Oh you are so full of crap. You're five foot nothin', a hundred and nothin' and you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you were also going to walk out of here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life time you don't have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself and after what you gone through. If you haven't done that by now, it ain't gonna never happen, now go on back.
Because of this fun little game, I've never really taken Rudy seriously. It's always been a gag to me. Yes, the story is nice. And yes the movie makes you feel all warm and cuddly inside. But I get that same feeling from a Benji movie. But all this changed the other night as I drove my son home in the bitter cold as he had just finished a basketball tournament. And boy was he bitter.
My son is tall. And he's built like a tank. This has served him well for basketball. He gets under the basket, no one gets all up in his grill, he shoots the ball, he makes the basket, parents stand and cheer and my son ends up with a nice ice cream cone when all is said and done. This year my son decided to step it up a bit and play in a more competitive league. And with that comes more... um.... competition. I don't know that my son had planned for that part. These kids are fast and they call plays like "number 1" and they can really shoot the ball and my son is playing on a new team with lots of boys he's never played with before. And some boys who have never played basketball before. All of these issues came to a head as I drove him home last Sunday night.
In the last game of the tournament, my son had been pitted up against a boy twice his size and three times his weight. Needless to say, my son was intimidated by this. Not unlike the time I played football my freshman year of high school and looked across the line and saw a lineman with a full mustache. Those are scary times.
As a parent, times like these are tough. You want to be sympathetic, but you also want to kick them in the ass a bit. In my working life, I deal with a lot of young-uns that don't appreciate hard work and I'll be damned if I allow my son to follow that path. Because of this belief, I will always err on the side of hard-assness which I usually regret later on. So there I was, being a man and thinking I had to fix this right then and there. To put these feelings to bed. But how? And that's when Rudy popped into my head like a big bright shiny beacon.
I asked my son if he knew Rudy? Who? Rudy, I said again. My son answered "no" and that's when it all started. I told my son the story of Rudy. How hard he worked. How he overcame incredible odds to play on the football team he had always wanted. How he was five feet nothin' and weighed a hundred and nothin'. Charles "The Roc" Dutton's words flowed beautifully from my mouth. How if someone didn't play hard enough, Rudy would go after him and chew his butt no matter how big the guy was. Rudy didn't make excuses. He just played as hard as he could.
My son quieted down after that. Maybe he understood, maybe he was tired, maybe he was thinking about butterflies. I have no idea. But one thing's for sure, my son and I are going to be watching Rudy very soon. And I'll be viewing it through new eyes.