With Fall Camp a mere hours away, and just 27 days to go until UW's first football game, I started thinking about what the theme of this training experience that our young pups are about to embark upon ought to be. This particular Fall Camp is sure to be filled with drama, tension, spirit and eupohoria. It is the precursor to what could become the most epic season in recent Washington history. Or it could lead to one of the most disappointing outcomes a fanatic of the Purple and Gold could possibly imagine. There are no promises. There are no guarantees. The Pac 12 is a killer and there are many who think that time has passed the UW by.
In short, 2014 is a Rocky movie.
To commermmorate the opening of our Rocky movie season, I'd like to vote on the best Rocky training montage of all time. As you all know, there are six Rocky movies that contain, technically, seven different training montages. Of those seven, two actually belong to different fighters - Clubber Lang in movie three and Tommy Gunn in movie five. So my world of options include five Rocky training montages and I've narrowed the finalists down to three.
Option #1 - Rocky IV - Hearts on Fire
In Rocky IV, Rocky travels to the then Soviet Union to take on Ivan Drago, a devastating fighter who had killed Apollo Creed in the ring earlier in the movie. There is all sorts of drama associated with this particular montage given that it takes place in a cabin up in the mountains. Rocky is using his familiar approach of "back to the basics" training and it is contrasted against Drago's "high-tech" (shall we say, "Oregon-ized") regiment. I particularly like the end of the montage when Rocky is running away from the KGB as he scales the peak in front of him. I'm sure that there is a Chris Petersen corollary there.
Reasons to vote "yes": Scenery is awesome; lots of UW parallels to draw; Rocky's beard is awesome
Reasons to vote "no": Movie 4 wasn't really that good; the song, though awesome, is cheesy; the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore (though Eugene still does)
Option #2 - Rocky II - Gonna Fly Now
"There's one thing I want you to do for me...WIN"
And, with those words, the Rocky II montage takes off. One-armed push-ups, sledge-hammers, one-armed pull-ups, chasing chickens. Mickey ... this montage has it all. Oh, and the jogging scenes where Rocky gets chased by hundreds of kids. KIDS!!! I still get chills with Rocky yelling "Creed ... Creed ... CREEEEEEEED!"
Reasons to vote "yes": Mickey yelling "speed, speed, speed"; two versions of Gonna Fly Now in one montage
Reasons to vote "no": That red headband is bad; the gray jump suit is pretty much the same as Rocky I; he didn't drink raw eggs
Option #3 - Rocky III - Gonna Fly Now
In this montage, Rocky is training with his former nemesis, Apollo Creed, to prepare for the biggest fight of his life against an animal named Clubber Lang. Creed is determined to bring Rocky into the 20th century by modernizing his approach to the game: rhythm, speed and technique. Refurbishing an old dawg isn't an unfamiliar theme to Husky fans and this montage is sure to get some votes.
Reasons to vote "yes": Petersen, like Creed, is a former foe turned leader; Modernization is a great theme for UW; Creed's porn 'stache is too awesome
Reasons to vote "no": Those socks; nobody is going to believe that Rocky can out run Creed; there is nothing wrong with two men hugging on the beach, but I don't want it in my training montage.
Rocky II - Gonna Fly Now
I'm not sure that this one is all that close. While both Rocky IV and Rocky III have their attributes - namely they both get Rocky out of Philly and into a different scene - nothing can quite compare to the "oh hell yah" feeling one gets when they hear Adrian whisper "Win" and Mickey holler in the background "what are we waiting for?!?" The old school trainer coaching up the overlooked fighter preparing to take on the best in the world. That's some pretty inspirational stuff right there. Rocky II, all the way.