Every time “Rudy” is on TV, I drop everything and I have to watch it.  Even though I’ve watched it about a hundred times by now.  And every fucking time, it makes me cry, right at the end.  I’m an enormous pussy like that.  But then again, I understand that this movie has the same effect on a lot of dudes.  Even some die-hard life-long Notre Dame haters.

“Rudy” is one of the greatest films ever made.  Shut up, ‘cause I’m not taking any argument about this.

So Game 1 of the 2012 World Series rolls around, we cut to a commercial break and I hear the “Rudy” theme.  It’s quick cut footage of kids and grown-ups, all doing every manner of sport.  90-seconds later, the end frame reveals that it’s a spot for Dick’s Sporting Goods.  90-seconds of growing aural exhilaration and it’s a giant cock tease for a shitty sporting goods chain store.

Fuck. That.

You can’t fucking do that.  The “Rudy” theme carries meaning.  It has a certain quality to it.  In fact, it’s got lots of qualities to it because of the film: tenacity, redemption, grit, glory.  NONE of which apply to a sporting goods chain store.  So, fuck Dick’s (that sounds weird).

There are very limited occasions in which you’re allowed to use the “Rudy” theme.  Here are the very few occasions the “Rudy” theme is be allowed.

  • Football games.  Of course, part of it is the theme’s pedigree – it’s football music for a football film.  But it can only be used with football.  Not hockey, not basketball, not baseball, not any other sporting event – despite what Dick’s wants to sell you.  A lot of that has to do with the late, great Steve Sabol, who with his dad, perfected the art of overdramatic football film.  The Sabols had this remarkable talent to slow down film and make even the derpiest football action look like a Wachowski action sequence.  And not to get all band geek here, but mostly because the “Rudy” theme is a bit of a march.  No other sport has in-game action that mimics a march like football does.  No other sport has such military-esque assembly in which such attention is paid to orchestration and timing.  No football, no “Rudy”.
  • Weddings.  Specifically as the bride walks down the aisle.  Shut up and stop being so selfish, girls, let the groom have this one.  The whole fucking day’s already all about you chicks.  For some reason, dudes always are nervous as shit on their wedding day (I have no idea why – I got married in my mid-20s and it was a fucking breeze).  So the least the guy can have is a cool-ass theme song as his bride walks down the aisle.  It’s a fucking kick ass piece of music, it’ll pump up the dude and get rid of his nerves, and it’ll be the one thing – the one fucking thing – that’s about him on that day.
  • Pre-school graduations.  This is mostly for the dads who have to go to these stupid things.  As a rule, kids get too many graduation ceremonies growing up.  Pre-school graduations, kindergarten graduations, first grade ceremonies, the list goes on.  Stop making a big deal out of something the kids are SUPPOSED to do – finish the grade and move the hell on.  So for something as goddamn gratuitous as a pre-school graduation, you might as well make it kick ass for the attendees.  No “Pomp and Circumstance” – that’s college material, and you 5 years-old ingrates haven’t earned it.  No, put on the “Rudy” theme, the kids won’t know any better and every fucking dad is going to be high-fiving each other.  Everybody wins.
  • After an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-style French fries, and a milkshake.  Because you know that meal is fucking epic.  Which means it needs to be celebrated.

So, just for good measure, here’s the ending of “Rudy”.  The bit that always makes me cry.  That’s what the “Rudy” theme means.

Goddamnit, I just cried again.