Rudy Ruettiger: Why Joe Montana Should Shut Up and Let "Rudy" Legend Live

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2010

Rudy Ruettiger: Why Joe Montana Should Shut Up and Let "Rudy" Legend Live

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    The story of Rudy Ruettiger was always one of the more inspirational stories in sports.

    An undersized kid walks on at Notre Dame and after constantly trying and trying and trying, he made the gameday roster, made it out onto the field, and was carried off by his teammates in a show of support.

    It was a heartwarming moment, but Joe Montana has had enough of that. Montana said that moment was a bit of a practical joke towards Rudy and said that Rudy didn't work harder than anyone else on the team.

    It was a shocking statement from Montana and here are 10 reasons he should keep his mouth shut.

No. 10: Focus On Family

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    WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA - OCTOBER 30: (L-R) Joe Montana, Jennifer Montana and Nick Montana #10 stand for a celebration picture during halftime of the game against Oak Park on October 30, 2009 in Westlake Village, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty
    Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

    Joe Cool's son, Nick, is a freshman at the University of Washington and Montana should stick to supporting his son.

    You're one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest quarterback of all time and you should be there to guide your son as he transitions to college and tries to move up the depth chart. I'm sure there's some wisdom you could impart on him from your days at Notre Dame.

    Unless you want to crush his dreams too.

No. 9: Divides Him and Former Teammates

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    After Montana "exposed" Rudy to the world, some of their former teammates rushed to Rudy's side.

    "Rudy was carried off the field that day . . . but not as a joke -- but because he finally got to play," Jay Achterhoff said to TMZ. "You've never in your life seen a guy who wanted to be on the field more."

    That sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. It's not like he has anything to gain by saying that. Just the same way you had nothing to gain by doing what you did. Not a good look, Joe, not a good look at all.

    Is he going to expose "The Catch" next?

No. 8: What Was the Point?

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    MALIBU, CA - JULY 24:Singer Kelly Rowland gets tips from Joe Montana, athlete at the Madden NFL 10 Pigskiin Pro-Am on Xbox 360 event  on July 24, 2009 in Malibu, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    What exactly did Rudy ever do to you? You're Joe Montana. You're a Super Bowl winning quarterback, an MVP, a living legend, and you're gonna take Rudy down a peg?

    It's not like people were exactly clamoring for information about the Rudy game from you. Even if you're asked a question about it, just give a generic quote about it. Now there's this big firestorm around it and it's because you had to open your big mouth.

    I guess we'll never know what you have against Rudy, but I'd sure love to know. Maybe you should stick to teaching Kelly Rowland (above) the finer points of running a curl route.

No. 7: No One Cares

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    9 Oct 1994:  Quarterback Joe Montana of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to pass the ball during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won the game, 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    I want to know who cared that much about Rudy and pressed you that hard on the subject that you had to go to work on Rudy's legend.

    I mean, it's not like Rudy was the cinema version of Lost where the entire Internet was wondering what was going on and trying to figure out the truth behind it. People were perfectly fine with Rudy the way it was and now you have to stick your nose into it and make a story out of it where there was none to begin with.

    Sorry, Joe, this isn't the 1980s anymore and we don't care what you think.

No. 6: You Seem Bitter

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    15 Dec 1997:  Former quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers has his jersey retired during the 49ers 34-17 win over the Denver Broncos at 3Com Park in San Francisco, California. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw  /Allsport
    Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    You're seeming awful bitter there, my man. Are you mad that Rudy got all of this shine for being a walk-on player while you were the star, Joe?

    How dare Rudy get all that credit for one game when you were the quarterback for Notre Dame. You're Joe Montana! You deserve respect and you're gonna expose Rudy for what really happened, not what his movie would lead us to believe?

    C'mon, Joe. Get out of here with this mess. You just come off as angry and bitter. Let it go. Move on, man.

No. 5: It's All Rudy Has

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    That shining moment is all that Rudy has to hang his hat on, that and all the money he's made off of the story.

    Joe Montana has Super Bowl rings, millions of dollars, the fame of being one of the best players to ever lace them up and step on a football field. Why try and take away the only thing that Rudy had? That was the best moment of his life and he's going to try and ruin it?

    That just seems like a cruel thing to do and something a petulant child would do, not a grown man. Montana might want to take a good, long look in the mirror.

No. 4: Uncalled For

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    PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Former Notre Dame player and NFL star, Joe Montana, looks on before the Notre Dame and Stanford college football game on November 26, 2005 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    It's just a low blow, that's really the only way to describe it.

    It almost sounds like Montana went out of his way to take Rudy and all of the mystique around his one shining moment in Notre Dame history and trash it. It's just something that a leader of a football team should be above.

    Rudy worked himself to the breaking point time and time again to get on that field, and Montana should have respected it, not trivialized it. That's not what a leader does. It made Montana look worse than it did Rudy.

    If anything, people are now rushing to defend Rudy, and it makes Montana the villain.

No. 3: Insulting

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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Former 49ers Roger Craig (L) and Joe Montana wait to go out onto the field for a half time presentation during home opener as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park September 20, 2009 in San Fr
    David Paul Morris/Getty Images

    The image of Rudy being carried off of the field is one of the more iconic images in college football and to say that his teammates were playing a joke on him is just plain insulting and rude.

    How could the most important moment of his life be a joke? How would you feel if the most amazing thing that ever happened to you was a joke, only you lived most of your life believing that all of the emotion is true?

    It's just a slap in the face to say, "We only carried you off of the field because we were making fun of you." If that's true, and I pray it's not, it's one of the scummiest things I've ever heard of, especially considering how hard he worked to get on the field.

No. 2: Ruins the Movie

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    Rudy is looked at as one of the best sports films of all time. How are we supposed to look at it after Montana's allegations?

    I know that "based on a true story" has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially in Hollywood, but you want to believe that Rudy's story as shown on film is the way it actually happened. Feel-good stories are rare, and you want something to hold on to.

    If the movie is fake, or at least its biggest moment was a bit of a sham, it changes how I see the movie in the pantheon of sports movies. It has to. The authenticity is one of the reasons that movie is as popular as it is.

No. 1: Kills the Inspiration Factor

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    Rudy is (or maybe was) one of the great inspiration stories in the history of sports. His story taught people that size doesn't always matter, that if you work hard enough and are determined enough, you can achieve your goals.

    That's what Rudy stands for. He is the embodiment of achieving your dreams, and no one wants to think of Rudy as the guy who was lifted up as a joke. At the end of the movie, Rudy got the respect of his teammates, and that's how you want to think about the story, not as a practical joke.

    Joe Montana could have put a stain on this story and he should be ashamed for that.


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