posted by Joe Anaya on February 4th, 2013

Another Superbowl is done and predictably I ate too many hot wings. The thing that struck me during all the cheering over big hits is that boys are bellicose. Men are too. There’s always some level of competitiveness in our play or camaraderie. A desire to establish top dog, to be able to prove that I’m better than you. I’m certain it’s a primitive impulse from our long ago cave man brethren. One thing that all men quickly size up is, “could I take that guy in a fight?”

It’s not always conscious, but it’s there. Once at work, I, my buddy Dave M., and our runner Mondo D. were hanging out and we started about fighting. At the same time, we all glanced around and had that recognizable moment where we were sizing each other up. I spoke what we were all thinking, “Which one of us would win in a fight?”

As taught by centuries of civilization, we politely agreed it would be a tough call. Here’s how we sized up the battle lines. Although we were all about the same age, we each had unique advantages that would help in a scrap. First Dave M.: He’s about 6’2” maybe 210 lbs. So, he’s a pretty solid guy. He’s bigger than either of us. He’s also a pretty natural athlete. Mondo and I both acknowledge Dave M. had the advantage in physical superiority.

Mondo was next: He was smaller than either of us. He’s only about 5’5” 150 lbs. He wasn’t thin, in fact a little stocky, but certainly not husky or thick. He was by trade a musician, but worked as our runner for a day job. You wouldn’t think an artsy-fartsy musician would do much damage in a fight, but the thing about spending a lot of time in bars playing gigs, is that he spent a lot of time in bars drinking and getting into fights. We were never really clear how many he won or as bar fights often go, if guys falling down drunken swinging at each other constitutes a winner. Dave M. and I both acknowledged that having experience counts for a lot. We both calculated that maybe middle school, if not grade school, was the last time we actually threw bare-knuckle punches trying to hurt another person. So certainly Mondo had the edge there, by far.

Now I’m 5’10” about 165 lbs. I’m built pretty thin. But Dave M. and I play basketball together and he knows from experience that although I’m lean, I’m very good at using my body weight. It comes from years of wrestling in high school, which also gives me an advantage if the fight ends up on the ground. Dave M. and Mondo both agreed that I was surely the most likely to fight dirty first, probably from the start. Initially, I was offended, then proud. The stories of my youth in backyard brawls for fun did not go unnoticed.

So, the choices were: the bigger stronger athlete, the smallest but most experienced brawler, or the scrappy guy with a mean streak. Our contemplation of the possibilities were interrupted when another runner, Anthony G., came up and asked how he fit into the equation. A younger, smaller, good build, nice guy; we instantly sized him up as, “You’d be the first one out.”

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