The speech from “Any Given Sunday” is one of the best Al Pacino has ever given. It’s a locker-room pep talk. The soul of his speech is that life and football are games of inches. Winning means fighting for every inch. Neither game is won 10 feet at a time. There’s no one thing you can do to win. There’s no two things you can do. It’s about fighting for every last little win. Your success, in the margins, will ultimately lead you to success or failure. Give everything you’ve got day in and day out, eventually the inches will add up. Here’s the video and I’ve included the written version below it:
“Life’s this game of inches. So’s 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, 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’re 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 going to make the fuckin difference between winning and loosing, between living and dying… 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 six inches in front of your face.”
I’ve written other posts that relate to this idea of life being about inches and success being the result people putting effort into everything they do, every decision, every interaction. One was called Micro Decisions and the other was called Jane.