I've seen alot of dumb stuff in my lifetime.
I've seen the coming and going of the Pokemon craze, I've watched Ricky Martin rocket to fame, and I've even played NFL Street. But this trumps them all.
Organized "Fight Nights." Yes. On the heels of the UFC's rising popularity, it's become something of a fad for kids my age to hold parties (or, things that would be considered parties if not for all the violence and machismo), where they simply get together and fight each other.
The match-ups are determined a few weeks ahead. So yes, I've heard statements like the following: "Okay, so Steve and Rick will fight, then John and Mike. Oh, and Reed wants a rematch against John, so that can happen too."
What? "Why?" I wondered. Why do we choose to fight each other? It didn't make any sense to me. But I decided that before I could really formulate a fair opinion on these get-togethers, I had to -and I can't believe I'm saying this- participate in Fight Night.
Maybe I will get turned on to the sport, I thought. Maybe I will feel a thrill and adrenaline rush, satisfy a primal urge I didn't even know I had.
Yeah, and maybe Mario Williams will be the missing piece in the Texans Super Bowl puzzle.
I put on the purchased boxing gloves, and got into the "ring" (the middle of someone's living room, with the table cleared out of the way). My opponent was a friend of mine, a good football player, and he had a solid 30 pounds, most of it muscle, on me. The fight didn't go well.
I actually threw the first punch. That was about it, though. After a frightening barrage of cuts, hooks, and jabs I didn't even know existed, I was on the ground, bleeding slightly out of my mouth. Sweet.
In Barbara Ehrenstein's book Blood Rites, she claims that the reason humans gravitate towards violence is as follows: For almost all of our evolutionary history, humans have been prey. We are born with a fear of predators hardwired into our brain. But their is a moment in all human's lives when, subconsciously, they realize that they aren't prey. Our technology has made us the predator. The euphoria we feel gives us the usually stifled, but sometimes evident, primal urge to be violent.
Yeah, thanks Barbara. Let's see how "euphoric" you are when your ears are ringing, your head hurts like you've been at an AC/DC concert for 30 years, and your lip is trickling blood.
Haven't we evolved past this? Isn't this all a little ridiculous, like our own little Alpha-Male competion?
Now, I'm not one of these wackos that doesn't think UFC is a sport. If you've trained for years to fight, and you're okay with losing brain cells by the gallon, than yeah, be my guest. It's a sport, just don't ask me to get into it. But really, do high school kids really need to boost their egos by hurting each other?
"But, dude, the gloves are nice and soft, so nobody ever really gets seriously hurt. And we always call off the fights when somebody starts to bleed," one of the main Fight Night participants assures me.
"And you can come back anytime you want," I'm offered.
Thanks, but on the next Fight Night, I'm booked solid. I'm supposed to jump off the Empire State Building and land on a bike with no seat.