Daily, people come from all over the world to visit Philadelphia and run up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. When you google, ‘Rocky Philadelphia”, the first link that appears is to the the museums website. On January 17, three friends (pictured above) ran up the steps only to be greeted by Sylvester Stallone, the actor who plays Rocky Balboa, who was there in preparation for the latest Rocky movie. That moment had to be magical for those guys, but what about the rest of the visitors? Why do people view running the steps as a worthwhile moment?
As we discussed in class, Rocky is iconic. In its simplest description, it the story of an underdog. Philadelphia is recognizable in it, and it came out at a point in American history where people were searching for optimism. On a deeper level, there are certainly racial and gendered overtones but that doesn’t seem to be the pieces that stick with and resonate with Rocky’s viewers. People who haven’t even seen the movie, know the rocky run and even often participate. It has become something much bigger than the movie itself. It’s funny, iconic, and silly which adds to its appeal. We as Americans, and as people want to feel triumphant even if its in a small way. The steps seem to provide that to people, along with a laugh, and maybe a selfie with Sylvester Stallone.