Yo Philadelphia! Bury Rocky, Build a Joe Frazier Statue

Dan BooneSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Joe Frazier attends Sony Pictures Classics' screening of 'Tyson' at the AMC Loews 19th Street on April 20, 2009 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Philadelphia is a lot of things but its not phony. And Philadelphia doesn't like phonies.

So why does Philadelphia still have a statue of a Hollywood boxer, albeit a famous one, but not one of its most famous boxing son?

Why Rocky and not Joe Frazier? Why Sly and not Smoking Joe?

Sure Joe was a son of South Carolina but long ago he made Philadelphia his home and he fought with a Philadelphia fever and left hook that Philadelphia loved.

After Frazier was finished boxing he stayed in Philadelphia and ran a gym training boxers and established the Joe Frazier Foundation.

Stallone is a New Yorker spinning a Chuck Wepner inspired story so why honor a movie prop and not a real man?

Why does Philadelphia still have Stallone on those steps and no statue of Frazier who actually ran the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art while training?

Frazier had this to say about Stallone.

"But he never paid me for none of my past. I only got paid for a walk-on part. Rocky is a sad story for me

Frazier gave Philadelphia the Fight of the Century in Ali Frazier One and one of the best fights in history in the Thrilla in Manila. Stallone gave Philadelphia Rocky Four and Five. Stallone won Hollywood gold. Frazier won Olympic Gold.

Philadelphia fans are fickle but they do not like phonies nor giant egos.

The fans are tough. They pummeled Santa with snowballs. Jimmy Johnson with ice balls and tried to burn down Ben Franklin house because of the Stamp Act.

Philadelphia is a place where Buddy Ryan can be loved.

Its Concrete Charlie Bednarik standing over Broadway Frank Gifford.

Its where Jack Dempsey said "Honey I forgot to duck." to his wife in his dressing room after losing the Heavyweight Title to Gene Tunney.

Its Constitutional Conventions, Ben Franklin, and South Philly Wise Guys. Its Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Frazier. 

Hollywood heavy Broderick Crawford came from Philadelphia as did that wicked clown WC Fields. Billie Holiday was born into the blues in Philly before being brought down by a bad part of Baltimore town.  

Doc Holliday went to dentistry school downtown at the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery. The good doctor's statue still stands, shotgun in hand, staring south of U Penn land.

South Philadelphia spawned Jim Croce the man who wrote Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown and You Don't Mess Around With Jim. Its the place where as Bruce Springsteen sang they blew up the chicken man last night and they blew up his house too.

Philadelphia isn't fond of phonies so it should not place a boxing Hollywood prop over real life boxing legend.

Its no place for a Sly statue but it should be a place for a Frazier one.

"Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took and your name in the undertaker book." Joe Frazier on boxing.


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