Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Greatest Sermon I Ever Heard

The Inches speech from Any Given Sunday.



It never graced the presence of a glorious cathedral or bounced off the rafters of an old country church to my knowledge, but it'll bring tears to your eyes and sound for all the world like it's addressed only to you. Al Pacino is not Winston Churchill or John F. Kennedy. He does get a spot in every one of his movies for dissertation, however. This one rocked when it was first delivered, rocks now, and always will rock for all time...Or at least til the end of the NFL:

I don't know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. It all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team, or we're gonna crumble: Inch by inch, play by play, til we're finished. We're in hell right now, gentleman. Believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch at a time.
Now I can't do it for you. I'm too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think...I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off everyone who's ever loved me, and lately I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know, when you get old in life, things get taken from you. That's part of life. But you only learn that, when you start losing stuff. You find out life's this game of inches.
So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early, you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast, you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch! On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch! We claw with our fingernails for that inch! Because we know, when we add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing...Between living and dying! I'll tell ya this, in any fight it's the guy that's willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I'm gonna have any life anymore, it's because I'm still willing to fight and die for that inch. Because that's what living is; the six inches in front of your face!
Now, I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. I think you're gonna see a guy who's gonna go that inch with you. You're gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you're gonna do the same for him. That's a team, gentleman, and either we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's football guys, that's all it is.
Now, what are you gonna do?

And it carries well beyond football. As I transition and close this out, there's a small team close to home (maybe too close), and a much bigger team out there called America:
Both need to see what is expiring right before their eyes, that only we together can save.

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