Rocky Balboa, the movie, comes to theaters on December 22nd. Philadelphia Magazine's cover story this month tells the story of how Sylvester Stallone defined Rocky and, in turn, how Rocky defined Stallone. It's a solid read. At times you'll be nodding in agreement and at parts you'll disagree completely, but it takes a look at our fascination with the southpaw whose whole life was a million to one shot.
Gargano weighs in:
“Every time people talk about Philly sports, it’s always about ‘heart’ and ‘desire,’” says WIP’s Anthony Gargano. “That’s what Rocky
picked up on, and what it also helped to create. But it goes beyond
sports. When ‘Philadelphian’ is used as an adjective to describe
someone — and I’m not sure it was ever used as an adjective before Rocky
— it means that person has heart and desire. I think people here have
so internalized the mythology of the Rocky character that they will
choose the underdog who overachieves over the superstar who actually
It also talks about the first ever game at the Linc, a thorough beating by Tampa Bay, at which Rocky made a triumphant appearance to fire the crowd up. I was there, and Rocky's appearance really was the highlight of that abysmal day. You see, even I still refer to him as Rocky.
It's a long article, too much to summarize, so go read it. Any article that uses the word palooka that many times is alright in my book. Stallone on the closing scene of the saga:
“It was the saddest day of my life, in a way. We’d done the last shot of Rocky Balboa, and I was sitting there on the top of the steps, and the snow was coming down, and then I realized it. It’s over."
Yo, Rock, I didn't hear no bell.