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Rocky  Bleier

Rocky Bleier

Former Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers

Rocky Bleier

Former Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers


Rocky Bleier’s life story—a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam—has held audiences in rapt attention for years. The motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.

With the same optimism, sense of humor, and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way…lessons that we all can benefit from.

Not falling within the ideal of what a running back should look like, Bleier had to run harder and play smarter to be able to stand out. Despite his drive and ability to make the big play, the Pittsburg Steelers only considered him a late round pick. But before the season ended that first year, he was drafted again…this time by the United States Army. At the height of the Vietnam War, Bleier was thrust into combat early and was seriously wounded when his platoon ran into an ambush. Receiving wounds from both the rifle fire and grenade fragments in his legs, he was barely able to walk and his professional football career seemed to have ended before it began.

For more than two years, he drove himself. Little by little he overcame obstacles and fought his way back. He not only made the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also eventually became a starting running back on a team that won four Super Bowls and became the greatest football team of the 20th century.

The hard lessons Bleier learned early in his life which helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals have paid off after football. What makes Bleier so popular as a speaker is his ability to translate core values in his speech, “Be the Best You Can Be.” With real-world practicality, he points out ways to reach new levels of inner-confidence.

Whether it is career development for corporate executives, enhancing sales and marketing skills for sales teams, offering inspiration for young professionals or practical advice to student athletes, Bleier’s delivery is a winner. His message consistently brings audiences to their feet and re-energizes them for personal and work challenges ahead. His advice is not about avoiding life’s twists and turns but conditioning one’s self to lean into them and to incorporate the resulting energy in realizing goals.

Four-time Super Bowl champion Rocky Bleier also performs his one-man show, The Play, based on his almost unbelievable life story. Directed by Scott C. Wise and written by Gene Collier, The Play features an intimate portrait of Rocky’s life as he tells stories of family, war, and the heart of Steelers Nation.

In The Play, Rocky Bleier recalls being selected in the 16th round of the 1968 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, only to be drafted one year later by the Army and sent to Vietnam. Severely injured, he was expected to never play football again; however, with personal determination and the encouragement of Steelers owner Art Rooney and other team members, Rocky was back at training camp in 1970.

Journey through the decades via familial anecdotes, tales of football glory, and multimedia­ projections that bring Rocky’s remarkable story to life. Witness the story of a man who encounters insurmountable obstacles and rises to meet them with strength, humor, and determination, embodying not only the glory of victory but the indomitable power of the human spirit.

Speech Topics


“Don’t lose what makes you the person you are. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t lose sight of your dreams. Too many people get tired and give up. If you give up you’ll forget the opportunity to realize the dreams you have for your life. Why not strive for something greater.” R. Bleier


“Be clear about your dream and vision. Do not worry. Just think about all the great possibilities and act upon them.” R. Bleier


“Heros – Real Heros- have one thing in common: Character. It’s self-evident. You know it when you see it. Enormous depth, right to the bone, brother.” R. Bleier


“I know that every generation has said: “Listen to me; Learn from me”…I add my voice to theirs. As with generation upon generation, we tend, with bullheaded stubbornness, to find our way…to learn from own lessons…to formulate our own experiences.” R. Bleier


“More than anything else, an attitude of complete acceptance got me through Vietnam. I never questioned. I kept my emotional stability. I simple did each day’s work, never debating my part in the cosmic issues of war and peach, life and death, or politics." R. Bleier


Books & Media


Fighting Back