Super Sunday Hamster Blender Blog

17 November 2009

Mama Angelica Said Knock You Out

It has been a long time since a blog appeared here. No writing block, no creative stumbling, just a simple matter of priorities – slaying dragons, solving poverty, fantasy football. The usual.

Anyway, to snap out of this literary funk, I did whatever a pseudo-writer is to do – I went to a boxing match. Apparently, Hartford held its first championship boxing match in the last one million years. And I had two free tickets in an Executive Suite box. So Gene the Bass Player and I went. Not that either of us are devout boxing fans. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure boxing still existed; the last I recall is Mike Tyson biting the ear off a frozen chicken patty or some such nonsense. Or was that Andre the Giant? Hulk Hogan? Colonel Hogan? More notably, a diversion called Ultimate Fighting, which is essentially a backyard brawl without the two-by-fours, has pretty much overwhelmed real boxing. And I can see why. Boxing in Hartford was as boring as, well, just about anything in Hartford.

Now, you may say, “how bored can you be in an Executive Suite with all the free food and alcohol?” Well, for starters, there was no free food or alcohol offered in our suite. A six of Bud Light cost over $30. It was a sobering affair, so to speak. The suite was nice: I mean, you could roam around and we were very comfortable in our rolling swivel chairs. And we had our own television, from which you could view the closed circuit close-up of the fight. Or watch the Eternal Word Network with Mother Angelica, as we did. It just seemed appropriate.

Now, the suite next to ours was pretty well stocked, and we were starting to plan a Viking-esque pillaging, but the occupants arrived and instead we listened to them gleefully shove free exotic foods like Slim Jims down their gullets. So we had to turn our attention to the boxing matches. Now, boxing matches, if you have seen them in movies like “Rocky” or “Raging Bull” or “Bridgete Jones’s Diary”, are filled with an overflowing crowd of passionate, berserk fans, chanting the names of the combatants as if they were Spartan warriors. However, this event was held at the XL Center, where championship boxing transformed it into an empty cavern of occasional flatulence. Maybe 300 people filtered in by the time of the big match. I read in the Hartford Courant that there was a crowd of 5,320 attending, which I knew was a lie since I was on a first-name basis with all attending. Maybe it looked full on HBO, which was airing the alleged excitement live, as the closed-circuit shots showed how they kept the camera angles floor-level low to highlight the denser packs of reluctant boxing fans. If they had at all panned one row up into the seats on the incline, you would have witnessed an ocean of sad, empty chairs. Way up high in the suite, I felt like I was hiding the at the top of Mount Doom of Mordor, spying from above, wondering if should just throw myself into the spewing fire and end this charade.

Anyway, it’s pretty hard for 300 people to get all riled up and excited (unless you’re one of 300 Spartans threatened by all of Persia), so there was virtually no energy, and Mother Angelica reigned supreme. There was one match where a 19-year old came into the ring with Frank Sinatra blaring, announced as the self-proclaimed Chairman of the Board, and proceeded to shimmy more like Jay-Z (with dirt on his shoulder). He won the fight when his opponent – get this – refused to come out and fight anymore. He wasn’t hurt, he just quit. A bit disappointing, although I found the shoulder-shimmy annoying as well. Now one fight with a guy named Harry Joe was fun. He came into the ring with his entrance music screaming “Harry Joe, Harry Joe.” If my name were Harry Joe, I might not want to advertise that loud. Or at least change it to just Joe or Joe-Z. After such great fanfare, he was pounded into the floor in the third round. His pain was our entertainment. The only other time I saw that much activity was when we were leaving and some guy in the parking garage was breaking down his dance moves right there on level 2. He danced longer then Harry Joe stood upright.

So the night belonged to the last fight, the championship bout, featuring a guy from New Haven who was the Intercontinental Wal-Mart Light Heavyweight East Coast School of Tractor Trailer Champion, and he had his head shaved with many symbols, of which I am sure were ancient runes laying out the path to Mordor. But instead of the excitement one might find while battling goblins and orcs and Spartans on the way to Mount Doom, his fight was like a bad night at the prom; nothing more than a bunch of tepid shuffling and unwanted groping. I am sure HBO had a ratings nightmare. They could have given Gene and I free beer, got us drunk, and then have us wrestle over a Slim Jim on the floor an there would have been much more entertainment value.

But who were the real losers here? Us for coming? Harry Joe’s quest for a nap? HBO? I would argue Hartford probably lost the opportunity for any more fights like this. But then again, there were Ashley, Michelle, and Latoya. These were the three “ring girls” who would hold up the round number cards between rounds, parading around the ring in their stilettos and black dress, amidst the occasional catcall and flatulence emitting from the suites above. I can imagine them telling their friends, family, and sexual predators that they were going to be on HBO. My guess is more people watched Mother Angelica, who already had the black dress and would have made one heck of a ring girl.

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