Al Pacino appears in the 1999 Oliver Stone-directed movie ‘Any Given Sunday‘ as Tony D’Amato, a down-at-heel head coach of a fictional American football team. It’s almost the end of the game.
Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino): I don’t know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble. Inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me, and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell. One inch, at a time.
Now I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around and I see these young faces and I think I mean I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make. I uh…. I pissed away all my money believe it or not. I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.
You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That’s, that’s part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING. Between LIVING and DYING. I’ll tell you this. In any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch. And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is. The six inches in front of your face.
Now I can’t make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him. That’s a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys. That’s all it is. Now, whattaya gonna do?