Friday, June 10, 2011

The 7 Athletes You Want to Have Your Back in a Bar Fight

Floating around the internet is this article about what athletes you want on your side in a bar fight. There appears to be no creativity to the list. The article literally could not be more obvious (Ray Lewis and OJ? Of course you want to be fighting WITH the murderers, not AGAINST them).

In my opinion, you're looking for some combination of these personality types on your side in a bar fight:
  1. Badass
  2. Wins at all costs (translation: fights dirty)
  3. Bat shit crazy

After the jump, we put some thought into it and came up with the following players who you want with you when you  have one Four Horseman too many (which would be one) and start screaming out the lyrics to Piano Man at the top of your lungs. Not that said scenario has ever happened to any radio show hosts. Enjoy.

1. Kyle Farnsworth
The aforementioned article has 4 major league baseball players on their list (Alcantera and Offerman's incidents happened in the minors): Nolan Ryan, Chan Ho Park, Pedro Martinez, and Roger Clemens. Of the four, only Park can sort of hold his chin up high. Yes, Nolan Ryan liked to throw at people. But seriously? Unless he's carrying around baseballs to your favorite watering hole, putting Robin Ventura in a headlock is no big deal. Pretty sure you can get a girl scout's merit badge for doing that. Pedro? Threw a 467 year old man to the ground. Clemens? He also liked to throw at people, but his "fight" claim to fame is hurling a piece of broken wood at Mike Piazza. Yawn.

Enter Chan Ho Park. Ignoring the fact that he has no problem telling reporters about his bowel problems and is just as likely to shit his own pants as he is to intimidate anyone you're fighting into shitting theirs, there was that whole drop kick thing. In 1999, after plunking Randy Velarde (twice) himself, Chan Ho Park hit a dribbler to Tim Belcher. Belcher picked up the ball and tagged CHoP with it. Seems simple, right? Apparently Park thought he got tagged a little too hard. Park stepped back, drop kicked Belcher.....and proceeded to get the shit kicked out of him. Maybe whoever wrote that article assumed that being Korean and throwing one drop kick, Park was a martial arts expert. Too bad the guy he passed on ACTUALLY IS. Google Kyle Farnsworth and this comes up:

I know what you're thinking. "This is the guy you pick?" or "Nice glasses, four eyes."

Now, this is what else comes up on the Google search:

Hey, remember that Martial Arts thing I was talking about? Yeah. Dude trains in jujitsu with other MMA fighters. An ESPN Poll asked players who they'd least like to fight. Farsnworth won with 23% of the vote. The next highest player was Carlos Zambrano, with 14%. You know where Chan Ho Park was on that list? (hint: nowhere). 

So how did Kyle Farnsworth get on that list, besides being 6'4 and 230 lbs? Let's ask Jeremy Affeldt:

Now that Macho Man is dead, Kyle is stepping up in the world of Suplexes
No one knows what prompted that WWF maneuver. Neither Farnsworth nor Affeldt were involved in the incident that started the brawl. Neither seemed to be trash talking. Affeldt says Farnsworth asked him if he "wanted to fight" (which, not having huffed paint his entire life, was an offer Affeldt opted to decline). John Buck says that Affeldt looked at him wrong. Most experts agree that Farnsworth is just batshit crazy. But is one isolated incident  really enough to make this list?
It is not. So here's this.
That was two years prior, and approximately 3 hours after Paul Wilson wrote out his will and decided he had nothing left to live for. They brawled. The result?

I'd say don't quit your day job, but Wilson is pretty shitty at that too

But no. I'd totally rather have the 185 lb Korean with IBS watching my back in a bar fight instead.

2. Bill Laimbeer

Saying that Bill Laimbeer was kind of a dick is like saying the Empire State Building is kind of tall, or that Paris Hilton is kind of a whore. His feud with Larry Bird is legendary. He was part of the "Bad Boys" with the Detroit Pistons that elbowed, bit, scratched, groin kicked, and generally douchebagged their way to back to back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. When you're on a team with Dennis Rodman, and people remember YOU as the asshole, you know you're doing something horribly, horribly wrong. In fact, Super Nintendo decided to immortalize Laimbeer with all its 32-bit glory in "Combat Basketball." Considering I was 5 years old when the game came out and am not a fan of shitty basketball games, I have no idea what this is. Thankfully, Wikipedia does:

The game predicts a science fiction version of the year 2030 in which there are only robot basketball players (excluding Bill Laimbeer who has chosen to remain fully human). Basketball teams play in gruelling league matches where new players are bought and sold. Within this future, basketball uses a dedicated robot to perform the toss up at the start of each match as referees had been fired by Bill Laimbeer sometime prior to the year 2030. As a result, players now wear armor to their games and weapons are thrown from the audience
How this is different from Detroit normally, I do not know.
 Now, back to our present non-Judge Dredd meets Demolition Man meets Slamball meets Rollerball not too distant future (seriously....2030 is only like three canceled Raptures away!). Why did I choose Laimbeer over bad boys like Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Rasheed Wallace, etc? Here's one reason:
This just screams community service.

Laimbeer is 6'11, 245 lbs. Pretty big, but as far as NBA players go, it's not like that's once in a generation size. I mean, Shaq is 7 feet tall and 340 lbs. No, I picked Laimbeer for one reason and one reason only: he's a dirty motherfucker. 

Remember, this is a BAR FIGHT. No rules. I want the guy who will kick, throw elbows, and fight dirty. That feud I was talking about with Larry Bird?

Larry, your adam's apple is sticking out a liiiiiiiiitle too far
Laimbeer doesn't fight fair. He doesn't have to. He's the guy who doesn't laugh when people fall down, only when they fall down and REALLY get hurt. But what about fighting with a mask on? Surely he's doesn't fight THAT dirty.

Did you not read the last 4 paragraphs?
So I want Bill Laimbeer on my side in a bar fight. He'll do anything to win, has no problem fighting dirty, and will take on any and all comers.

Hey, little girl! Stop your boo-hooing. That's it, I'm coming over there.

3. Ty Cobb

"In legend I am a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport."-Ty Cobb
Yes, he actually said that. About himself. I don't know if he followed that up by saying "In legend? Bitch, I AM LEGEND."  He threw right, and batted left. So in a bar fight, he could punch with his right hand and chug Jack Daniels with his left. Or vice-versa. But plenty of people are ambidextrous. Most people however, aren't mean spirited, soulless sons of bitches like Ty Cobb was. Right Ray Liotta?

So we told him to stick it!

In all honesty, some of the things Ty Cobb did are....well....I'll put it to you this way. From 1-10 on the scumbag scale, where would you put "jumps into stands to attack a handicapped fan?" Would it even register? Or is there a special circle in hell reserved for cripple beaters. I ask, because Cobb totally did. From an ESPN writeup on The Georgia Peach:
In New York he went into the stands after a heckling fan called him names. He punched, kicked and stomped the fan, who was missing one hand and part of the other because of a workplace accident
How about racism and violence against women?
In spring training in 1907, Cobb, considered a racist by many, fought a black groundskeeper over the condition of the Tigers' spring training field in Augusta, Ga., and ended up choking the man's wife when she intervened
Is this the man you want by your side if you're going to Sunday Night Bingo in church? Not ideally, no. But in a bar fight? Oh hells yes. He hits women and the think he'd have a problem laying out some douchebag with his collar popped who's pounding Jagerbombs? Now let's say I'm kicking back a few and we get out numbered. That's a problem for most people. Not a problem for Ty Cobb:
In June, three men jumped Cobb and his wife in Detroit. Cobb pulled his gun, but it wouldn't fire. He chased down one of the fleeing thieves and beat the man's face to an unrecognizable pulp with the butt of his pistol
He's very thorough, you have to give him  that. Perhaps the most infamous story about Ty Cobb involves his cleats....which appropriately, are known as spikes. You see, Ty Cobb used to file his cleats down to be very, very sharp. Even better, he used to do it in plain view of the other team. You remember in Happy Gilmore when Adam Sandler says he holds the record for number of times he tried to stab someone with his skates? That was worth a good laugh, right? Unless of course you were a second baseman and Ty Cobb was sliding in, because THAT'S WHAT HE ACTUALLY TRIED TO DO. You see, not only did he sharpen his cleats, but he would slide in with the spikes high so when he got you, he got you. Sometimes, even that was too subtle. I mean, why slide when you can just dropkick someone with your shoes of death?

Liu Kang would be proud

He was a surly, nasty, tough as nails son of a bitch. And he was really goddamn good at baseball too. I'll end the article exactly how the ESPN article did:

Only four people from baseball attended his funeral.
Because he killed the rest.*

*I think

4. Roy Nelson

Yes, obviously you would like an MMA fighter on your side in a bar fight. They kick the shit out of people for money, and in turn, are used to getting the shit kicked out of them as well. You could probably break 6 or 7 bottles over the head of Chuck Liddell before he even turns around. Now, I could've taken someone like Rampage Jackson, Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Dopey/Grumpy/Sneezy/Sleepy Silva, etc. Too easy. I'm going with Roy "Big Country" Nelson.

At 260 lbs and about 97% body fat (rough estimate) Roy Nelson is one big mamma jamma. If the world of MMA were Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Nelson would hands down be King Hippo (while Kimbo Slice would likely be Glass Joe, since that's what happens when you get housed by a dude with pink hair). Now, this affects Roy's stamina, for sure. But while some see the belly as a hindrance, Nelson uses it to his advantage. You ever hear of the technique "ground and pound?" Nelson has more of a "ground and smother" technique. He punches you in the face for a while, and when you hit the ground he lies on top of you, sapping you of whatever strength you have left. Ideal for a bar fight to grab the rowdy guy and calm things down.

Not to mention, Nelson is a brawler. For obvious reasons, he is not the most agile guy in the world. He won't dance around or try any acrobatic moves. Here's video of a fight to get an idea of his fighting style:

Want to know how it ends? SPOILER ALERT:

Not well for slim.

Nelson literally just puts his head down and walks right at you, like a tank slowly rolling through a city. You can try and punch his stomach, if you want. You can also try popping a beanbag chair by throwing a marble at it. All that extra fat comes with an added bonus.....trying to get a good gut shot in means you have to go through 35 years of pudding packs and Lunchables first.

And now for the kicker...let's say you have to get into that bar fight. Not that someone picks one with you, but you have a bone to pick with someone else. If you have Rampage Jackson sitting next to you, odds are no one is going to want to throw down. Slap a trucker hat and a flannel shirt on Roy Nelson, and people think you're sitting next to a really fat Toby Keith. By the time your foe realizes it's too late....

You never liked your nose in the center of your face, did you?

5. Mick Foley

We've already established that batshit crazy is good in bar fights. So naturally, going with the wrestler who has 3 personalities and talks to a sock on his hand seems like a pretty safe bet. Now, I know what you're saying. "But Matt....wrestling is fake!" Yeah, no shit. Doesn't mean that these guys don't take an insane amount of abuse. Here's a fun fact: You know why Mick Foley always wears his hair long? Because one time, while wrestling in Japan, he attempted to do a simple stunt where he gets tied up in the ropes (which are made of steel). Something goes wrong, blah blah blah, oh he got 2/3 of his ear ripped off. And he finished the goddamn fight. Here's the video. Seriously, if ears falling off make you a little squeamish, don't watch it, and ESPECIALLY don't watch at :51 seconds when the ref picks it up and puts it in his pocket.

Foley later had to choose between getting the ear fixed, or wrestling. Guess which one he chose? (hint: wasn't the ear). He's been hit so hard he's lost feeling in his feet. There was the time where he was clotheslined and  unable to eat solid food for a week. He's been knocked out with a cattle prod, and has suffered countless broken bones and concussions. C-4 charges (that would be explosives) were once set too close to him when they went off, and he was badly burned. Another time, The Undertaker threw him 16 feet into an announcers table, and later in the same match, went to chokeslam Foley into the top of the steel cage. Unfortunately for Mick (but fortunately for us) the cage unexpectedly broke sending him hurling to the floor, knocking him unconcious and lodging a tooth in his nose. When he regained consciousness, he finished the match (noticing a trend here?) But yeah, wrestling is totally fake.

Foley being fake set on fake fire and being fake thrown through a fake table

I'd say that Foley has a pretty high pain tolerance level. Not to mention, at 6'4 and 280 lbs, he's a pretty large dude. He's been bloodied, beaten, and broken, and continues to do what he loves.

Did I mention bloodied?

Additionally, Mick Foley has wrestled in countless "no DQ" matches, also known as "let's beat each other with whatever we can get our hands on" matches. You remember that scene in The Wrestler when Mickey Rourke gets his man-boobs stapled, his face sprayed with bug spray, and hit with a pane of glass? They didn't just pull that out of their spandex covered asses. That really happened/happens in wrestling matches, especially in the more "extreme" wrestling circuits. Which Foley certainly paid his dues to. He seems like EXACTLY the kind of guy to have in a bar fight....he'll grab a bottle, break it over your head, chew the glass for a while, then spit it on you.

In other words, batshit crazy

6. Bill Romanowski

Remember how I said Bill Laimbeer was kind of a dick? Well, Bill Romanowski makes Laimbeer look like Mother Theresa. Take the dickiness of Laimbeer, let him hit the weight room, pump him up with steroids, and then put the brain of a German Shepherd in him (with the cognitive ability of a retarded German Shepherd), and you've got Bill Romanowski. Seriously, the man is clinically insane. In fact, when doing a Google Image search for this article, one of the suggestions was "Bill Romanowski crazy."  Look at that picture above and try and tell me he's not mentally unhinged. I mean, he's doing his best Platoon impression.

Tom Berenger would be proud

Where do I begin....I mean, I honestly don't know. How about the time when he was at Boston College, he picked up Doug Flutie's dog and flung it into a lake because it wouldn't stop barking? (When I heard Flutie tell that story, he told it in that "I can't believe a juiced up nutjob threw my dog into a fucking lake" tone). I don't know how else I can't sum up his mentality better than that. Oh wait, I'll let Romo tell you himself. In an interview with IGN about the Blitz video game he's on the cover of, we get these gems:

I can talk smack, kick, punch, spit, knee you in the groin, and it's all legal. This is my type of game.
Interesting. Now, referring to things that aren't video games (like his actual playing career):
I would scream in people's faces, I would choke them, I would do what ever I could do to get that edge. A lot of times, what really, really matters is how hard you hit them. So what I tried to do is hit people as hard as I possibly could and hope by doing that, it allowed me to get praise
Certainly a man who admits to this is no angel, but what's the dirtiest thing he has ever done? Well.....
Dirtiest thing I ever did was at the bottom of a pile, I was trying to rip the ball out of the running back's hands, it was Dave Meggett, and all I could get a hold of was his finger. I just grabbed the finger, twisted it, and broke it like a chicken bone
Dear Lord. I think Satan just vomited back up the Cheerios he ate for breakfast. Intentionally breaking fingers is not just's batshit crazy. And dirty. And that's exactly why I want Romo to have my back in a bar fight. As I previously said, bar fights don't have to be clean. You win at all costs. Is there anything off limits? Well, since there's no bushido honor code I say no.

Kicks to the jewels are debateable

Now karma certainly caught up to him. In his biography (as an aside: does EVERYONE have a biography these days?) Romo says the concussions have gotten so bad, there are some days he wakes up with no sense of smell. And to be honest, what Romo did to Megget was just the (finger)tip of the iceberg. His list of fines and suspensions reads like the rap sheet of someone who deserves to have their parole denied with extreme prejudice for 25 years. Take a look:

Ironic that he was in the remake of The Longest Yard

But all of this pales in comparison to an incident that occurred with Oakland teammate Marcus Williams on August 24th, 2003. During a relatively uneventful practice, all hell broke loose. In a he said/she said account of events, no one knows exactly what happened. Romanowski says he was pushed from behind and a fight broke out. Williams says that it was a clean play and he was blocking Romanowski in the front. Either way, Romo ripped off Williams helmet, and punched him in the face. Romanowski broke Williams' left eye socket shortened his memory, gave him double vision and depression. Oh, and he also made Marcus Williams go from looking like this:

To this:
After. Excuse me while I go bleach my eyes

Oh, did I mention that he ended his career too? Because he totally did. Overall, no criminal charges were filed against Romanowski. The Raiders fined him $60,000. Williams sued, and despite reportedly seeking a multi-million dollar payout, won about $340,000. Romanowski's career pretty much ended at that point, and he's enjoyed his retirement by hocking "supplements,"  while twirling his mustache and looking for women to tie to railroad tracks.

This one last quote from the IGN article sums up why I want Romo on my side in a bar fight:
Bring it on, I'm going to kick your ass every damn play until you're on the ground crying like a baby
I assume afterward he muttered under his breath "or sucker punch you in the tear ducts so you can't cry anymore."

7. Gordie Howe

Awwww, he looks like a Grandpa!! Don't you just want to give him some hard candy, or some ointment, or talk about "the good old days?" Well if that's what you think, think again.

Looks like Grandpa missed Matlock

Gordie Howe was one of the toughest, if not THE toughest, S.O.B to ever play hockey. Considering most hockey players have more fingers than teeth, that's saying something. Hockey's history is littered with tough guys;  Shore, Gillies, Probert, Schultz, Clark, Shack, Kennedy, Jonathan, McSorley....the list goes on. But in addition to kicking ass, Gordie Howe could score better than any of them. In fact it took some guy named Wayne Gretzky to break most of his records.  You know what a hat trick is? Sure, everybody does. But not everyone knows what a "Gordie Howe hat trick" is. A GHHT is when a player gets a goal, an assist, and a fight, all in one game. Gordie Howe was the epitome of toughness....just ask his son:
Dad's mind-set on the ice was different than most anybody else I've ever met. He can be cruel. I've seen him be vicious. I've seen him hurt people and I used to think, 'Wow, it's like he meant to do it,'
The thing that really sets Gordie Howe apart (besides being a badass who could score goals) is his longevity. Cal Ripken's streak of 2,632 consecutive games is amazing. Truly remarkable. But baseball isn't hockey. Gordie Howe's career lasted for 32 years. His career spanned 5 decades (6 decades, if you want to include the one game he played in 1997). He played hockey until he was 51. At an age when most men collect antique coins, buy Ferraris and get a beer gut, Howe was doing this:
Even though he was Canadian, they just don't make Americans like him anymore

But perhaps the most famous fight in Howe's storied career happened way back in 1959, at time when the biggest threats to America were apparently:
  1. 1) The Commies
  2. 2) Lou Fontinato's face
Gordie Howe took care of one of them.

In a game against the Rangers, Gordie Howe "accidentally" caught Rangers forward Eddie Shack with his stick, wobbling him and causing Shack to receive three stitches. Enter Lou Fontinato. Fontinato, who was a solid fighter, basically came over and told Howe to lay off Shack. Later in the game, Shack and Howe collided again, with Shack knocking down Howe. When he was getting back up, Fontinato cross checked Howe back to the ice. As was the case back in The Day™, a melee erupted. Right in the thick of it were Howe and Fontinato. Fontinato landed a few shots. He broke one of Howe's ribs, and cut him above the eye. Unfortunately for Fontinato, who was in his 5th year in the league, Gordie Howe was whooping ass for the better part of a decade and a half at that point. At the time. there was apparently some dispute over who won the fight. Afterwards, there was no dispute whatsoever. Here's Fontinato before the fight:

Kind looks like Jake Gyllenhaal

The morning after the Howe fight:

Kinda looks like Mankind

Still think it's a tossup?

While Fontinato cut Howe, broke his finger, scratched his car or whatever, Howe gave him some free rhinoplasty. What's that? You're still not convinced? Well, here's a picture of Fontinato after Howe got done with him, but before the doctor's could patch him up:


And that's why I want him on my side in a bar fight. The baddest man to ever play the baddest sport. Not to mention the fact that he was so damn handsome, he won over Edna Krabapple at first sight.

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