With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky 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 Pittsburgh 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 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 Rocky Bleier learned early in his life that helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals, have paid off after football. Some of those lessons are seen between the lines in the popular book on his life, Fighting Back , and an ABC-TV movie of the week by the same name.
Rocky is active in the Veteran's Administration--Abraxas, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the United Way, the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children; he serves as honorary chairman of the Special Olympics and supports the Civic Light Opera. As a board member of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Rocky helped make possible the erection of a monument in Washington, D.C. to the servicemen and women who died in Vietnam.
Rocky's special qualities have been recognized by colleagues as well as others who have honored him with awards too numerous to list in detail. Among them are the Whizzer White Humanitarian Award, the Vince Lombardi Award and the Most Courageous Athlete of the Decade Award. He has also received awards from the USO and been named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America by the U.S. Jaycees.
Today, Rocky Bleier shares his expertise and insight as the sports anchorman at the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh, WPXI-TV. He is in demand as a speaker, motivating audiences in a wide variety of organizations, corporations and universities. And several companies, such as Uniroyal Tires, Sports Illustrated, Soloflex, Bradford-White, Swanson Dinners and First Federal Savings of Pittsburgh have benefited from his televised endorsements of their services and products.
- Be the Best You Can Be
Rocky Bleier motivates audiences to keep on striving for greater accomplishments. His dynamic style is coupled with real-life stories that are told from a first person perspective. Those stories about his fabled comeback from Vietnam injuries to Super Bowl star are utterly inspiring for their courage and determination. He brings it together with a warm, self-reflective humor that audiences really relate to. With real world practicality, he points out ways to reach new levels of inner confidence.
- Fighting Back
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 yourself to lean into them and to incorporate the resulting energy in realizing goals. Bleier's program motivates audiences to keep on striving for greater accomplishments. He draws parallels between the challenges he faced in the past and the challenges all business people face in today's crowded, competitive marketplace.
“Be clear about your dream & vision. Do not worry. Just think about all the the great possibilities and act upon them.” – R.Bleier
“Act on what we want to do, regardless of any fear we may have. Disregard worry. Choose to do right, to pursue our dreams, to be successful people, to lead the way for others.” – 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
- Overcoming Challenges
“Dear Lord, get me out of here, if You can. What I will do is this: I’ll give You my life… to do with whatever You will. Here it is. I’m not going to complain if things go wrong. If things go good, I’ll share my success with everybody around me. Here it is. Whatever You want to do, wherever You want to direct. This is the best I can do.” – R.Bleier
“Believe in yourself and what you know you can accomplish. Don’t let doubt and uncertainty rob you of the successes you’ve had in the past and steal the great things to come. Truly believe that greatness is on the horizon and your best days are ahead of you.” – R.Bleier