A Words Look: “We Are Marshall”

Words can inspire and pull a soul from the depths.

Words can electrify and light a fire.

Words inspire.

I’ve given my share of  inspirational talks in my life, mostly in and around sporting activities. I’ve also heard and read great speeches from other coaches and other sources. None, though, is more emotionally charged than this scene from the movie, We Are Marshall.

It is virtually perfect; it says everything about team and effort and tradition and leaving your mark that one could ever say. Even after watching and listening more times than I can keep track of, it still gives me chills and makes me want to break out the shillelagh and go to work.

Here’s the script version:

Jack Lengyel: For those of you who may not know, this is the final resting place for six members of the 1970 Thundering Herd. The plane crash that took their lives was so severe, so absolute, that their bodies were unable to be identified. So they were buried here. Together. Six players. Six teammates. Six Sons of Marshall. This is our past, gentlemen. This is where we have been. This is how we got here. This is who we are. Today, I want to talk about our opponent this afternoon. They’re bigger, faster, stronger, more experienced and on paper, they’re just better. And they know it too. But I want to tell you something that they don’t know. They don’t know your heart. I do. I’ve seen it. You have shown it to me. You have shown this coaching staff, your teammates. You have shown yourselves just exactly who you are in here.

[Thumps his chest]
Jack Lengyel: When you take that field today, you’ve got to lay that heart on the line, men. From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you’ve got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated. Now we came here today to remember six young men and sixty-nine others who will not be on the field with you today, but they will be watching. You can bet your ass that they’ll be gritting their teeth with every snap of that football. You understand me? How you play today, from this moment on is how you will be remembered. This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory. We are…
Young Thundering Herd: Marshall!
Jack Lengyel: We are.
Young Thundering Herd: Marshall!
Jack Lengyel: We are!
Young Thundering Herd: Marshall!
Jack Lengyel: The funerals end today!

Here is the clip from the movie. I know Matthew McConaughey has done some fabulous acting work and I know he will go on to  do more fabulous work in the future. BUT…this scene, in this movie…

“we cannot be defeated.”

 

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