I had not seen Rocky since I was much younger, so watching it as an adult brought a whole new meaning to the movie. While I still found it dull at times and several of its messages too obvious or cliche, the film still told important messages that not only relate to our country but also the city of Philadelphia. Clearly Rocky was an underdog, unable to catch a break and getting by the best way he could. And while the film successfully made audiences sympathize with his character through his treatment of women, his love of animals and other tactics, it was the fact that he wasn’t the best of the best, even in the end, that made him so relatable. That’s where the city of Philadelphia comes in. We are by far not the cleanest city. We’re not anywhere close to being the safest. We see poverty every day in almost every neighborhood. Essentially, we’re an underdog city, not even close to matching up to the glamor of New York or the education of Boston. But, somehow, we still have an undeniable and unbreakable pride. We still cheer on our sports teams, sometimes to a terrifying degree, and we still talk up our local food places. We even take pride in the fact that we can be unjustifiably rude. Us Philadelphians like the underdog, we respect the underdog, and we cheer the underdog on. We’re a city of underdogs.
The other day, as I was walking back to my house off of campus, a man came up to me with a liberty bell tattooed on his forehead. “You’re from my city,” he said, over and over, expressing his love for Philadelphia. As we stood there, with garbage piled up in the streets of North Philly, with broken fences and stray cats, this man had never been more proud to be a Philadelphian.