I’ve worked in the bar industry for quite some time. Every once in a while, one drunken sot at the bar takes offense to the way another drunken sot at the bar is looking at him and shit goes down. Most of the time, the two random fight-starters are too inebriated to land a solid punch and are easy to wrap up before too much damage is done but it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. I think Dalton once said that.
That is why I created my list of Modern Athletes I’d Like On My Side If A Bar Fight Breaks Out. It’s not a comprehensive list and I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there who slipped my mind but the few I’ve mentioned below are definite no-brainers.
Marshawn Lynch – Beast Mode has to be one of the greatest nicknames in modern sports and Lynch has definitely earned it. He carries two, three or four defenders at a time who are trying to bring him down. He is, with the minor exception of quarterback Russell Wilson, the entire Seattle Seahawks’ rushing attack. He might not be the league’s most proficient runner but he’s definitely the nastiest. He was second in the league in carries this season and with all the talk about the Seahawk’s defense, Lynch is the one forgotten reason the Hawks are where they are: in the Super Bowl. Take a closer look at the next guy who tries to tackle Lynch. You can tell it’s just something they really don’t want to do. Now imagine Lynch in a hypothetical bar fight, shedding off potential wannabes that want a piece of him. Let’s just say, if I walk into a bar with Beast Mode, we’re probably leaving there unscathed.
Metta World Peace/Stephen Jackson – This goes without saying. Before we’re quick to label Richard Sherman professional sports’ most insane man, let us not forget that Peace (formerly Ron Artest) and his cohort Jackson will forever be associated with the NBA’s darkest hour, the Malice at the Palace, where they both decided to rush into the stands and beat the crap out of someone they thought threw a beer onto the floor. As it turns out, they beat up the wrong guy but ended up landing a few more round houses while trying to find him. The NBA has gone to great lengths to remove any sort of violence from the game but we’ll always remember that Artest and Jackson are just a little off kilter. In fact, if I walked into a bar with the two of them, you’d have to figure the place would clear out just to be safe.
Pretty much every NHL player (and maybe even a coach or two) – I walked into one of my local watering holes a few months back. The Washington Capitals were in town and happened to hit that very same spot after that evening’s matchup with the Lightning. These guys were not small. Alexander Ovechkin was there and stood all of 6’3”, as were the rest of his boys. Let’s just say no NHL player is someone you’d ever want to step to or even look at the wrong way, unless you have a death wish. There’s a reason most of them don’t have any teeth. Heck, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella was just suspended fifteen games for trying to take on the entire Calgary Flames roster in the hallway outside their locker room. And he’s a coach! If that doesn’t scream bat shit crazy, I don’t know what does.
NaVorro Bowman – If you didn’t catch last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, you were one of only five people in America who missed it. And if you missed the contest, you also happened to miss one of the most gruesome football injuries you’ll ever see. Seattle was driving when Jermaine Kearse caught a short Russell Wilson pass, only to have it stripped by Bowman before he could get into the end zone. Another San Francisco defender tackled Kearse into Bowman, essentially snapping his knee in two. There lay Bowman, grimacing in pain… with the ball still in his arms. Are you kidding me? The guy’s lower leg was nearly detached from his body and he was still holding on to the football! As he was being carted off the field and into the locker room, likely in shock, some Seattle fans threw popcorn at him. Bowman sat there calmly, glancing up to see who did it then looked back down. You couldn’t see his expression through his visor but I’m quite certain that given the chance, with no repercussions, Bowman would have taken the popcorn-thrower and strangled him until his head popped off, which would have been fun to watch. The next time I get into a bar fight, I’ll gladly take Bowman on my side, bum leg and all. At least I know he’ll be there until the very end.
Kyle Farnsworth – I figured I had to choose at least one baseball player for this list but none really stood out. Sure, Carlos Zambrano is certifiable but I’m not looking to start fights, I’m looking to finish them. Zambrano’s the kind of guy who would start a fight with valet parking before even getting into the club. No, I’m looking for a cooler and Farnsworth is my guy. He might not be the best reliever of all time (he’s not) nor the most intimidating reliever of all time (he’s not that either). But he is a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and stands 6’4”, 230 lbs. Not long ago, Major League Baseball players voted Farnsworth as the guy they’d least like to fuck with. You have to figure 750 steroid users can’t be wrong.
Brock Lesnar – At this point, we all know Lesnar didn’t have much of a UFC career. He started out with a few nice, highly publicized fights until stiffer competition eventually knocked him on his ass. That doesn’t mean that if you walked into a bar with this 6’3”, 265 lb. freak show that nobody in the place would dare fuck with you. I can’t imagine a better insurance policy. I thought about adding Kimbo Slice to this list but Kimbo seems like the kind of a guy someone with a bone to pick would want to take a shot at him knowing he’s got a glass jaw. Can you imagine how quickly a fight would end if some random dude tried to take a shot at Lesnar? First of all, he’d need a stepladder and second of all, he’d probably end up tied up in a pretzel knot like had he just messed with the Zohan.
Ronda Rousey – Not only is she good-looking and undefeated in her UFC career but she’d kick the tar out of basically every guy I know. I know I said I wouldn’t bring Zambrano into a bar for fear he’d start shit for no reason but you have to imagine, watching some drunken tool hit on Rousey when she didn’t want to be hit on would be fun. Rousey is the meanest woman on the planet and trust me, I’ve dated some mean ones. Rumor has it that she’ll be starring in Expendables III. How much would you pay to see her kick the ever-living shit out of a ping pong-playing, former California-governing, fat maid-bopping Terminator? Yeah, get your checkbook ready. Rousey is pound-for-pound the toughest female on the planet and someone I’d take on my side in a bar brawl any day.