Tag: Mixed Martial Arts

The Mild World of Sports


Here is a list of Popular Sports and their Improvised Indoor Equivalents:

Sport: Football

Equivalent: Paper Field Goals

Paper FootballSetup: Fold a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper in half so it’s long and skinny. Fold it in half again the same way. Now triangle it up like you’re folding an American flag. The resulting wad should be a very compact little triangle. If you don’t know how to fold an American flag, join the Boy Scouts and suffer like the rest of us did.

Rules: One guy holds his hands up, palms out, and touches the tips of his thumbs together. The other guy tries to flick the paper football through the open space in his hands, like a field goal kick.

Accuracy: This game omits every aspect of traditional football – running, passing, blocking, tackling, play-calling – except kicking field goals. As such, it’s a remarkably faithful imitation of a Ravens / Colts game, but otherwise not very close.

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Sport: Basketball

Equivalent: Trashcan Basketball

Setup: You need a trashcan and anything that can be held in one hand. This can be a crumpled up piece of paper, a crushed soda can, a ball of rubber bands, a stress ball, anything.

Not strictly necessaryRules: One player attempts to throw the projectile into the trashcan. The other player plays defense. If played in an office, the players may confine themselves to wheeled office chairs for an added challenge.

Accuracy: Remarkably close. What the game loses in scoring and fouls, it more than makes up for in the volume of trash-talking.

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Sport: Hockey

Equivalent: Coin Hockey

Setup: Three coins of equal denomination and a long smooth surface, like a conference table.

Rules: Put the three coins together like a triangle. Tap the coin closest to you very firmly. The force will be transferred to the other two coins, causing them to scatter.

Real hockeyYou then work this trio of coins up the table by sliding one of them between the other two. The moving coin can’t touch either of the stationary coins and it can’t fall off the table, or play changes hands.

If the coins get to the end of the table, shoot them through a goal made by the other player’s hands.

Accuracy: Notional. There’s a goal and you slide a flat object through it. It barely has any correspondence with the game of the same name. I mean, come on. It’s like people don’t even watch hockey anymore.

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Sport: Baseball

Equivalent: Home Run Derby

Setup: A small object (same size as Trashcan Basketball) and a long, flat object. A binder full of procedures, a cafeteria tray or a textbook will work just fine.

Rules: One player throws the object. The other player swings his “bat” at the object and sends it as far as he can. He then imitates his favorite announcer’s method of describing a home run.

Accuracy: Most people don’t even keep score.

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Sport: Mixed Martial Arts

Equivalent: You Wanna Go?

Setup: Two guys in a hallway, conference room or classroom.

He wants to goRules: After a mock insult is exchanged between the players, they bump chests, throw their arms up into the air, and taunt each other with some variety of, “You wanna go? You wanna throw down, cupcake? You gonna back up that tough talk? What? What you looking at? What?” This continues until one or both players back down, saying some equivalent of “That’s what I thought” or “Yeah, you just wait.”

Accuracy: Close enough.

PRIDE Fighting – Like UFC But With More Hugs


PRIDE (or, to use its Christian name, PRIDE Fighting Championships), was founded in Japan in 1996. It’s an international mixed-martial arts league, similar in format to UFC, where two large men hit each other as hard as they can when they’re not hugging. If you can follow UFC, you can follow PRIDE.

PRIDE differs from UFC, though, in a few key areas:

  • Fighters in a PRIDE match can kick downed opponents in the head, where UFC frowns on it. Oddly, PRIDE forbids elbow strikes to the head, where UFC allows them (so long as it’s not point first, i.e. fatal).
  • UFC bouts consist of three rounds of five minutes each. This is already pretty grueling – while football requires short bursts of adrenaline every 40 seconds, MMA demands a pretty consistent level of exertion. PRIDE, preferring to watch huge men stagger like wounded elephants, sets its first round at ten minutes and any subsequent rounds at five.
  • There are a lot more Japanese men in disturbing tights in a PRIDE fight than you’ll find, on average, in UFC.

If the above excites you half as much as it excites me, check out “PRIDE Fighting Championship” on FSN. Fox Sports rumormonger Jay Glazer and erstwhile MMA fighter Frank Trigg. In a couple of ill-fitting silk suits, they turn 30 minutes’ worth of archived footage into 48 minutes of show by adding their own redundant analysis. For extra fun, watch the fight recaps where Frank Trigg highlights the StrikeZoneTM – a CGI’ed box that inevitably appears around a fighter’s ass, crotch or face.”He really turned this fight around,” Trigg will say, “by planting his feet, picking his opponent up, and slamming him into the mat skull first” (said skull-slamming actually happening to Josh “The Baby-faced Assassin” Barnett, a match he went on to win). And then we StrikeZoneTM on Josh’s ass.

FSN’s PRIDE recaps are the kind of show DVR was made for, as it comes on at odd hours (7 PM on Sundays, and not always then) and has a pretty low signal-to-noise ratio. But if you want to watch Fedor Emilianenko legally rape a man, this is probably the show for you.