Dick Vermeil is inspiration.
Through his life and his coaching career, Vermeil's complex character has encouraged ambition in those around him.
In isolation, the "Gotta Go to Work" pregame speech delivered to the Kansas City Chiefs does not belong on this list.
But it's not any single speech that posts Vermeil among elite NFL pregame speakers.
What makes the legendary coach so special—what makes his speeches so special—is the way he blends raw toughness (demonstrated in the video) with unbridled emotion.
The rough and tumble guy displayed will pace the sidelines flailing and hollering, but he can break down blubbering in a heartbeat.
And he does so often, making Vermeil the John Boehner of football.
All of his emotion—whether fiery or weepy—is driven by an unrelenting passion. That passion allows him to speak poignantly, honestly and directly to his audience, mixing to create a touching effect.
When Dick Vermeil quit coaching (the first time) after several seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was direct about why: he was burned out. We appreciated his honesty and understood.
Fourteen years later, Vermeil couldn't resist coming back to the NFL, and again summoned the perfect prose to explain:
Fourteen years ago, I left coaching because I had to. I'm not embarrassed to say it. I'm back today because I have to.
After his return to coaching, he inspired two more NFL franchises into the playoffs.