It's a Friday, Momma's latest of late work nights. The boys are in bed and even asleep. I've got the television on, flipping through the channels wondering if I want to get back online or perhaps shoot some Nazis in Medal of Honor. As I stroll from channel to channel, I ponder my options while wishing there was something good on late on a Friday night.
So what do I find? The Contender, a reality show based on boxing. I remember boxing, back when it would actually come on regular tv. At some point, it seemed to disappear into a world of cable and pay per view. So much for getting to see Sugar Ray Leonard on Wide World of Sports.
But now, I'm a grown ass man, and my wife makes enough money that we have cable, and I find that some late nights, my choice in watching men beat the crap out of each other is most interesting. Not every night can be last year's UFC reality show, but boxing is fun too.
So we get that I'm okay with fighting and watching grown ass men beat on each other. I'm enough of a fan to watch, but I'm not buying the magazine and learning all their names. When presented with a chance to watch a fight, I have to go with what I'm given by tv to decide on a favorite. Watching The Contender tonight, I was certain that I liked the younger guy. I don't know why, but it's likely that as I landed on the channel, his profile bit, the part where he talks about what the upcoming fight means, started to win me over. Maybe it's just because I saw his first without having any actual knowledge of the person or the show. I know of the show, I just don't go out of my way to watch it . . .usually.
I don't know exactly how The Contender works. The UFC show has a bunch of guys separated into two teams. The separate teams train then meet every so often to beat each other up. They all live in a big house and we get to spy on the day to day . . .blah . . .blah . . .reality show. We all know how reality shows work, unless there are those of us lucky enough to have just avoided the whole sordid mess. But I never actually watch this show unless I happen to catch an actual fight. I just want the fights, not the mundane training crap, the parts that make it a reality show instead of just boxing.
I'm liking the first guy and thinking he's really a peach. Then the second guy's profile starts. He seems cool too, and he's as likeable as the other guy, but I don't feel my temporary allegiance wavering until the prefight bit. They show each guy in their separate dressing rooms. I'm sure that, for the show, they've been locked away in a secret location away from their loved ones, and just before the fight, their loved ones make an appearance. It plays great out in the sticks.
Guy one has a girlfriend who sounds really great. She has stuck with him and they are totally in love. Second guy has a fiancee, and three kids. I didn't really feel myself waver till the kids showed up. Then it was seeing guy number two with his youngest son, roughly the same age as my youngest. Then I was done. I wavered all the way over to guy number two. He won my allegiance from guy number one by having kids.
The youngest kid wasn't at the fight. The older kids were ringside, and the looks on their faces were awesome. They seemed used to seeing dad being busted around as well as busting around himself. The fight, with the crazy tv camera work that they use to add some extra zing, was outrageous. They just about walked at each other swinging the whole time. Guy number two was the clear winner through most of the fight, though it was seriously close for most of the fight. They both wanted it so bad.
At the end of the fight, you could see that guy number two's kids were completely certain that he'd won. I was pretty sure of it as well. I almost got a little choked up when it was confirmed. I had a moment there on the sofa, watching a boxing reality show, all because some guy's kids showed up.