Taking jabs at UFC

MIKE BELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:31 AM ET

Does UFC make our day? To get there, we need to, as always take a little detour.

Join me -- won't you.

Ask most for a fave Clint Eastwood character and film and they'll give you The Man With No Name from one of the noodle westerns or Dirty Harry from that series of magnum movies.

Sure, those are fine films and good roles.

If you need help peeing.

But most people with taste and in control of their basic faculties will bypass those obvious choices and head straight to the unpolished gems from the Eastwood oeuvre -- the Philo Beddoe films.

Yes, Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can are perhaps the greatest achievements in modern cinema, marrying, as they do, the three elements that make life worth living -- monkeys (these things remain tenable: Pluto is a planet and an orangutan is a monkey), beer-drinking and bare-knuckle brawling.

The latter ingredient is what really makes the movies timeless, in fact quite relevant today, considering the wagering on surreptitious late-night lumberyard scraps seems to be something of a precursor to -- wait for it -- UFC.

And you would think a fan of one would automatically be a fan of the other but here comes the separation.

While there's something infinitely appealing about a shirtless Clint with a gooey midriff doing that lopey, gangly stance of his and taking down men twice his size with magical, bloodless jabs to the head, there is, on this side of the cheap seats, not-so much about real human beings really beating bodily fluids out of one another so primally and graphically.

Yes, we've debated from the UFC arsenal in defense of boxing -- i.e. the pitting of one man's strength, speed and skill against another's is the purest definition of sport -- and even been enthralled by a particularly plasmatic George Foreman fight where the first four rows were like the splash zone at Sea World, but the level of barbarism in mixed martial arts fights takes it closer to Maximus than we're comfortable with.

And make no mistake, this isn't a shot at the validity of the sport or its fans, who, frankly, scare the hell out of us, and have also had to endure everything from people calling it fixed to those who find men wrestling a little too gay.

(Anyone over the age of eight who actually says that out loud is typically someone who felt his gym shorts tighten up a little in junior high PE wrestling class and has spent the past 30 years of his life attempting to deny and hide that fact by "proving" his heterosexuality.)

It's just an explanation as to why, instead of heading out to a local watering hole tonight -- all of which, to underscore the popularity of it, will be showing UFC 62 -- we'll be doing our drinking at home.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

---

It's funny because it's true.

While there's nothing important to the comedic lexicon than stereotypes based on race and nationality (entire careers have been built on both -- not good ones mind you but careers nonetheless) you know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when you aim for the French.

It's tired, obvious and just plain unfunny.

Look at Dennis Miller, who's conservative conversion in the face of 9/11 has reduced him to telling 'frog' jokes (what's that? They have hairy underarms and don't bathe? Oh, well played, Mr. Miller, well played).

That said, anyone who didn't see the humour in Paul Tracy's comments about French drivers not removing their helmets to fight -- an obvious, tongue-in-cheek reference to other comments made about French-Canadians and European hockey players -- should probably loosen their codpieces.

He wasn't opening up old World War wounds or Quebec separation bitterness, he was joking about something nobody should really care about, but which also, in the case of the two French drivers who picked a scrap with him, happened to be true.

You'd hope the fans at this weekend's Montreal Grand Prix would understand that and maybe give him a little slack and have fun with it, too.

If not, maybe they take it upon themselves to defend the honour of Frenchmen everywhere and fight him.

You little girls.

---

Yet another reason to hate Tiger.

No, it's not because of his trouncing of the field last week at the PGA Championship, which made the final day as worth watching as anything featuring the names 'Eric' and 'Roberts' in the credits.

Nor is it because he'll continue, barring any major accident or incident, to chalk up the wins for two or three more decades.

And finally, neither is it for all of obvious reasons there are to hate Tiger -- fame, wealth, power and a hot, blonde model for a wife.

No, as good as they are, he provided us one more yesterday.

As horrendous golfers as we are, even we've never roofed a shot on the clubhouse.

Damn, that's how good he is -- he even sucks better than we do.

-Heckle of the week: "Clear or cream, what does it matter? On a donut it will make you fatter!"


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