Monday, September 1, 2008

Are Ya Scared?

Hey Folks-

No, the title doesn't refer to the very real possibility that Sarah Palin will be our next Vice President . (Though, it easily could refer to that very real possibility. Frankly, it's a little too real for me.)

No no... instead, I'd like to talk sports.

Yesterday, I was watching the very enjoyable "Rocky Balboa" and I came in right before the training sequence (awesome) and I watched through the end. I actually thought that the movie was great, except I was a little bummed at the final fight. I DID like the outcome, but I thought the fight was almost too realistic. I want Drago. I want Clubber Lang.

It was during this fight sequence that I noted that Rocky and Mason "The Line" Dixon were both wearing black gloves. I kept thinking about the gloves. So much so, in fact, that I came up with a blog entry related to the color of boxing gloves.

Without further ado, I bring you:

Dan's Top 5 Sports Intimidation Techniques (Both real and fictional)

Honorable Mention A):
This one doesn't get into the top 5, because of 2 reasons... 1) It's only happened once that I am aware of. 2) It's more likely to intimidate your own teammate as opposed to the opponent. In any case, there's a story of the time Red's Hall of Fame Catcher Johnny Bench was catching a younger pitcher. Bench was calling for a breaking ball, and the pitcher shook him off wanting to throw a fastball. Bench basically tells the guy his fastball is sucking, so he should stick with the breaking ball... The pitcher insists and throws the fastball anyway. Bench CATCHES IT WITH HIS BARE HAND. I'm sorry...but that is awesome. I think if that could be verified with an actual video or original story, it would definitely make the list, even though he showed up his teammate. I LOVE that story.

Honorable Mention B)
This one makes it on if I wasn't so entertained by #4 on my list, thus allowing fictional circumstances. Anyway, Ronnie Lott was so tough. So crazy about getting back on the field, that when he dislocated his pinky finger he elected to have it CUT OFF instead of missing any action. Seriously...the guy decided to just amputate his pinky finger after it was crushed in order to avoid injuring it any more, but still get on the field faster. I love that.

5) The coolest way to wear white after Labor Day. Why does the color of boxing gloves matter? (you ask) Well... because when you're wearing white boxing gloves, your opponent can see their own blood. I don't know about you, but if I'm in a fight, the last thing I wanna know about is how much I'm bleeding.

4) A day at the beach. FICTIONAL. Okay, so I've never seen this happen, nor do I think it ever would, but wouldn't it have been effing sweet if Michael Phelps had shown up to his first race of the Olympics with a full, bushy beard and wearing baggy surfing shorts. How would you feel as an opponent of his when you've just spent the last 3 hours shaving off all of your body hair and squeezing yourself into a skin-tight suit and Phelps shows up looking like a beach comber. Like... He may as well be swimming in a sweatshirt.

3) Chair? What chair mother fucker? Another boxing one (Courtesy of Alan)... Picture 2 boxers in a 12 round championship fight. The 10th round just ended. It's been a battle. Too close to call on the cards. You're spent. You head back to your corner and you slump onto the stool and let your corner men do their work. As your trainer is yelling out instructions, you find yourself glancing over to your opponent, hoping to see him bleeding. Instead, you see that he's standing 3 feet away from his corner. Arms crossed. Waiting for your pussy-ass to get up and fight him some more. What's that tapping? Nails in your coffin.

2) Get that shit outta here. I love this one, and it's only not #1 on the list because it's so much better in person than it is on TV. It lacks the universal quality the others have, but otherwise, it's really intimidating. There is nothing...NOTHING like a really emphatic blocked shot in basketball. So many awesome variations of it... The "Pin the ball on the backboard". The "Catch the ball out of the air". The "intentional goaltend where the guy comes up THROUGH the rim". The "point guard stuffing a power forward". The "swat into the second row and then scream like an insane person". Just awesome, and if done early in the game, it can really be a pretty great way to get the momentum.

1) have ice on your face. This one is legendary. I've heard of this happening a few times, but I think quite possibly the most famous example of it is a Bengals example...and thus is my favorite. In January 1982 the Bengals played the Chargers in Cincinnati in the AFC Championship game. The temperature? -59 degrees. I don't know if you know that, but that is fucking cold. Just so we're clear... if you CAN spit in that temperature, it would freeze before it hit the ground. Of course, your body dehydrates at something like 17 times the normal rate, so you can't spit. Or sweat. In any case, the Bengals offensive lineman came out and played the entire game (thank you Alan and Wikipedia for verifying the specifics) without wearing sleeves. They were so crazy and so tough that were all "Screw frostbite. I wanna scare some Chargers." And it worked. Sadly, they played the 49ers indoors the next Sunday, or maybe the entire future of the Bengals would have been changed. Still... No sleeves or "warm weather clothing" in general in super cold weather is hardcore. People still talk about that 27 years later.

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