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Mar 28, 2002 01:30 PM 4798 Views
(Updated Mar 28, 2002 01:30 PM)





It's not very often that a movie is made based on the true-life happenings of a single person. And, even in rare cases such as Gandhi and JFK, it's only because of their social and political standing. Perhaps once in a lifetime do we get to witness a story even more incredible than the JFK assassination or the Gandhian movement. Rudy is one such story.

Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger was born as the second child of the Ruettigers, poor mill-workers in a rural town near Notre Dame. Notre Dame football was the greatest love of Rudy's dad and as a young kid Rudy dreamed of one day playing in the Notre Dame team. But financial troubles forced Rudy to quit school and join the mill along with his father and elder brother. This is not a story about rags-to-riches. It's a story of courage, a story of success against all odds and a story to prove that the impossible is possible, if you want it bad enough. This is the story of Rudy. After working in the mill for nearly 3 years, Rudy quit against the wishes of his family and went to the big city with just one dream in his eyes, to get into the University of Notre Dame. For two years, he slept and worked in a gym thanks to a sympathetic field-worker. After two years, in his final attempt, due to sheer perseverance Rudy was granted admission into the University. He then set out to achieve his childhood dream of playing for the college team. For the next two years, Rudy played his heart out alongside All-American footballers serving as a punching bag for them. He worked harder than anybody on the team, never missed a single days practice the entire two years. Yet, Rudy never made it to the playing team. At the end of his course, a dejected Rudy quit the team until he heard the following words from the sympathetic field-worker:

'' You're five feet five, 160 pounds with no athletic ability. Yet you played alongside people twice your size and never gave up and that's more than most people accomplish in their entire life''.

This helped strengthen Rudy's resolve. He returned to the team and worked harder than ever before. No one failed to notice Rudy's desire and resolve except the coach. In the final match of his course, the players themselves refused to play unless Rudy was at least in the sidelines. In the last 30 seconds of the game, Rudy was finally given the opportunity to go onto the field. Such is his story that the entire crowd started chanting his name. He was carried off the field. And in those 30 seconds, in front of his father and the rest of his family Rudy fulfilled his childhood dream…proving in reality that if you want something bad enough, nothing is impossible. In 1975, Rudy, the son of a poor mill-worker graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame and subsequently, five of his younger brothers went on to graduate from the same university. And, since 1975 no other person has ever been carried off the field!

An extraordinary movie about an extraordinary person. I would like to conclude my review with a statement made by Rudy when he was asked as to why he wanted to make it to the team so badly:

'' This is for everyone who told me that I couldn't do it ''.

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