Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino) gives a rousing speech to his team – from Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday.
“I don’t know what to say really. Three minutes till the biggest battle of our professional lives. It all comes down to today. Now either we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me. And we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of 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 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. That’s part of life. But you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches.
And 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, you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are 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 fucking 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 who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m going to 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 6 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’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, 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 going to do?”
Any Given Sunday. is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team and stars Al Pacino as Tony D’Amato – Head Coach of the Miami Sharks.
Having held his position for decades and given much autonomy by the team’s owner, “Tony D” is respected for great successes, including two Pantheon Cups, the championship for this professional football league. He devoted so much time to the team, he became estranged from his wife and children. D’Amato’s traditional methods have come under fire from management and the media for recent failures, including missing the playoffs. Bitter that he was never promoted to general manager, D’Amato resents the hands-on “interference” of Christina Pagniacci, who succeeded her father Arturo as team owner.