Appleton native Rocky Bleier returns home to perform one-man-show

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Appleton native and Super Bowl Champion, Rocky Bleier, is back home this week. He's performing his one-man-show "The Play" at his alma mater, Xavier High School. "The Play" explains the role Northeast Wisconsin played in making Bleier the man he is today.

Poster for Rocky Bleier's "The Play" hangs in his alma mater, Xavier High School in Appleton

Multiple trophy cases inside Appleton's Xavier High School feature the accomplishments of 1964 graduate Rocky Bleier.

"Obviously he's probably one of our more famous alumni and he's got a great story and he's such a humble guy," says Lisa Pfaff, Xavier's Director Alumni Relations and Special Events.

A standout on the high school football team, he went on to be a National Champion in college at Notre Dame, a Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a Purple Heart recipient after being wounded in Vietnam. Fifty-five years after he graduated, Rocky Bleier is returning to Xavier.

According to Pfaff, "It's been about a three year process to bring him here and so we're just thrilled the time is finally here."

He's taking to the stage to perform his one-man-show, "The Play".

"'The Play' is really an integral part of change that takes place, those people the are in your lives that give you direction or purpose and how things happen," says Bleier.

"The Play" opens in Bleiers Bar, the watering hole his parents owned in downtown Appleton. It was, in Appleton, and especially at Xavier, where Bleier says he first found success, "It all started here, from a culture, from a belief system, from friendships that still exist today and that we all have that commonality of a belief and an experience, so it's a big part of the foundation of my life and who I am today."

"The Play" tells that story, but Bleier says it also uses his experiences to hopefully inspire others. He adds, "It's just not maybe a rubber stamp story of, oh you're overcoming obstacles, but a humanist reaction to why things happen."

The show opens Thursday night with performances on Friday and Saturday evening. And thanks to a generous sponsor, Bleier will perform a free show for local veterans Saturday afternoon.