If I ever go to grad school, I could write a fifty-page thesis titled, "Points During Rudy Where Men Lose Their Shit and Cry Like Babies." I'll just list them here. If I've missed your moment, please feel free to share:
- When Pete dies.
- When Rudy finally gets into Notre Dame after however many tries and cries on the bench, saying "Thank God, thank God."
- At practice when he gets pulled from the drill because he's ridiculously overmatched, screams "no coach, I can do it!", gets back in the pile, and takes down a guy twice his size.
- During Groundskeeper Fortune's "I rode the bench because of the color of my skin" monologue.
- When Rudy returns to practice after quitting to a slow-clap-turned-rousing-applause.
- When the Notre Dame players turn in their jerseys so Rudy can have the final roster spot.
(This is where things get ugly.)
- When we see Rudy's people arrive to the final game, we see his parents get off the bus... beat... ::where's his brother, please tell me his brother is here::: ... his brother gets off the bus. (Where I get misty.)
- As Notre Dame goes through the tunnel and Rudy spots Groundskeeper Fortune, who had sworn he'd never set foot on that field during game day again, giving Rudy the "go get em, kid" nod. (Where I really start to lose it.)
- "I've been ready for this my whole life."
- The "Rudy" chant starts.
- The "Rudy" chant grows louder.
- His father turns to the crowd, basking in the "Rudy" chant.
- With the "Rudy" chant roaring and the Irish a knee away from victory, Vince Vaughn (yes, that's Vince Vaughn), convinces the huddle that they need to score another touchdown to give Rudy one last shot at taking the field. They score, and Vaughn's character, who clashed with Rudy the whole film, tells Rudy, "that was for YOU."
- The head coach gives the go-ahead to let Rudy in for the kick-off. He sprints into the field. The crowd goes wild.
- Jon Favreau screams, "he's so little!"
- Rudy stays in the game. Gets the sack to close it. The crowd goes ape shit.
- Back to his parents and his brother, who are over-the-moon.
- Groundskeeper Fortune pound-claps three times, then walks off the field (where I COMPLETELY lose my shit.)
- Favreau: "WHO'S THE WILD MAN NOW?!"
- Rudy gets carried off the field.
I mean, what else can I say? It's Mikey from The Goonies (more on that later) in the ultimate underdog story. When I ran my first half-marathon in October, I saved listening to the score from the final game for my last two miles. I listened to it three times over and finished strong.