Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yo, Brooklyn

So I was invited to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game tonight. It's not the Yankees (which may be a good thing...), it's not even the Mets--it's their farm team--but it's baseball, and it's baseball in Brooklyn (eat your heart out Dodgers' fans). Up close, and within spitting distance of always entertaining Coney Island. So why the heck not? Well, this is why the heck not....
Fans are invited to dress up as their favorite Stallone character, with the winning costume receiving a prize pack.

Anyone named "Sylvester" will be admitted to the ballpark at no charge.

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the 1987 movie Over The Top (in which Stallone plays a struggling trucker competing in a Las Vegas Arm Wrestling Championship, and sporting a New York City Arm Wrestling T-shirt), the New York Arm Wrestling Association (NYAWA) will host over 100 men and women competing that day for the 25th Annual White Castle ‘Kingsboro’ Golden Arm Wrestling titles, featuring a championship match taking place on the dugout during that night's game!
Good grief. A whole night dedicated to Sylvester Stallone? Quick. Somebody. Anybody. Please remind me again why I love going to baseball games.

Don't get me wrong. I loved the original Rocky movie: The timeless story of the two-bit loser who gets the chance of a lifetime, "goes the distance" and gets the girl, to boot. What's not to like? Stallone was brilliant, the fight scenes a cinematic feat, and the writing gritty (Women weaken legs You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder ) The fact that a penniless, out of work actor wrote the screenplay, starred in it, and won Academy Awards for both is the classic case of life imitating art.

I've watched the movie at least a half dozen times, and it still makes me cheer and bawl wipe a tear at the end. Hearing a few notes of its theme song can give me goosebumps. Truth be told, some friends and I even bounded up the steps of the Museum of Art a few times once when I lived in Philly singing Gonna Fly Now at the top of our lungs while we danced and hooted atop the Benjamin Franklim Parkway. [Yes, there was alcohol involved after the first time.] I don't doubt that I've seen snippets of the Rocky sequels but if my life depended on it, I couldn't tell you whether he wins, dies, or keeps the girl.

Stallone has made 56 films and I can say proudly truthfully that I've seen only two of them from beginning to end. One by choice as admitted above, and the other Over the Top by dint of familial guilt, and because my gangly budding nephews managed to rig the VCR so that it played on a continuous loop for an entire weekend. Of course, the fact that I even remember the name of that flick has nothing to do with um...Stallone's arm muscles, and everything to do with quality time I spent with my nephews. Right.

I've never, ever seen any of the Rambo movies save the trailers I was forced to watch in movie theaters or the night that PortiaMan hid the remote control, and I was exposed to 20 minutes or so of First Blood Part XX III before I decided it was a good time to balance our checkbook, instead. Both times scared the bejesus out of me, and made me want to buy the poor guy a shirt diction lessons.

As far as I'm concerned, Stallone's talent ended when the credits for Rocky I started rolling. Until this morning, that is, when I watched this very um...entertaining clip, and realized that I may have acted precipitously by dismissing Mr. Stallone's thighs, shoulders er...talents. Damn. Double damn.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now
Anybody got a bandana I can borrow for tonight's game?

(posted by Portia)


Cassandra said...

Well, I for one hope you have fun, Portia. I love farm league baseball. To me it is much more fun than the big league stuff. The only thing I love more is going to company-level games on base and watching idiot Marines play.

That is really fun :) In fact, that may be the best thing of all for me, watching real people play any sport, whatever it is. I have never really understood pro sports, but I've always loved to go watch real people play. The joking around, the beer, the trash-talking, the drama, the thrill of watching people go all out and then shake hand when it's all over. So much fun.

To me, that is what it's all about. Yeah, that and getting my picture taken with the big chicken. Or playing pranks and running like heck. Gosh, can you tell I've been looking at old photos today?

Have fun.

portia said...

We won!! We slayed the Vermont Lake Monsters 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Take that Verd Mont. It was a very fun night although I could have skipped hearing 8,000 fans singing along to "Dancing Queen." Today's Ear Worm.

spd rdr said...

Thanks for the damned ear worm, Portia. I hate you for it. :-0>

I go see the Richmond Braves play at the Diamond every now and again. It's completely different from "big league" play. In other words, it's still the best fun you can have and still meet your mortgage.

I confess that the the longevity of the "Rocky" thing has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. Sure, it's a great fight film, but Stallone played a palooka with nothing but what "ADRIANNE" and Burgess Meredith (in perhaps his most endearing role) gave him. Being married to a Philly gal, as I am, it's a minor bit of apostasy to disparage any Rocky film, but even the home folks removed the statute from the front of the museum before finally relenting to restore this bit of kitsch.

So why the hell is Brooklyn getting into the act? Why not celebrate a real-life boxer from Brooklyn, such as Rocky Graziano, Joe Lynch, or my personal favorite, Charley Goldman, Floyd Patterson? (I remember Mr. Patterson as being one of the most genuinely genuine persons that I have ever had the opportunity to meet.)Then again... Nevermind.

Glad you got to enjoy the game.

spd rdr said...

Actually, my "personal favorite" referenced was the esteemed Floyd Patterson. Charly Goldman was WAY before my time.

Cassandra said...

The only thing memorable (to me) about Rocky is that it has become the source of our longest running marital eye-roller.

Rocky came out when my husband and I were dating. He SWEARS he took me to see it. I am just about sure I never saw the movie in any movie theater, which has caused no end of teasing about 'what girl he *did* take to see Rocky' (could well have been just before we started going out, when he dated pretty much all of my girlfriends).

I think it's funny, so I love it every time the subject comes up.

He gets the deer-in-the-headlights look. :p

Plus, after 25+ years he's even managed to turn it around somehow so I"M the bad guy! (If I "cared", I'd remember our special date... blah, blah, blah... what a load of malarkey).

Men... :D

portia said...

You said a mouthful, Cass:)

You met Floyd Patterson? Very cool, spd. I remember as a little girl my father going on and on about seeing the first of his three fights againt the Hammer of Thor in late 50s/early 60s when Patterson went down for the count six or seven times but kept getting back up for another lickin' Nobody could figure out how he managed to get up again and again. He has a park in Brooklyn that bears his name but I don't hear/read his name much these days. I don't hear much talk about boxing period. I don't even know who holds the heavyweight title these days...maybe because we can't pronounce their names anymore:) The last one I remember is Lennox Lewis and that's several years ago. Pity.

I don't know where the Sly thing came from. Maybe to drum up business for the upcoming Rambo movie to be released in May 2008. Gawd. Shouldn't John Rambo be collecting social security checks by now?

camojack said...

I got some extra work in one of the Rocky movies...I think it was number 5. Haven't had any use for my Screen Actors Guild membership in awhile; I just can't be bothered anymore...

Cassandra said...


You mean I had a brush with greatness and didn't even know it?

*running away*

Cassandra said...

I can't watch fights. I know there are women who get turned on by them, but I could never even watch my friends wrestle in high school. I am such a wuss.

I never want anyone to get hurt. But then I was always the idiot who was rescuing birds and toads and other injured creatures. I'm 48 and it's only in the last 5 years or so that I've gotten to the point where I can stay in the room during some violent films, even though I know it isn't real.

Some. And only when I turn my head away. It's funny too b/c I was always fine with things like when my boys got hurt and I had to take them to the hospital. I just hate cruelty or violence. Like I said, I'm a huge wuss. Boys are strange :p But I am glad you guys are around.

camojack said...

But you did know it, darlin' least on some level, you must have. :-)

Cassandra said...


[rolling eyes]

Can I have another amen on that, Portia? :)

camojack said...

Heh. Have a great vacation!