Great Moments in Dick Move History: Rudy Ruettiger

For those unfamiliar, a “Dick Move” is something done by an individual or group that is purposefully and knowingly hurtful yet can be appreciated for its craftsmanship and deft placement.  Usually there is a sinister back story to it all, but that is secondary.  The term comes from the pejorative word for mens’ genitalia, and ‘move’, a verb.

Note: Identification of a Dick Move is not an endorsement or disapproval of the action, merely an acknowledgement that a Dick Move has taken place.

In this edition, we look at the 2nd Act of the film Rudy, a bio-pic of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger- a long shot to play football at Notre Dame who perseveres despite significant self vs. self and self vs. world obstacles.

At this point in the story, Rudy has made the team and during practice spots a woman who kicked him off the boosters club previously for not being an actual ND student (he was attending Holy Cross Junior College at the time).  Seizing his opportunity to project animosity from years of successive doubters onto this one particular female undergrad now that he had leveraged some form of social currency, Ruettiger runs over to her on the sideline and asks a rhetorical, “Don’t I know you?”.

Really nice deployment of a passive-aggressive time-bomb meant to explode in the face of a representative of the bureaucracy and culture that doubted him all these years.  What satisfaction he must have had, running back to clang his body into other human beings, at the behest of a barking coach, in Indiana, that Tuesday night.