This movie is based on the real story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruttinger. Rudy is a little boy that has just one dream, to play football for Notre Dame University.
He has several difficulties against him, starting with his tiny complexion. His family does not believe he could make the team and regard Rudy’s illusion as just a big heartache. His brothers tease him because he’s short and skinny, his father does not have the funds to pay for the tuition. Then his teachers, who don´t encourage him to even make a visit to Notre Dame, alleging the precedent of his low grades.
Rudy complies with other’s expectations for his life, despite his deep passion for the game. So he gets a job at the mill after high school, a girlfriend, and gets ready to marry and settle down.
The inflection point comes to his life when his best friend, also working at the mill, gives him a ND jacket as birthday present, encouraging him saying “Rudy, you were born to wear that jacket.” Then Rudy watched how his bestie died in a terrible accident at the mill. This sets up his inner fire and shifts his whole life trajectory.
Rudy buys a bus ticket to ND and figures out how to get into the nearby school in order to raise his grades and apply for ND. Meanwhile he takes action by introducing himself to the coach and getting a half-time job as gardener at the stadium, sneaking in through a window every night to have a place to sleep. He applies several times until he gets accepted finally.
During his college years he showed more heart than the rest of the team put together so he gained the respect of his teammates, despite his short height and never been selected. Busted down, bruised and tired, he gave up the team during his senior year when the coach failed to choose him for the last game of the season. All his teammates gave up their place for him to play by throwing their uniforms on the coach’s desk the night before the game. Finally, Rudy had made the team.
He phoned his family and they made the trip to watch him play. The whole team and crowd started cheering for Rudy just minutes before the end of the game, putting so much pressure over the coach that he was forced to let him play. Rudy enters the field, even though for just a few minutes, but he manages to intervene favourably in a play before the end and the crowd went nuts. The match ends with a victory for ND and he gets carried in shoulders out of the field by all the team.
This inspiring story has all the elements of the MKE system, and gave me a lot of courage to continue trekking my own hero’s journey towards my DMP despite all the obstacles I encounter (and the ones I made up, lol).
I guess everyone can learn a little bit from Rudy’s journey of courage and persistence and going after your dreams no matter what. This story had a really strong inspiring impact upon me and I’m grateful to the MKE for allowing me the opportunity to know about this one!