Top 10 Inspirational Speeches in Sports History

Al Pacino - Six Inches in Front of your Face - Any Given Sunday


by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine


In honour of the fine motivational video released by Rainn Wilson’s comedy channel at Soul Pancake — a video titled A Pep Talk from Kid President — we are pleased to present our opinionated list of the Top 10 Inspirational Speeches in Sports History… in no particular order.

Now, many (in fact, pretty much all) of these are from movies, or television, or anything not authentically sports-made.

But, can you blame us?

Real coaches aren’t nearly as well-spoken as Hollywood ones.


A Pep Talk from Kid President

He has a football. So, it counts.


Vince Lombardi (Various Speeches)

If you can excuse the cheap acting and the NFL’s almost unbearable obsession with the greatest coach of the 1960’s, this is worth paying attention to.


Kurt Russell’s Speech from Miracle

Americans will get hard over the nationalistic patriotism. Canadians will get hard over the sound of stick tape being wrapped around a blade. It’s a win-win.


The Preacher from Friday Night Lights

When a mute loses his sh*t, you know you better start playing better.


Ray Lewis, the 2011 AFC Championship

If you didn’t know that Ray Lewis believes in God, he’ll remind you.


Stevie lectures Kenny Powers, Eastbound and Down

Kenny’s the big dog, but it’s Stevie who steals your heart.


Lloyd lectures Ari Gold, Entourage

Okay. So, this isn’t sports-related… but, what the Hell. Couldn’t it be? Coaches and managers get fired, too.


“I’m Mad As Hell!” from Network

Full credit to Finnish editor Janne Makkonen, who took Peter Finch’s legendary “Mad as Hell” Speech from Network and turned it into a rallying call during the most recent NHL Lockout.

(*NOTE to the NHL: If your fans have to use the phrase most recent NHL Lockout, something’s wrong with your league and your board.)


John Oliver, on American Sports Movies

This is a parody of the exact thing we’re honouring in this list. But, it’s perfect.


Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday

“The six inches in front of your face.”

Get you every time, doesn’t it?