In 1999, Al Pacino and an all-star cast that included Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Berkley, and NFL Hall-of-Famers Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor starred in the movie Any Given Sunday. In the movie, Al Pacino as Coach Tony D’Amato, gives one of the best motivational speeches you’ll ever hear for both football and life. Countless people over the years have credited this speech from this movie as motivating them to fight for their life, their job, their marriage, and so much more.
Enjoy this look back at Coach D’Amato’s pre-game speech in Any Given Sunday from 1999!
Al Pacino – Any Given Sunday Speech: Inch By Inch
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 outta hell… one inch at a time.
Now I can’t do it for you, I’m too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I’ve made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I’ve pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s 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. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football.
Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches that’s gonna make the f%#&@! difference between WINNING and LOSING, between LIVING and DYING!
I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I’m gonna have any life anymore it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that’s what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can’t make you do it. You’ve got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think you going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same 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, what are you gonna do?