Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Modern Day Rudy

I love football. I love Eagles football, but what I love the most are great football stories. I remember watching the movie "Rudy" with my Dad, which featured a walk-on whose dream was to play in a Notre Dame football game, and got his chance. "Brian Song" is another moving true story about two NFL players from the 60's. Featuring Gail Sayers, an African-American running back who helped his White teammate, Brian Piccolo with his struggle with terminal cancer. Every time I see that movie, every time I hear that theme song, I am buckets... and so is my Dad. (Side note: see the original with Billy Dee Williams and James Caan from 1971, the remake from a couple of years ago pails in comparison.)

What I love about football is not so much great Eagle wins, epic Cowboy losses, or even beating my brother in fantasy football. What I love are true stories of people overcoming challenges and beating the odds that inspires us all. Matt Ziesel is a 15 year old high school student with Down Syndrome who overcomes the odds and scores the only touchdown in his team's blowout loss. The final score may not be remembered, but the final play of this game and the courage of one player will not be forgotten.

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