This game has got to be about more than winning. You’re part of something here. Lombardi, Tittle, Sammy Baugh, Unitas, hundreds of great players, those men on the wall. You’re part of that now, along the way, I want you to cherish it because when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes till the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Now either we heal as a team or we’re gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, until we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me. And, we can stay here, get the s*** 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 made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I p****d 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 a mirror. You know, when you get old in life, things get taken from you. I mean that’s part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ 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 winnin’ and losin’! Between livin’ and dyin’! I’ll tell you this, in any fight, it’s the guy who’s willin’ to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m gonna have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willin’ to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what livin’ is! The six inches in front of your face! Now, I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes! Now I think you’re gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You’re gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows, when it comes down to it, you’re gonna do the same for him! That’s a team, gentleman! 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?
You’re a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means?! It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy takes the fall. It’s the guy everybody’s looking at first, the leader of a team. Who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. Because you make them believe. That’s a quarterback.
That’s what a leader’s about. Sacrifice. The times he’s gotta sacrifice because he’s gotta lead by example. Not by fear and not by self-pity.
On any given Sunday you’re gonna either win or you’re gonna lose. The point is, can you win or lose like a man?
It’s TV. Changed everything. Changed the way we think forever. I mean, the first time they stopped the game to cut away to a f*****g commercial, that was the end of it. Because it was our concentration that mattered, not theirs. Not some fruitcake selling cereal.