it to the next level of persistence. Join me?