The Greatest Real and Fake Sports Speeches Ever
Sports and inspirational speeches go together like peas and carrots.
I don't know what it is about inspirational sports speeches that really get me, but the good ones are like Redbull for life. I hear one and I feel like I have wings.
After a fantastic speech before the GoDaddy.com Bowl by Miami (OH) interim head coach Lance Guidry, it is time to start ranking the best pre-game speeches, both real and fake.
Let us know what you think. What is your favorite sports speech?
20. Keith Brooking, Pre-Game Speech
Best Line: "We gotta fight, we gotta bite, we gotta scratch, we gotta bleed for each other."
Honestly, this speech is a little cheesy, but I can understand getting that pumped up before a game.
I just think the unintentional comedy in this speech is off the charts.
19. Herm Edwards, What Football Is All About
Best Line: "Do not be afraid to be great."
This one gets by blood pumping.
When people think Herm Edwards they typically think: "Hello. You play to win the game." But I don't think he gets enough credit for being a great speaker.
18. Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights Television Show
Best Line: "What we have is special, it can be taken from us and when it is taken from us we will be tested."
Honestly, this isn't the best speech from Coach Taylor, but it is a good one.
I live a lot of my life based on things that Coach Taylor says and this one really hits close to home for me.
17. Michael Irvin, Hall Of Fame
Best Line: "Look up, get up, and don't ever give up."
Michael Irvin may have had some real problems off the field in his career and he has struggled with his public persona.
However, he earned the right to call himself a Hall of Famer and this speech is a great moment from a emotional guy.
16. Bill Stewart, Leave No Doubt
Best Line: "It's Mountaineer pride. Nothing cheap."
I know that a few West Virginia fans felt that they were left with Bill Stewart after Rich Rodriguez left for Michigan, but after hearing a speech like that, I would play for that guy.
15. Emmitt Smith, Hall Of Fame
Best Line: "Without you, I know today would not be possible."
This speech gets a little "Brokebacky" but to see that kind of camaraderie between guys is great. It's genuine and I can appreciate having a friend like that.
14. Jack Lengyel, We Are Marshall
Best Line: "Funerals end today."
Now that may sound like a slightly crass best line, but for Marshall, they needed to get over the past in order to go forward in college football and I can completely understand the sentiment.
This is actually a great movie about coming out of the ashes of one of the worst tragedies in sports history.
13. Ivory Christian, Friday Night Lights Flim
Best Line: "I want you to hit everything that moves."
This is one great football movie and a great moment during that movie.
Ivory Christian was the soft spoken defensive lineman that always had a bunch of skill, but through out the movie he doesn't say much. However, he breaks down and has to let loose on his teammates after a poor first half.
12. Dan Devine, Rudy
Best Line: "For you seniors it's your last one, so make it count."
That line really sticks with me.
As a former mediocre high school athlete, I wish that I had made my games count more, especially my last game.
11. Tim Tebow
Best Line: "You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season."
Say what you will about Tim Tebow, but you have to admit, the guy has huevos.
It takes a lot of guts to apologize to the fans for falling short of a goal. It takes a lot of skill to back up a pledge like the one Tebow made.
Florida actually turned this pledge into a plaque that is on display on Florida's campus.
10. Lou Gehrig, Luckiest Man Speech
Best Line: "Today I consider myself, the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."
This is one of the most memorable and historical speeches in history.
Lou Gehrig knew he was dying and he knew that this would be one of his last times he was seen in public.
10. Lou Gehrig, Pride Of the Yankees
Here is the version of the Lou Gehrig speech from Pride of the Yankees.
9. Derrick Moore, Pre-Game Speech
Best Line: "I thank God everyday for the opportunity to get in my car and drive down to the Georgia Institute of Technology. Not because of brick and mortar, but because of flesh and blood. And I want you to know something, that the Georgia Tech football team is about flesh and blood."
I came across this gem when I was doing research for this slideshow.
It was a pre-game speech given by Georgia Tech team chaplain before the Yellow Jackets played against Notre Dame on Sept. 1, 2007.
He has some real preaching skill and this is a speech I will watch before every big moment of my life to get ready.
8. Tony D'Amato, Any Given Sunday
Best Line: "That's a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals."
This is one of the best pre-game speeches in movie history.
It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck every time I hear it. It may have a few goofy references, but it is a good one.
7. Norman Dale, Hoosiers
Best Line: "If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game. In my book, we're gonna be winners."
That line sounds like something straight from the mouth of John Wooden himself, just take out the last part about winners. He would have said something like, "We will be happy with the result."
6. Lance Guidry, Pre-Game Speech
Best Line: "Let's go get our damn trophy."
I saw this speech when it first was aired on television, I got chills like never before.
Guidry and Miami (OH) did get their damn trophy and they became the first team in NCAA history to go from double digit losses to double digit wins in a single season.
5. Herb Brooks, Miracle
Best Line: "If we played them ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight."
You have to love when real speeches are made into film.
They may over dramatize them sometimes, but this a great one. It makes me want to go beat some soviets.
4. Vince Lombardi, Super Bowl II Pre-Game
Best Line: "Just hit, just run, just block and just tackle. You do that and there is no question what the answer is going to be in this ball game."
I love it when coaches know that their team is more prepared than the opponents. The greatest coaches always seem to have that sense of their team.
3. Knute Rockne, Pre-Game Speech
Best Line: "And don't forget, men-today is the day, we're going to win. They can't lick us."
This speech is all about history. Knute Rockne was one of the greatest football coaches in the history of college football. This pre-game speech is not nearly on the same level as the "Win one for the Gipper" speech, but it is still a great speech.
For more on Rockne's life, head to his Wikipedia page for some great information.
2. Jack Buck, 9/11 Poem
Best Line: "War is just not our nature/We won't start but we will end the fight/If we are involved/We shall be resolved/To protect what we know is right"
This one deserves some context.
The date was Sept. 17, 2001, six days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It was the first day back for the MLB.
Jack Buck is a Hall of Fame broadcaster and he wanted to say something to help put people at ease. This emotional speech put many fears to rest that baseball was starting too soon. The fact that it was delivered by such an icon is what makes it so memorable.
1. Jim Valvano, 1993 ESPY Speech
Best Line: "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever."
This speech is still the most moving speech in sports history.
Jimmy V was dying of bone cancer. He was awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award for starting the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer research.
This speech will always stay with me for multiple reasons. But the one thing that I try to do every day is what Jimmy V tried to do.
He said, "To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
It is truly amazing that he passed away less than two months after this speech.
To be inspired today, I highly suggest listening to the entire speech.