This week’s DVD is arguably the best sports film of all time, certainly a must-see for every athlete. It will inspire you to work harder in every aspect of your life, as long as you aren’t afraid of failure.
Release Date: 1976
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Talia Shire and Burgess Meredith
Do we really need to describe this movie for anyone? Most athletes have seen it at some point in their lives. 2008 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators and ’07 National League Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers both vouch for the film—and for the entire Rocky series.
For the few who haven’t seen this 1976 Academy Award-winning picture, Rocky Balboa [Stallone] is a no-name boxer who makes a living by collecting money for Philadelphia bookies and fighting in low-end boxing matches. To Mickey [Meredith], owner of the boxing gym, Rocky is a “bum” fighting to survive—which is true until Apollo Creed [Weathers], the heavyweight champion of the world, offers to fight him—jokingly as a charity case. The odds are stacked against the southpaw Italian Stallion, but Rocky decides to shock his doubters, and he trains harder than ever to prove he’s a winner.
Rocky is about a man willing to risk his life to achieve something universally regarded as impossible. For anyone who has ever felt like a no-chance underdog heading into a competition, it’s the perfect movie.
STACK’s Take: A classic that hits home for people raised in poverty who must fight their way through life to be successful. The only negative criticism about the film is that it ultimately spawned Rocky V, by far the worst movie in the series. The original Rocky is truly one of the most inspirational films of all time, and it’s worth watching over and over again.