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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Stephen Berkoff Heineken Cup advert

A week back, as the Heineken Cup was about to kick off, we posted a Sky tv advert for the tournament that featured a rather different way of portraying the cities of Europe, and rugby in general.

The video stirred debate for various reasons, and mention was made of this inspirational advert from 2007 that featured actor Stephen Berkoff.

The ad is a remake of the well known Inches speech by Al Pacino in the film Any Given Sunday. It's been adjusted for rugby, and features some classic images from past Heineken Cup matches.

With this weekend's action already under way, we thought it would be a good time to stick this ad up and see what the opinions are. I think most will agree it's nicely done, even if it's roots aren't in rugby.

:: Related Posts ::
Heineken Cup Preview



  • wow that speech is exactly the same as the any given sunday speech just quicker and without the swearing haha doesnt have the same impact as the movie though...its too quick

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 4:22 pm  

  • oooooooooooooooooooooook

    By Blogger alasdair, at October 18, 2008 4:28 pm  

  • love that. pumps me up each time i see it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 4:44 pm  

  • I hate it ... it's a very bad ripoff of the brilliant Al Pacino speech.

    In my opinion, they got it completely wrong here. Make up something yourself, more than enough great characters in rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 5:10 pm  

  • yeh pacinos is better but this is still cool . .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 5:19 pm  

  • It's not cool at all - he looks and sounds like a posh actor who's never played rugby in his life.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 5:35 pm  

  • They should have done a rewrite of Kipling's 'If', or got actual rugby players to do it.

    If you've seen Any Given Sunday Pacino makes this guy sound like Kenneth Williams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 5:40 pm  

  • If you like 'Any Given Sunday' please leave this place and never return. You and all your wannabee friends are a disgrace to rugby. You're killing rugby.

    You wankers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 8:04 pm  

  • Wow, that's a pretty ignorant statement krot. So you're saying one can't like rugby and American football, just one or the other? Stupid. Anyway, its a good ad if one's never seen or heard the previous speech from the film. But for people like "krot" (which there are many unfortunately) that hate American football as if its some kind of betrayal to rugby to like both then it seems it an odd choice. Something original would have played much better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 8:21 pm  

  • Krot.. I think you've misunderstood what the whole rugby fraternity is all about mate. Just because we love our sport, doesn't mean we hate others too.

    In fact, I personally know of a few top international rugby players who've named Any Given Sunday as one of their favourite sports movies.

    What's with all the negativity here...? :(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 8:45 pm  

  • American football is 4 wankers! its nothing against rugby or about hating other sports. its just that im really drunk rght now and think that mericain footy is 4 lozers how have 2 wwhere a meter of gear in order toplay. wankers wakners wanker -s!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 8:54 pm  

  • OK speech, I suppose. I found that with the dramatic lighting and the actor speaking directly to the camera it seemed less contrived and hammy than Pacino's original. Especially considering that Pacino's speech started with "I don't really know what to say..." Right, Al. I wish the best man at my wedding "hadn't known what to say" like that.

    One change I'd make: With the rugby pitch marked in metric increments it should really have been rewritten (metrically converted, if you will) into centimetres. Though I guess it wouldn't roll off the tongue quite as forcefully, and since the UK still uses imperial units, inches may still have some resonance. What about furlongs? Leagues? Smoots? Not quite intimate or dramatic enough, I suppose. Who claws with their fingernails to gain a smoot?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 9:00 pm  

  • Yeah I must admit it's simular to any given sunday's speech but still pretty good.

    But I couldn't keep serious with that massive spot on his head :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 9:01 pm  

  • Peope are delving far too into it. it's a nice adaptation and gives a good alternative view on rugby, Get over the rugby vs american football arguement. LIke chalk and cheese. I like the advert and I'd rather see Berkoff perform it than that arrogant, welsh, englsih-hating, pathetic, low-life, poor excuse of a man called Eddie Butler.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 11:10 pm  

  • this advert is sad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 18, 2008 11:49 pm  

  • i've no idea who this guy is but he is rubbish. i know the speech far too well to appreciate a poor adaptation of it, doesnt have anywhere near the effect of pacino.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 12:05 am  

  • the guy is too camp

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 1:07 am  

  • http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk

    you cant beat pacino

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 1:33 am  

  • Wow great ad, it promotes what rugby is...

    who cares if its changed a lil from "any given sunday" or if its a complete rip off!!

    I love it, it relates to MOST rugby players!! maybe i would change the old guy!! put in a warrior like lawrence dallaglio/paul o'connell but thats just me!!

    who would you like to see do it??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 4:36 am  

  • That sucked man he was bad it's just not the same as Al Pacino's speech. Plus I guess since I'm American I not football it just wasn't even close to the movie.

    By Blogger Hendrick, at October 19, 2008 8:34 am  

  • Great ad, and it doesnt really matter if it has been adapted from a movie, its a great speech and for all you people out there who play rugby i think you can relate to what he is saying...

    though i have to say i did prefer al pacino saying it, would love to hear al pacino say the speech with rugby references rather than american football.

    oh abs7 to answer your question i would love to see dallaglio, Martin johnson or jason white do this speech, the big players are the most inspirational and intimidating

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 9:54 am  

  • Speaking of Dallaglio... anyone else think he could/should be the next Vinnie Jones? I reckon he could pull it off. It's all in the chin. :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 9:57 am  

  • I've got no problem with them trying new things to advertise the game but this one doesn't work for me. Way too self-conscious and the "intensity" seems artificial. The game has enough drama in its reality which just needs to be handled in a fresh way to make it effective .. by halfway through I was just looking for the next bit of football.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 2:04 pm  

  • wonderful...

    liked it very much...

    any website/torrent to download it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 6:36 pm  

  • excelent

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 8:38 pm  

  • I have no opinions of the advert, as in it didn't make me want to say anything about it.
    This post is aimed more at ruckoff who thinks Butler is english-hating?!?!
    If anything, he is so far up englands arse its almost embarrassing to the average Welshman!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2008 11:15 pm  

  • Gah! The whole football is better than rugby and vice versa is total bullshit. No sport is better than the other. Especially in the eye of the beholder. Grow up kids.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 20, 2008 5:58 am  

  • ripoff

    nuff said

    By Blogger Don, at October 21, 2008 7:13 am  

  • it's an advert - stop taking it so seriously
    okay it might not win an oscar but he summed up rugby pretty well - END OF !!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 22, 2008 4:45 pm  

  • yeah, this sucks..

    gridiron is a game of inches, because you are playing to get 10 yards at a time, and on the final down (tackle), you are going for that little bit. You stop & start between each phase, and re-think the strategy.

    Rugby is not a game of inches.. It is about the quality /speed of recycle the ball.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at October 23, 2008 6:37 pm  

  • It is actually an amazing performance by Berkoff - an extremely talented actor. As an American who doesn't know much about rugby, it's gotten me interested in the sport. Berkoff is actually an excellent ambassador for the sport. Sky was very smart to cast him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 03, 2011 7:25 pm  

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