Rudy Ruettiger knows all about underdogs. The poplar movie “Rudy” depicted how he overcame limitations and long odds to realize his dream of playing for Notre Dame.
Ruettiger is in South Florida to watch his alma mater face Alabama in Monday’s BCS National Championship, and he likes the Fighting Irish’s chances.
“It comes down to one thing, Notre Dame is hungry, [more than] 20 years they haven’t been here. So they’ve got that heart, and they’re the underdog,” Ruettiger said Saturday at Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill in Miramar.
“I think the underdog has the edge. He’s got that extra fight.”
Ruettiger says the 1993 film, in which he was portrayed by Sean Astin, endures because of its inspirational message. He talked about how he helped lift the spirits of the family of a Sandy Hook shooting victim.
“The mother got on the phone and she said it gave us the strength and courage to move on. Those are why the movie is worth it, those moments,” Ruettiger said.
He noted another cinematic angle to the BCS showdown.
“When I arrived at the airport a guy says, ‘Hey, it’s Rudy vs. Forrest Gump.’ Remember, Forrest Gump played for Alabama. It’s funny how people connect all that. It’s fun,” Ruettiger said.