Avildsen directed some of the best movies of the '70s and '80s, the most important of which was obviously The Karate Kid. But hey, Rocky wasn't bad either.
Avildsen wasn't all that interested in boxing when he first came across Sylvester Stallone's script for Rocky. He thought of boxing as "sort of a dumb thing." But he read on, and the script finally won him over when Rocky stopped to talk to Cuff and Link, his pet turtles. That bit charmed Avildsen, who then recognized it for the great character drama that it is. He made one hell of a movie, won the Best Director Oscar for it, and spawned a franchise -- all because of a couple of adorable reptiles.
Yes, we know there's way more to the story. We choose to ignore it, and instead credit lil' baby turtles. You will never convince us that's wrong.