Rudys The Name, Motivation Still His Game – 247Sports

Posted: April 16, 2020 at 6:52 am


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With four months of speaking engagements lined up in Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York and various spots in California, Daniel Rudy Ruettiger and his representatives had no choice but to cancel them as the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States.

Adversity strikes again. Few are more prepared when life throws him a curveball than the unstoppable force that is Ruettiger. In baseball vernacular, when you have two strikes against you, just choke up and punch it to the opposite field.

My speaking business is no more, at least for now, which is fine, said Ruettiger, 71, who turned his Notre Dame football walk-on story into the wildly successful movie Rudy by TriStar Pictures back in 1993.

It gives me time to reevaluate everything Im doing on the new road I must take. Its like preventive medicine. You knew the good was here for now, but what are you going to do when the bad gets here? Are you going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself? No, you create other opportunities for yourself.

Ruettigers podcast Rise Above With Rudy on Spotify continues the universal message of perseverance, belief and the relentless pursuit of the previously unthinkable, unattainable goal. Hes joined each week by Joe Garner, a six-time New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including Echoes of Notre Dame Football.

Ive been through tough times and have experienced success, Ruettiger said. I told Joe, Lets talk to the people I know and Ive been around. Lets talk to regular people going through tough times and how theyre getting through it.

Ruettigers message continues to resonate, perhaps even more so in these uncertain times throughout the world. Its a message that has reached former Irish football players such as Kyle Rudolph, Rick Mirer and Jaylon Smith, among many others, as well as baseball greats Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera and former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Even the late great Kobe Bryant found himself a bit star struck nine years ago when Ruettiger was in the Staples Center before a L.A. Lakers-Sacramento Kings game where Ruettigers daughter Jessica Noel Ruettiger, an aspiring singer/actress was about to offer her rendition of the national anthem.

My daughter, who Im proud to say graduated from the Berkeley School of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Arts in two weeks, was preparing to sing three or four hours before the game, and Kobe comes out and starts shooting around, Ruettiger said. I watched him for about an hour. I thought to myself, How long is he going to shoot? I asked a guy, Does he do this before every game? And he said hes out here two hours before every game.

So I said Id like to meet him and shake his hand, maybe get a picture with him and an autograph. The guy said, You dont disturb Kobe when hes getting ready for the game. And I said, I totally get that.

Then Bryant looked in Ruettigers direction.

He says, Rudy? Are you Rudy Ruettiger? Ruettiger recalled. I said, Yeah. He said, Are you the real Rudy? And I said, Yeah. And he got really emotional. Tears were rolling down his cheeks. He was serious.

He says to my son (Daniel), Your dad is my hero. When I was 16-years-old, my father showed me your dads movie when I was in Italy. The only reason Im out here is because of your dad. It reminds me of my talent and that I cant take it for granted.

Such is the universal and long-lasting appeal of Ruettiger, who spoke to a gathering of businessmen at the World Trade Center two months before a terrorist attack brought both skyscrapers down. Bryants message to Ruettiger resonated back on him and his experience of getting accepted to Notre Dame, playing in the 1975 Georgia Tech game, and sacking Yellow Jackets quarterback Rudy Allen.

It was the philosophy of the movie he picked up on, said Ruettiger of Bryant. He said, I have a tremendous amount of talent, but I also had my pity parties. I said, We all have done that, havent we? He said, Yeah, but what that movie taught me was that if you work hard and I work to get better every day, where will I be 20 years from now?

I said, Thats how I looked at Notre Dame football. I wasnt any good, but if I worked hard, what if I got a chance to play? Would I be ready? Same philosophy.

He said, I swear I watched that movie a hundred times. Weve all made our mistakes, but we learn not to live in our mistakes. Thats the other lesson you taught me, Rudy.

Speaking of indomitable spirits, Ruettiger once found himself at the same event as Major League Baseballs all-time hit leader Pete Rose. Rose wasnt quite as impressed with Ruettigers story as the masses who have gravitated to it.

Pete Rose kept saying, 4,292 hits. 4,292 hits, 4,292 hits, Ruettiger recalled. He kept repeating it. And then he says, One tackle! Way to go, Rudy!

Ruettiger hopes his message via the Rise Above With Rudy podcast will be beneficial during these trying times. The message in good times or bad carries the same weight.

There are way better stories than mine, Ruettiger said. I get that. But anyone who has been through tough times and has remained positive and believed and persevered can relate to it. The message is universal and we want to share that message through our podcast.

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Rudys The Name, Motivation Still His Game - 247Sports

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April 16th, 2020 at 6:52 am

Posted in Motivation