The Rocky Road to Hockey Gold

“Yo Adriannnnnn!!!”

At least half of you will get that reference.

For those of you who don’t, it comes from the iconic Rocky movies (ok, so maybe there were three or four too many, but Sly Stallone ran with it) depicting the struggles of the American Boxer, the Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa.

Now besides the fact I harbour a huge crush on Sylvester Stallone (especially in Rocky I), I think we can compare our Canadian hockey team to his trials in just about every movie.

Step One: The Training

Every Rocky movie starts with the intense training and a whole lot of raw eggs.  Whether it’s running stairs (see left), punching frozen cattle carcasses (see below) or retreating to Siberia to train in the snow, Rocky is all about the grassroots, hardcore long road.  Think for a moment about our Canadian hockey team.  How many of those boys started out as little gaffers playing on a frozen pond?  Regardless, you can bet they’ve been working out for months, and maybe even drinking some raw eggs of their own (and we all know by now that they’ve decided to take the long road in this competition).  Everything is about the preparation for this moment, the make or break match, the heavyweight title of the world.  No wait, that last one is just me getting caught up in my Rocky.  But the rest is true.  Equate the heavyweight title of the world to the Olympic Gold Medal game, and you’ve got the equivalent.

Step Two: The Mental Preparation

Every serious competitor needs a good coach.  Rocky’s first was Mick, the callous old man who drives him through his matches against Apollo Creed in Rocky I and II.  After Mick passes away (one of the most tragic scenes in movie history), Apollo takes over as Rocky’s trainer.  Now, the Canadian Men’s hockey team only has Mike Babcock, who really isn’t as dynamic a figure as Mick, and he probably doesn’t run along sandy beaches like Apollo.  But you can bet he’s driving them and trying to prepare them, both mentally and physically.  And let’s not forget the Canadian hockey fans.  They can have just as much effect as Mick or Apollo any day.

Step Three: The Main Event

The main event is always at the end of the movies, of course.  And here is where we really begin to see the similarities between the Italian Stallion and our Canadian heroes.  Rocky always comes out as the underdog, ill-prepared.  Canada doesn’t.  But just like Rocky, we’re the humble ones.  If someone else comes out with all guns firing (like our neighbours to the south, for instance), we might be a little cowed.  We can be fooled for a bit that others are bigger, better and buffer.  Part way through the match, we might look a little battered and bruised (see below).  We might even give one up here and there.  But we’re not down for the count.

Step Four: The Heart

Then comes the comeback.  No Rocky movie is complete without Rocky laying in the corner with a bleeding nose, two swollen eyes and maybe a couple broken ribs.  But, by God, he always gets back up.  And that’s what the men will do.  They’re going to get back up, and when they do, look out.  I can almost hear Mick rasping, “Ya gotta have heart, Rock!  Ya gotta have heart!”  Maybe we’ll even see some of Rocky’s rage.  We just needed to get the boys angry (thanks, USA).  We’re going to see a very different team tonight, I think (complete with Roberto Luongo, thank God).  We’re coming out of the corner for round two, folks.  Look out, Germany.

Step Five: The Triumph

Need I say more?  Every Rocky movie ends with the win.  And I think that’s what we want here tonight.

Let’s go, boys.  Have a little heart.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Comparing canadian hockey (juggernaut) to Rocky (underdog)dosen’t really make sense. considering the heaping praise canada and canadian hockey gets there is absolutley nothing scrappy nor underdoggish about this team what so ever.
    Rocky 3 specifically sorta works (hopefully, anyway) because we see rocky (canada) getting soft from overhype and training like a puss and resting on his laurels..along comes Mr.T (USA in this case) and rather handily puts his dick in the dirt, so to speak. From there, Rocky goes back to gulping eggs, (not as bad as it sounds, btw) using sides of beef as a heavybag and chasing chickens and regains his belt.

    so there you go.

    as a guy who knows very little and cares even less about hockeyb i think that’s a better comparison.

    Forgive the errors in grammar, spelling and syntax. I’m supposed to be studying for a midterm…or two.

  2. If I may, I will reference Step Three: The Main Event, where I state that Canada is not the underdog. That being said, your post was generally more the effect I was going for, Mr. Coburn. I can always count on you for crystal clear clarifications lol

  3. Step 4 is irrefutably the most important element. In sports and in life. If you’re not going to do it with heart then I don’t want to hear about it.

    In other news, congratulations Canada!

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