Like most red-blooded American males who came of age in the 80s, I am a fan of the Rocky series, from Apollo, through Thunderlips and Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and the final (never say never) installment with Mason “The Line” Dixon.
Since the Midlife Chronicles is all about full disclosure, I have to confess, I get a little teary eyed when I watch the Italian Stallion rally from behind to capture victory.
My wife and daughter are mildly amused by my antics, so I thought it might be a good idea to explain why I get emotional over the exploits of a fictional, larger than life movie character. To be clear, I don’t get too misty over Rocky and Rocky II. These are great movies, but they don’t get the water works going like Rocky III, IV, and Rocky Balboa.
What makes me lose it is the death of three major characters in Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky Balboa. In Rocky III, Mickey dies, in Rocky IV, we lose Apollo and in Rocky Balboa, Adrianne has died.
It’s the idea of carrying on to victory — despite losing a father figure like Mickey, a friend like Apollo and a wife — that gets me emotional.
While I haven’t lost any friends to the type of traumatic brain injury Apollo suffered, and thankfully, my wife is alive and well. I did lose my father 20 years ago and he was – at the risk of sounding corny – my Mickey. So when I see the fictional Rocky punching his way to victory, I think about some of the wins I’ve scored and I get a little sad that my Dad is not here to share in them.
There I said it.