If you watch sports, you’ve heard the same phrases for years. It happens every single draft when a quarterback is “can’t miss,” and “on everyone’s radar.” Clichés have become all too common in the sports industry. It’s hard to think of the last time I watched a commentator during any televised event not use a cliché. It is something we have come to expect in sports.
This past weekend a few of my friends and I were sitting around my house and eating dinner. One of them turned on the television and Rocky was playing (Don’t ask me which one, there are too many).
Ten minutes in and it was clear this was one of those movies – One of those movies where sports clichés were hidden in every aspect. It started with a surprising rise to stardom, moved to the training montage, the opponent introduction, the motivational and so on.
Rocky embodies the hope and dream that one can come from nothing and end up with everything. In the beginning of the film, we see Rocky’s current situation of fighting in cheap clubs in the shantytowns of Philadelphia before being given an improbable shot at the heavyweight boxing title. Rocky’s heart, determination, and incredible work ethic led him to finishing a fight that many thought he would not. He is willing to give whatever it takes, clearly illustrated through his grueling trainings. The triumph of an underdog is a common cliché throughout sports movies.
Another common cliché seen in Rocky is how everything leads up to the big fight, which happens to be on the bicentennial. In Rocky, this match means more than just winning. He wants to show everyone that he is someone and that he can be as successful as anyone else. The battle comes at a turning point, while on the books Rocky does not win, in his mind he does. Rocky “went the distance” with Apollo Creed, which no boxer had done before.
Love is blind, yet another cliché which found its way into Rocky. Adrian is a timid 30-year-old woman who works in a pet shop, Rocky does not care what she looks like or what job she has, he loves her no matter what. When you really love someone, you don’t care what they look like, or what mistakes they may happen to make, you just love them. At the end of the film Rocky and Adrian are calling back and forth to each other, even though Rocky lost and looks gruesome Adrian does not care because love is blind and in the end, love conquers all.
At the end of the day, clichés will always be around. Heck, we have the utmost respect for them.