Any Given Sunday, Tony D’Amato played by Al Pacino
“I don’t know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives
all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch play by-play till we’re finished. We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me
and we can stay here and 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 and I see these young faces
and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make.
I uh…. I pissed away all my money believe it or not.
I chased off anyone who has 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, that’s part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football.
Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small.
I mean one half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game
every minute, every second.
On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us
to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our fingernails for that inch.
Cause we know when we add up all those inches
that’s going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.
I’ll tell you this in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch.
And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is 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. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.
You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team
because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.
That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.
That’s football guys. That’s all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?”
My brother downloaded that speech to our Napster account in 1999 or 2000. I have always found it, first and foremost one of the best theatrical speeches of all time! I highly recommend you watch it:
Over time, I have gone back to it for different reasons. Today I come to it again. I have chased numerous relationships into the ground. I have fought to make it work so hard that I have blown it. I feel like I am “moving the ball” closer to the first down all by myself. If “life is a game of inches” then I have covered several football fields and only made it to the end zone a few times.
I have to state that the defensive line is playing a completely different game these days. Every moment to move the ball is critical to the game. Not one misstep can take place. Show attention, but not too much. Be available, but don’t ask to make plans. Furthermore, don’t just assume because it’s the weekend that there will be any plans at all. “Because in either game of life or football the margin for error is so small.I mean one half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second.”
The defense doesn’t even have to try, I just place the ball in their hands! Here it is, now run with it! How have I not seen it before? As much as I love and understand football, that is exactly what middle-aged dating is. Just one turnover after another!
The ball is me my support, my love, my time, my devotion. The issue is, I’ve been gaining inches and yards and working to death to get those inches…and haven’t had control of the ball or the game not once. I have “fought and died for that inch”.
Unfortunately, in our lives the divorce and break up numbers are increasing by the second. So ladies and gentlemen, we have to stick together and hold the defense accountable. We have to stop mishandling the ball! Our feelings, emotions, sanity and the ability to raise our children to see strength and courage is on the line!
“We are in hell right now, gentlemen(ladies) believe me and we can stay here and 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.”