I just read an article by Emily Kaplan called “The Fall of Johnny Football” which chronicles the football life story of a young Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. There was mention of how he had broken NCAA rules when he took money for signing autographs. Then, after being reinstated after a half a game suspension, he mocked signing an autograph after scoring a touchdown. There are many more mentions of his antics, mostly mis-behaving in his personal life, and not performing in his professional life. Now, he has been let go from the Cleveland Browns and at the time of this writing, he has not been picked up by another NFL team. His behavior has been trouble off the field. Behavior that you would never see from Rudy Ruettiger – the real life underdog football player for Notre Dame. His motivating, inspiring story was voted one of the top 10 sports movies of all time.
I’m not writing this blog just because I’m sharing the stage with him at an upcoming event in Las Vegas. No, I am writing this blog because I was just on a BLAB with him preparing people for what they’ll get from watching him speak, and I was inspired. If you haven’t seen the movie “Rudy”, it’s about overcoming insurmountable odds to have your dream come true. He did whatever it took to play and suit up for a Notre Dame football game, even living on a cot in the janitor’s office. On this call yesterday, Rudy talked about having faith and belief in your goals, and being patient when things don’t go your way when you want them to. In a word, the anti-Johnny Football message. Rudy had nothing on the surface to go play at Notre Dame – not the grades, not the bankroll to afford it. But what he had, made up for that. He had a dream, hope, belief, determination, and a willingness to work harder than anyone else.
So just for today – don’t go for the limelight and ignore the coaching and suggestions by people who love you. Instead, fight for your dream with tenacity, faith, patience and perservance. In other words, go the Rudy way, not the Johnny Football way.
From your gotta-love-a-good-underdog-sports-movie motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman
P.S. If you want to see Rudy speak live, check out is schedule at Get Energized Seminars