8 - Rudy
We all have dreams. Dreams to be astronauts, climb Mt.
Everest, write a novel, swim the English channel, eradicate inner-city poverty,
have children, cure cancer, or slam dunk like Michael Jordan. For many of us
those dreams seem foolish or impossible or both. For Daniel Ruettiger, the
dream of playing football for Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish fit squarely into
that category. He lacked the money and the grades to attend. He struggled with
dyslexia. And at 5’6” and 165lbs, he wasn’t exactly made of football stock.
But he struggled and fought and persevered, not only being accepted to the University but winning a walk-on spot on the football team. During his senior year he was finally allowed to suit up and hit the field, and in his second (and last ever) play on the field, he sacked the opposing quarter back. Rudy ended up being the first player ever (and there have only ever been two) to be carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders.
The 1993 film Rudy is based on his true story and captures the essence of what makes this story great. That even when our dreams are impossible, the relentless pursuit of them in the face of all odds is a powerful testament to the human spirit.
~ Evan Derrick