Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the Joliet native whose experience playing football at the University of Notre Dame inspired the movie Rudy, will speak and sign autographs next week at Joliet Catholic Academy.
The free public event, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 25 in the JCA gym, will center around Ruettiger's new book Rudy: My Story, which went on sale earlier this month.
Ruettiger will speak about his life experiences as well as how to set and reach your own goals.
Despite being just 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, Ruetigger's early goal had been to play football for the University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish. He was chosen to be on the school's scout team, and finally given a chance to play in the last home game of the 1975 season, where he scored a sack in the third of three plays.
He is one of only two Notre Dame players in the university's history to be carried off the field by his teammates.
Ruettiger, now a motivational speaker, will be discussing those experiences as well as his dyslexia, which was undiagnosed until he got to college.
He will also be signing copies of his book, which can be purchased at Barnes & Noble in Joliet, and other memorabilia (limited to one per person) and will pose for photos.
Although many people are familiar with the movie Rudy, Ruettiger will discuss the struggle to get a movie made about his life and how he nearly lost sight of his own dreams. He will detail the failures and hard lessons he's learned and show how "hitting the reset button" was the best thing that happened to him.
"I shouldn’t have been chasing the money,” Ruttiger said in a written release. “I should have been chasing the dream. It was one of the most profound, simple, important lessons I would ever learn – and the consequences of that lesson would haunt me for years.”
Editor's Note: Much of the information in this post is based on a Barnes & Noble press release.