Rocky's Rocky Road to Immortality
Philadelphia's Own Little Mermaid
May 16, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 38
IN THE NEWS
Has Rocky Found a Home?
Yo, Adrian! Over here!
He's bronze, he's bare-chested and he's back. He's the Rocky statue, revered and reviled. And he may have found a new home. The statue of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa—portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in that never-ending series of Rocky movies—will not rest atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that were made famous in the first film. It was on those steps that Balboa trained to be in the title fight. Instead, the statue will sit just east of the steps, on grounds where he will be seen by those traveling along Kelly Drive. A fine spot it is.
—Editorial, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 12, 2006
Philadelphia sports fans—and there are a lot of us—have endured 23 winters and summers of discontent.
The last championship team was the 76ers that won the NBA title in 1983. The Flyers won Hockey's prize, the Stanley Cup, way back in 1974 and 1975. The Phillies won the 1980 World Series. The Eagles made it to the Super Bowl in 2005, but to date star quarterback Donovan McNabb has been psychologically, physically and constitutionally unable to lead his team to victory in the last game of the season.
Compounding the city's dashed hopes for the gold, two years ago a personality kid from Philadelphia Park named Smarty Jones lost the Triple Crown by a heartbreaking length. In desperation, Philly fans are clammoring to claim the new wonder horse, Barbero, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, as their own. Alas Barbero lives and trains in Elkton, Maryland and has never run on a Pennsylvania track.
Yet one Philadelphia sports legend has endured for 30 years, symbolizing the tenacious spirit of the underdog—the down-and-outer that makes it to the very top and fulfills the American dream.