I don't know about you, but I'm still full.

I tried my best, strategically sipping on some chilled Grappa after my second full Thanksgiving meal. Not my second helping. Not seconds.


Two families. Two houses. Two Thanksgiving dinners. A second full meal. I completed my holiday double-header with trips to both dessert tables, and finished off my night to the sounds of the season while nipping on a digestif as a nightcap — the perfect close to a family- and food-filled Thanksgiving.

I ate so much I slept right through the chance to play street hockey on Friday morning, missing out on the chance to run off a few of those carb-filled calories served family style the day before.

By the time I got going I barely made the matinee showing of "Creed."

I had no desire to go anywhere near a mall, or any stores for that matter, on Friday. But, the pull of a little Rocky Balboa inspired nostalgia was too strong to turn down, and with the day otherwise open, and off of work, off I went — to the movie theater in the local mall.

My hope was for a little "Rocky IV" styled inspiration — that I'd leave the theater ready to go for a run, jump some rope, do some one-handed pushups, shadow box, hit the heavy bag, climb a mountain, overhead press an old-fashioned horse cart full of family and friends, grow a beard and lose some pounds.

My hope was to go see "Creed," and leave the theater ready to go get back in shape.

It didn't happen.

Let me be clear, lest I be labeled a critic. "Creed" was a perfectly good movie. Michael B. Jordan was believable as a boxer, and Sylvester Stallone seamlessly reprised the role of Rocky Balboa. The story arch was fine, and the boxing was entertaining. I liked the movie.

But, the training sequences ... maybe there will never be another training sequence like "Rocky IV."

The music was fine too. Future, Nas, The Roots, even Meek Mill (fresh off his own knockout at the hands lyrics of Drake) brought an upbeat beat to the screen while Jordan's Adonis Creed did bag and mitt work. I even found myself with my head bobbing a bit to Tupac's "Hail Mary" as Creed made his way to the ring.

But, it was Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" that I wanted to hear. More specifically, I wanted to hear that song at one of two key moments.

And, while the score went 1 for 2, being honest, I'd most hoped to hear Conti's song that has become the undisputed title-holding theme song for Rocky as the accompaniment to Adonis' training.

There wasn't too much of a training sequence in Rocky Balboa (aka "Rocky VI"), because that film featured a nearly 60-year old Rocky prepping for a glorified exhibition-turned-true-Hollywood-hero's-journey-fight film. I'd hoped, with "Creed," the Rocky franchise would bring the hardcore training sequences back.

There was some. Though, a good bit was more focused on paying homage to the streets of Philadelphia — running scenes more reminiscent of "Rocky" than, again, the isolated-in-Russia, wood-chopping, shadow boxing, jump-roping by firelight of "Rocky IV."


Perhaps, part of the sense of lacking stemmed from the fact that Jordan was already in pretty good shape to start the movie. He wasn't going through the complete transformation that Rocky did his eponymous III and IV.

For those of you reading along, worrying that I'm writing about a movie and not (enough) about sports, worrying you may miss out on reading this column this week — don't. "Creed," like Rocky(s) I-Balboa (VI) before it, is a sports movie — a movie about boxing.

And, to hear my friends from Philadelphia tell it, people there of a certain age still think Rocky Balboa is/was a real person — making the pilgrimage to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and/or posing with the bronzed statue of the fictitiously Philly-born Balboa is, to some folks in Philly, as real as posing for a photo with Johnny Unitas outside of M&T Bank Stadium.

I never go to the movies anymore, preferring instead to watch my movies (or today's golden age of television) on-demand, and/or by way of Netflix and the like. But, I had the day off, and I was looking for a little training-based inspiration set to the sounds of "Gonna Fly Now."

Truthfully, what may have made "Creed" feel a little less than inspiring than I'd hoped, had less to do with the movie, and more to do with me; specifically, more to do with my own age and/or feeling of aging.

Watching Stallone play Rocky in a role more akin to the way Burgess Meredith played Mickey Goldmill than to that of Balboa as the movie's pugilist-protagonist made me feel old. Google tells me I was 7 when "Rocky IV" was released. Thirty years have passed. That doesn't make me old. Just 30 years older.

But, with a knee that gives out more often than I care to admit, and a pair of ankles that seem to like locking up, I sadly found myself identifying more with the version of Rocky that struggles to climb to the top of those famed steps in Philadelphia at the end of "Creed," than I did this film's eponymous fighter, who, IMDB tells me, is only 28. Then again, checking Wikipedia and doing the math, Stallone was 39 when he shot the training scenes for "Rocky IV." (He's 69 now.)

Cue up Conti's "Gonna Fly Now." I've got some road work to do, some rope to jump, a heavy bag to hit, hell, maybe even a mountain to climb.

I've got at least one more good round in me.