Alabama Loses Split Decision to Florida: The "Rocky" Analogy

Ingram WorleyCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2008

I think most would agree that of all of the "'Rocky" movies (there are six total), the greatest was the original. Everyone remembers the movie. Rocky Balboa, the boxer with the street-fighting style makes his way up the ranks and gets his unlikely shot against the flashy champion, Apollo Creed.

Rocky Balboa was not the prototypical fighter at the time. His fight against Apollo was billed to be a massacre. Apollo was fast, flashy, and arrogant. Rocky was strong, but unseasoned. Apollo saw Rocky as another easy victory.

In the movie, the fight between the two was a war. Apollo was taken to the limit before winning a split decision. When it was all said and done, Apollo held on to the championship belt, but Rocky had earned his respect.

The SEC Championship game earlier tonight made me think about the movie. I don't know why. If you've read any of my articles, you know that I make sports-movie connections that probably don't make much sense.

Alabama came into the game riding a long winning streak, but billed as a massive underdog against Florida. Florida was the media darling and the majority of the national press felt that they would find very little challenge from the Crimson Tide.

Gary Danielson, doing the color commentary work for CBS, likened the game to a boxing match. Much like the Balboa/Creed fight from the original "Rocky," the fight started with the contenders trading punches.

Florida connected first, a wicked left hook to Alabama's jaw. Alabama was staggering. Then, in Round Two, Alabama showed flashes of possessing the power to win the fight. They came out with a barrage of body blows to take the lead.

Rounds Four and Five went back to Florida. Their speed and toughness at quarterback made the bout to look as though it might be called early.

Midway through the battle, Florida had regained the lead. Although the line came much later in the franchise, I could almost hear Tim Tebow deadpanning, "I must break you."

Rounds Six and Seven took a different turn. Alabama rose from the canvas with a series of jabs and uppercuts. Unbelievably, they were back in the lead. Florida was reeling, and it began to seem as though Alabama was one big punch from a knockout.

However, in the late rounds, Florida's speed and versatility were the difference. Though Alabama bobbed and weaved through much of the onslaught, Florida connected on several key blows, and Alabama was unable to recover.

At the end of the film, viewers were left salivating over the rematch. The question was not if there would be a sequel, but how long they would have to wait to see it.

As football fans, we desire nothing more than to see a quality heavyweight fight. We would prefer that the fight lived up to its billing. This one certainly did.

Like the fights from all of the "Rocky" movies, the game seemed unrealistic in that the momentum shifted almost constantly.

Like the original "Rocky" movie, most would agree that the better fighter won. Like Rocky Balboa from the films, we expect Alabama to get stronger before the much-anticipated rematch.

If you remember watching the movie for the first time, you were disappointed that Rocky didn't win the fight. You felt proud that he had come from nowhere to take the champion the distance.

As sports and movie fans, nothing is better than seeing your hero get a chance at retribution. I have faith that Alabama will "train" hard in the off-season, and will be back for the sequel next December.

For the sake of the rivalry, let's hope that some giant Russian doesn't kill Apollo before we get to see it again.

Congratulations to Florida. I will be supporting them in the championship game. Another title for the SEC will simply solidify the conference's dominance. But for the next year, I'll be looking forward to a fight that could potentially be bigger than the first one.

Next winter, coming to a theatre near you, "Rocky II".