Why?  Here’s why.   So, while traveling the major blacktop arteries of the state of Oklahoma during the past couple of weeks while hauling projects to the state fairs, I have had several unique conversations with students.

Now, these are ag mech-er students.  Great, great kids but we probably aren’t going to win beauty contests, speech contests, best dressed titles or valedictorian awards.  But, I won’t trade these kids for all the gold in California.  These kind show up everyday, sell piles of Blue & Gold sausage, take pride in their work, will always perform community service projects and have a great work ethic.  They will always be tax paying citizens and will have a job. Blue collar–yes.  Redneck–maybe.  Use whatever terms that you want.  Personally, I can fit into several different categories but I always relate to this type of kid.  They don’t want to sit in a classroom, don’t want to have to memorize a bunch of stuff that they won’t use at any other time in their life and they really don’t care about popularity contests.  I get it.

The other day, as we were rolling down the blacktop, I had a boy ask me if I had seen…..are you ready……Rocky III.   I casually shook my head yes and said, “Yeah, dude.  Like back in the 80s.”

People, he was floored.  “Really.  I just saw it the other night.  I think that it is the best movie that I have ever seen.”

WTH?  Seriously.  Yes, he was serious.  So, I asked the obvious–“Did  you like that Eye of the Tiger song?”

YES!!   And then he went into full frantic mode talking about the script of Rocky 3.  I let him go for a bit then reined him in with –“You do know that isn’t the best or the 2nd best or even the 3rd best Rocky movie ever made?”   BOOM!    Mind officially blown.  So, let’s rank ’em.


5—I have not seen the Creed movie, but it HAS to be better than Rocky Balbo and I refuse to even mention the turd of a movie that followed Rocky IV.

4—Rocky III.   Maybe the coolest song EVER and it still might only be the 2nd best song from a Rocky movie.  Eye of the Tiger is an all time classic tune.  Thunder Lips (Hulk Hogan) and Clubber Lang (Mr. T) are two of the coolest characters that you could put in an 80s movie.  The ending was kind of fun but in all honesty, cheesy as all heck.

Now, it starts to get hard to rank them.

3–Rocky II.  Maybe the best fight of all of the Rocky flicks.  Paid homage to the first, added story lines that completed I and built to the future movies.  Fighting right handed and then changing to left.  Chasing chickens.  I like this one.

2–Rocky IV.   Maybe the best cold war movie…ever.  The training montage video makes me want to chop wood and run up a mountain in the Altai range.  Soundtrack is wicked awesome.  Ivan Drago was legendary on screen.  Apollo Creed went out like he wanted.  Great movie but the last 3 minutes makes you want to put your head in a vise.

1–Rocky.     One of the best movies ever made.  Everybody that has ever watched this flick has wanted to punch a hanging beef carcass.  And the song, yes, that song is legendary.  Yes, this movie won Oscars but they also built a statue in Philadelphia for an imaginary character.  One of the coolest names ever…Apollo Creed.  How many bulls have been named after these characters…..Rocky, Rocky Balbo, Itallion Stallion, etc.

“Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”   Alright.

The story of Stallone, the script, holding out, selling his dog, Wepner/Ali, etc. are just pure America.  The turtles from the original Rocky are supposedly still alive…Cuff and Link.  How many dumb asses have drank raw eggs as a result of watching this flick?

I won’t argue with II being #1 or IV being 3, 2 or 1.   No matter what, respect has to be given to the original.  You don’t get the others without the first being a hit.


Now, go spark that “Gonna Fly Now” song up on your music player.  Trendy 70s base line, add some horns and a guitar solo with a few lyrics and you have one of the best pump up songs of all time.  Your parents, your grandparents, your kids and probably your grandkids all recognize this song.

How many stock showers have had “Gonna Fly Now” or “Eye of the Tiger” blaring through some speakers while working stock?  MOST!


If you want to text and argue about the rankings of 1, 2 or 4—-fine.  If you want to move 3 or the others higher in the rankings….just delete my # from your phone and go back to working leg hair on your spanish/nubian cross wether goats.

On a similar note.  When hauling kids, I try to take them to eat somewhere that they haven’t been nor may not get a chance to go.  Sunday night, we were in OKC, so we took them to the Cattlemen’s.  Duke was the only student that had been there before.  We were seated in the Hereford room.  Two brothers were ready for steak–RARE, ribeyes they ordered.  Another kid said that he would NOT eat calf fries NOR lamb fries.  So, I ordered a couple of plates of lamb fries.  He was sitting next to me when I ordered AND when they were brought them to the table.

He asked, “What are those?”   I looked across the table, shook my head and said, “Mini chicken fried steaks.”

He grabbed one, ate it and then grabbed another.  I waited until the third one to tell him the truth.  Now, he likes lamb fries.

I bet that I haul this kid to some state fairs in the future.  I will bet that he will watch ALL of the Rocky movies.  I hope that he learns from me but I bet that I will learn (or at least be reminded of) why it is that I/we do the things that we do.

Over and out.




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