Rocky is an ideal that ain’t real

November 29, 2016

Rocky ain’t real - Temple football (9-3) played East Carolina at Lincoln Financial Field Nov. 26. The game was broadcast on one of the offbeat ESPN channels. The camera panned across town to the Philadelphia Art Museum and showed the Rocky Statue at the base of the steps. The opening game in 2003 at Lincoln Financial on a Monday night, following a green light laser show, ended with Sylvester Stallone wearing a Duce Staley jersey in the upper deck shadow boxing with Rocky music blaring. But Rocky ain’t real. I was there and it was cool, and I know Rocky ain’t real. That statue is controversial in Philly, home of Joe Frazier, who was a real hometown heavyweight champion. Sonny Liston also trained in North Philly on Columbia Avenue. The art museum purists consider the statue a cheap movie prop from a series of dumb-butt movies, attracting tourists who actually never set foot inside the art museum. The statue has moved four times, from the Spectrum to the art museum, including many years in storage. Many Afro Americans from Philly consider it an insult to Liston and Frazier. President-elect Donald Trump is like Rocky; he pulled off the biggest upset in history and he ain’t real either - the double twist of reality television is by definition “it ain’t real” at all. These characters played by Sly and Donald are fiction, and I see them as being connected. What is reality if not shared beliefs, but from Rocky Balboa to Donald Trump there is more disbelief bordering on befuddlement. I hear Marvin Gaye singing  “What’s going on?”

Belichick a butthead - Tom Brady pulled another rabbit out of the hat Nov. 27 to earn his 200th win as the Patriots beat the Jets 22-17. The offense is coordinated by Josh McDaniels. Head coach of the Jets Todd Bowles played at Temple for Bruce Arians, who is now head coach at Arizona. After the disappointing loss, the coaches met at midfield and Bill never slowed down as he served up a dead-fish handshake and kept moving. Perhaps I read too much into it, but I thought it was disrespectful for the NFL’s anointed genius in residence.   

Saint Vitus Dance - “Get your popcorn ready.” Bring back Terrell Owens, a showman who knew how to celebrate. I cannot describe the celebratory conniptions I see all day on the Red Zone channel without insulting some major disease-afflicted group. Saint Vitus Dance is a neurological disorder characterized by purposeless, rapid, involuntary movements, and facial expressions that alternate among frowning, grinning and grimacing. SVD can result from rheumatic fever, so players, you need to stop and discover some class or get your own dance like the Dirty Bird or the Ickey Shuffle, because what I’m seeing on Sundays is just a whole bunch of stupid.

Snippets - The Rehoboth full and half marathons are this Saturday, so get some coffee and find a nice perch to watch your brothers and sisters engage in elective misery. If you find yourself being enticed to train, just eat another breakfast sandwich and the moment will pass, like fuel-injected gas. I have no dog in the state championship football fights this Saturday. I have a happy place for all four teams, but if I had to drain your savings and bet your money, I’d throw all $650 behind Woodbridge over Friends and Smyrna over Middletown. I’ve known Wilmington Friends coach Bob Tattersall since 1974, but I’m pretty sure he has no idea who I am. Keep an eye on Cape girls’ indoor track this winter – coaches Tim Bamforth and Gilbert Maull have got something going on. Cyber Monday is a good day to make a resolution to lose weight without telling anyone else you are on a mission. In the past if someone said to me, “Are you losing weight?” I always responded, “No, I’m just not as fat as you remember me.”

The Robinson family traveling clan band sang Christmas carols at Magee Rehabilitation last weekend, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” with tenor Dave Robinson sitting right in the middle in his wheelchair and neck brace - talk about faith and hope - just words unless you know how to put them into play. Alex “Skitter” Ellis, brother of Delmar and William & Mary hockey player Sara “Booter” Ellis, was added to the active roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alex played college ball at Tennessee and had spent this season on the Jags’ practice squad. Alex’s grandfather Bill Pugh, a Laurel guy, played for the Philadelphia Eagles. I gave Katie Frederick (ACL surgery) a stuffed chocolate-colored hippo named YoYo - named after Philly iconic sports Hobo - with a knee brace on his right hind leg on Thanksgiving Day. Her sister Anna asked, “Where did you find a hippo with a knee brace?” Artsy-craftsy grandmom Susan alert. Go on now, git!

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