When one hears the name “Rudy”, most everyone immediately connects it with the 1993 classic inspirational movie “Rudy.” On Saturday December 11th, Mount Juliet was blessed with the real life “Rudy” as Mr. Daniel Ruettinger, the world renowned playwright and name sake of the 1993 Rudy and his Notre Dame team mate, Ross Browner, served as Co-Grand Marshall’s of the 2010 Christmas Parade.
Winning isn't everything-it's the only thing!" In the famous words of Coach Vince Lombardi, Ross Browner knows what it means to be a winner. Browner is a Nashville resident and one of the most honored and decorated collegiate players in history, who went on for more than a decade of NFL notoriety. At the University of Notre Dame he was a four-year starter at defensive end, voted All-America his junior and senior seasons and won the Outland trophy as the nation's best interior or defensive lineman. The United Press International named him Lineman of the Year and is the only player ever to win it twice. The Lombardi Trophy , Maxwell Award were also handed to Browner and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999. He was the first round draft pick in the 1978 NFL Draft for the Cincinnati Bengals. Voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 1978, he played nine seasons for the Bengals. He set the Super Bowl record for tackles by a defensive lineman in Super Bowl XVI. Browner played one season (1987) with the Green Bay Packers before retiring.
Rudy transferred to Notre Dame in the Fall of 1974. His focus at Notre Dame was his studies. Rudy was so inspired to actually attend this University, that had been such a Dream for him as a child that he would do what ever it took to keep his grades up and earn the respect of his peers. While at Notre Dame, Rudy developed another Dream to play football for the Fighting Irish. Rudy walked on the team under the coaching staff of Ara Parseghian in 1974. He played his guts out and treated every practice like it was a real game. Rudy Never Quit and won the respect of his team mates. It was this enthusiasm that eventually got Rudy in the game to live his second Dream. While in the game Rudy saw an opportunity make his move. He got the tackle. “When the ball moved I moved,” said Rudy. Rudy didn't get the tackle because he was lucky. He prepared, he persevered. He worked everyday and set his goals every day no matter how tough it got so when his opportunity came, he was ready.
The movie RUDY is a True Story. Rudy's dream was real, the tackle was real, the carry off was real. The struggle was real. The victory was real. The movie was made to tell a story that would inspire others – to let people know that no matter what the odds are, they can overcome them – they can win. No matter what your background, your grades, your size – you can find a way. It won't come easy. The message is clear that you need to struggle, you need to prepare to earn your dream. It's all about The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory!