Al Pacino attending the Venice Film Festival in Sept. 2004
Image source: Thomas Schulz under CC 2.0 licence.

Inch by Inch: Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday
Al Pacino

Source: John Zimmer –  manner of

The premise for the movie (and the speech) is pretty simple: Pacino is the coach of a once-great football team that is now riddled with injuries and internal dissension, and is struggling to make the playoffs… Pacino takes the team on a roller coaster of emotions. He starts slowly and builds to a crescendo before taking his players down again. He then takes them up and down twice more. Audiences want to go on a journey. Take them. … He repeats the key word in the speech – “inch” – not once, not twice, but 13 times. Repetition is a powerful tool to drive home your message … He uses “triples” – sets of three similar phrases or words – at least four times: 1:15, 2:15, 2:20 and 3:20. Using triples is a powerful technique to make an idea stick in your audience’s mind…


“Either we heal as a team or we’re gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me. And we can stay here and get the —- 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.”


See full performance here.