clock menu more-arrow no yes
From the film Rudy

This week across SBNation, the theme is “sports moments that made you cry”. I did get misty-eyed after watching the Cubs finally win a World Series as I thought of those who passed away without having the opportunity to celebrate. But that isn’t very Iowa focused so the only other sporting event that gets me teary is when Rudy finally gets the opportunity to dress because his teammates all stuck up for the underdog (last week’s theme, sweet a two-for-one post).

Let’s recreate the scene from Rudy changing from the University of Notre Dame to the University of Iowa.

For anyone that has lived under a rock for the past 25 years or simply refuses to watch Rudy due to a hatred of all things Irish, here is a quick summary for you from showtimes.com (warning, pretty major spoiler alert).

A young man learns to let nothing stop him from realizing his ambitions in this drama, based on a true story. Ever since he was a little boy, Rudy Ruettiger (Sean Astin) has dreamed of attending Notre Dame University, and playing on the Fighting Irish football team. However, Rudy’s dream doesn’t seem very practical; Daniel (Ned Beatty), his father, works in a steel mill and can ill afford to send his son to Notre Dame, while Rudy’s grades are not especially impressive, and standing a shade over five feet tall and weighing a little over 100 pounds, Rudy is hardly built for the gridiron. However, with the help of Father Cavanaugh (Robert Prosky), a sympathetic priest, Rudy is admitted to nearby Holy Cross, and in his junior year manages to squeak into Notre Dame as a transfer student. Rudy works as an assistant to the football stadium’s groundskeeper, Fortune (Charles S. Dutton), to pay his tuition (often sleeping in Fortune’s office since he can’t afford a room), studies diligently, and appears at tryouts for the football team. Rudy is made a member of the practice team, which means he’s little more than a human tackling dummy, but Coach Ara Parseghian (Jason Miller) is impressed with Rudy’s devotion and determination, and pledges that he’ll allow him to dress for one game before he graduates, so his name can be recorded as an official member of the team. However, the arrival of a new coach and a tough season that allows for few unnecessary players may put a stop to Rudy’s dreams within sight of the finish line.

The improved Iowa version will feature former walk-on Austin Spiewak. Austin has given it his all for four straight years now and has yet to see action. After seeing his name missing from the dress list for the last game, something promised to him by former coach Reese Morgan, Austin quits the team until he is coaxed back by good friend and teammate Colton Dinsdale (played by Vince Vaughan).

I was luckily able to find the actual script for the climactic, tear inducing scene.

Scene: (Coach Kirk Ferentz’s office) Coach Ferentz is feverishly going over multiple punt formations that he may potentially use to win the field position battle over Wisconsin in the upcoming final game of the regular season. A win propels the Hawkeyes to the Conference Championship, while a loss forces them to another mediocre bowl, probably in Florida, the current Coronavirus epicenter.

(Enter #77, Alaric Jackson) Ferentz: “Well hi Alaric, come in.”

Jackson: “I want Austin to dress in my place coach, he deserves it.”

Ferentz: (slight chuckle) “Don’t be ridiculous. Wisconsin is one of the top offensive teams in the country.” (Ferentz looks up and sees that Jackson is serious) “You’re an All-American and our captain, act like it.”

Jackson: “I believe I am.” (lays down his jersey on Ferentz’s desk and walks out the door)

Coy Cronk: “Me too coach, I want Austin to dress in my place.” (drops jersey on the desk and walks out)

Keith Duncan: “Coach, this if for Austin” (sets his jersey down).

The line continues as player after player walks though setting their jerseys down in support of Austin.

Fade to black...

Wow, it’s sure dusty in here. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

For those that don’t think that Austin wouldn’t be better than Rudy, here’s what the original scene looked like for comparison.

Go Hawkeyes!