Monday, August 06, 2007

As a way of apologizing for my extended silence of late, I have a tool of note segment for you. Tonight, we honor Chris Mannix, the Sports Illustrated writer, raconteur, bon vivant and all around tool. In case you didn't hear, Mannix went toe to toe with the WBC Superfeatherweight champion in a three round novelty act.

Reaching for the stars, Mannix compared this little escapade to George Plympton fighting Archie Moore. Personally, I think it was more along the lines of Johnny Knoxville's epic battle against Butterbean in the middle of a sporting goods store. Of course, I feel compelled to point out that Knoxville fought a much, much, much bigger man without head gear while Mannix fought a guy he outweighed by 50 pounds while wearing the head gear. But that's only part of the story.

I hope for the champ's sake that he pulled his punches as I suspect he did. Otherwise, he might want to think of a different line of work. If he couldn't put Mannix in the hospital, making a living with his fists probably wasn't the best of career choices. And one might think that putting a world of hurt on the guy who's supposed to write the story hyping this little farce might put a bit of a damper on the publicity that was the reason for the sordid spectacle in the first place.

And somewhere in the midst of the article, Mannix makes reference to his street fighting past. He concedes that he lost most of the brawls from his hard luck days on the mean streets of Anytown USA. I can't help but think that the closest he came to a street brawl somehow included Ralph Macchio, Mr. Miagi and a Peter Cetera song.

More than anything, the whole macho atmosphere of the article celebrating the fact that he didn't get his ass completely kicked reminded me of a scene in Platoon. Sgt. O'Neil is attempting to tell a story of his badassery to Staff Sgt. Barnes, who is obviously not listening. But O'Neil says: "I put him in the O'Neil death grip, he didn't know whether to defecate or go blind." Obviously, I cleaned it up a bit, since we try to keep this a family friendly site. But I like to think it still captures the spirit of the thing.

Then there is the grace and savior faire with which Mannix conducted himself whilst in the squared circle. I hate the fact that I am overusing this particular line, but he did look like a newborn wildebeest on ice. He neither floated like a butterfly nor stung like a bee. He moved as though he were wearing one of those old-time deep sea diving rigs with the big bronze helmet. And he punched as though he were afraid of breaking a nail.

So if you're scoring at home, a here's a handy way to tell who is and who isn't a tool. If you're even a little proud of not getting your ass kicked by a guy who's pulling his punches, you're a tool. If you mention your past history of street fighting and come off more like Elton John than the Rolling Stones, you're a tool. If you look like a jackass whose feet are encased in cement while doing any of the above, you're a tool. Of course, "" if your name happens to be Chris Mannix, you can skip analyzing those factors and just assume that you're a tool. QED, as they say in the math racket.

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