On Nov. 27, 1985, Rocky IV appeared in movie theaters. This was the film that pitted Sylvester Stallone, as the titular boxer, against Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago. This movie had a significant impact on cinema and sparked many debates about the overall series, and now ESPN is honoring that impact.
Following a recent tradition, the Twitter account for the sports site posted a photo of Rocky and Drago in the midst of battle. "On this day in 1985, Rocky Balboa shocked the world, knocking out Ivan Drago in the 15th round," ESPN wrote. This was similar to other posts about Harry Potter, as well as the Vince Vaughn film, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
The post on Twitter appeared to be a joke about the popular sports film and remembering big moments from history, but the reactions made it appear that many weren't aware. There were dozens of comments about how Rocky isn't actually a real person and how this tweet should be deleted.
Similarly, there were many users on Twitter that were quite angry about ESPN saying that Rocky knocked out Drago on Nov. 27. The plot of the film clearly states that the fight took place on Christmas day (Dec. 25), and users wanted to reiterate this point.
Photo Credit: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Ummm, the fight was on Christmas Day— Matthew Rhys Baldwin (M.A) 🏴 (@MattRhys63) November 27, 2019
While Rocky IV's big boxing match did take place on Christmas day, the movie was actually released on Nov. 27. ESPN was on a mission to honor the original date that the iconic film was released in theaters. However, this attempt did not go over particularly well.
The majority of comments under this post were all focused on how ESPN should stick to sports because the outlet was bad at reading a calendar. There were even fake Donald Trump accounts that called this Fake News due to the difference in timing.
Having ESPN honor the anniversary of Rocky IV on Nov. 27 was very frustrating for many Twitter users. They wanted to know how one of the top sports outlets in the nation could get such a small detail wrong prior to hitting send.
In fact, the users on Twitter wanted to make it very clear that the time and date of this battle in Russia is common knowledge to viewers of the film. They truly did not understand how ESPN could get this wrong.
First, the fight took place on Christmas Day.
Second, and this still bothers me to this day: if the fight took place at, say, 8pm in Moscow, and ended around 11pm or so, why did Rocky say that his kid better be asleep at home after the fight when it was like Noon in California?— Peter Loibl (@PeterLoibl) November 27, 2019
This post on Twitter drew considerable criticism for having Nov. 27 as the "throwback" date for the knockout of Ivan Drago. As many pointed out, the actual fight took place on Dec. 25. However, there was one fan that wanted to go even further in-depth.
As the Twitter user explained, the time difference between the two events didn't make any sense given the context of the situation. Was Rocky telling his kid to go to sleep in the middle of the day? There are some users on Twitter that want answers.
I think they're referencing the day the movie came out which was on November 27, 19...…………….nevermind.— Brandon Mitchell (@BjMitchell84) November 27, 2019
Given the sheer number of comments about the fight taking place on Dec. 25, it was inevitable that someone would try to wade into the responses and provide an explanation for ESPN's tweet. Specifically, they would attempt to explain the difference between release date and setting.
However, this only lasted a few short seconds as the helpful souls realized that trying to reason with users on Twitter is a lost cause. Doing so would only create more frustration for themselves.
You know it didn't really happen right?
You guys having a hard time separating fantasy from reality?— Shawn Bird 🦃 (@ShawnTheRuiner) November 27, 2019
Every time that ESPN posts a throwback photo about a sports movie, the outlet inevitably receives dozens of comments about movie magic. There are many users that want to make sure that the Monday Night Football channel truly understands the difference between what is real and what is fake.
Posts about Harry Potter and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story drew similar reactions as fans on social media voiced their frustrations about "fake" sports taking center stage. They wanted these posts deleted immediately.
I had the my entire life savings on the Drago money line. My wife took the kids and left me the next day.— shower socks (@mysmallwetsocks) November 27, 2019
While hundreds of Twitter users argued about when and where the fight took place, there were many others that wanted to think about the other aspects of this bout. Specifically, they wanted to talk about the dangers of gambling on professional sports.
There are many that have lost their money, home, and car after becoming addicted to gambling on football or horse racing. In one user's case, he said that Rocky winning this fight was the moment in which he lost everything.
Did they have to grease the light poles on Broad Street that night, too? 😂— Thomas Sbordone (@SbordoneT) November 27, 2019
Did Rocky fight on Nov. 27 or on Dec. 25? To some sports fans, there shouldn't be a debate. They believe that this fact is irrelevant, and they would prefer to think about some other important details. Did the Philadelphia Police Department grease the light poles back in 1985 due to Rocky's status in the historic city?
For context, this became an issue when the Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC Championship and secured a trip to Super Bowl LII. In response to this victory, the fans took to the streets and began climbing light poles. The Philly PD was forced to grease down the poles after the Eagles defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl.