Wednesday, February 9, 2011



The new FBI character (Agent Jess Harkins) on 'Detroit: 187', who is now an attached to the grumpy officer in the fictional police precint in Detroit, complained about how the D is laid out. The city is FLAT… stereotypically Midwestern flat, not some reputed flat like it is here in Omaha.

From downtown where the main drags that carry you east – west splay out like spokes on a wheel angled canted to the north and the south. Streets that take you out west are Fort (which I think cuts through northern Indiana), Michigan (which will get you to downtown Chicago), Grand River (which will take you to Grand Rapids) to the west. I have never rode out east too far… could not tell you where Jefferson, Gratiot will get you. But the freeway systems and the sides streets are pretty self-explanatory if all you know is that Woodward splits the city east side – west side, with me spending most of my time living on the latter side of town, which is my excuse for not knowing much about what was on the other side of town, and explains why Omaha seems small to me even thought it isn’t.

Even when I am out in the 100’s, my place is eminently ‘reachable’ ON FOOT. I will take a run or two in April to make sure I am not poppin’ out of my butt, but whenever I am riding on the bus, the ride always seems to end before I expect it to (save for this past Monday, when I touring the city in an very unintended way), but it still is spread out as a city just enough, the way Baby Bear's porridge is 'just right'.

One of the threads of the show had a big fight between local fighters where the one fighter ex-girl friend is tangled up between the opponents AND the trainer!! And that was not all to the story, which I thought was going to be something like the incident when Thomas Hearns fought Sugar Ray Leonard the week one of his brothers murdered a woman in a house he owned in the Metro… so the story vehicle rang true when it came to personal tragedy coinciding with a fighter's big fight.


When the fighter who was the ex-boyfriend explained that his ex tried to encourage him to retire the story got very personal for me. The rest of it went the way of the scriptwriters and directors way, but listening to fighter explain that he wanted the fight that was a stepping stone for another big fight, was eerily familiar.

My family I had written them off as jealous… and my ex-wife as simply ignorant. But the Delta Girl hurt my feelings. Maybe she was really concerned, but she did suck it up through some of my amateur fights as well run in the Toughman Contest (which goes to show you may be able win a fight in the street but it does not make you boxer… and if you know how to box, then you ARE a fighter!!). It wasn’t until I began to fight cats who she could read about and her Dad and older brother was familiar with that she began to get a little squirrelly.

I think that I should add that my walk through memory lane has been inspired by the telly show and not really a part of my day-to-day thoughts. I have a lot of stress with getting around and it is something that I have to get used to. Will I be talking about struggling each day trying to take care of myself..? I don’t know about all that. Maybe, we will see what comes up and out. Anywho…

As the story was portrayed on the show, the ex-boyfriend wanted that shot at a really good payday… but I don’t think that the show was able to get into anything deeper than that. I like to think that not only was it for the big payday but also the chance to test himself as a competitor as well. That he was going to get a chance to get THAT chance was well worth it to him.

My last fight was like that. I had won my way to winning one more fight before I would have made it to something that was going to be lucrative enough to risk what I was risking… thing is, I did not actually KNOW that was what was on the line for me. I would not know for another two years what was going on with me, but the moment the fight was stopped, I heard a voice (I kid you not… that is what happened) ask me in a definitive way, “You do know that was it, right Mark?”, as I walked to the corner to get the tape cut off my gloves, so they could be slid off.

On my walk back to the post-fight physical, people were congratulating me on a good fight and saying things like “See you next time”, because I had fought and won at this particular casino in the Mountains twice before. I remember telling one woman who worked the fights that I prolly wouldn’t be coming back this way but I really appreciated the treatment there and I didn’t feel quite like the piece of meat that was going to be thrown to the dogs, fighting to fill anyone’s bloodlust. That was for real, too. Even if I had thought about fighting after that match, the voice in my head was unmistakable and as the footballers and hockey players (Sidney Crosby… oh my, even though I ‘hate’ on him, it is still sad to hear about his troubles with his concussions), that is one threshold that once its surpassed, you had better stop right then. I want to believe that I did just that, and as much as I miss participating in the sport that I won’t be gloving up ever again.


On the telly show the vehicle that they used to get the trainer’s DNA was nicely done, if a bit of stretch in someone as skilled as the female who was hitting the pads with the ‘doer of the deed’, would have earned a LOT more that, “ s’alright”, especially if the person who was hitting the pads claimed the boxing experience she did as well as demonstrate the commensurate skill level expected of that experience. I had a trainer tell me once as he strapped on the pad, “You know how to fight son, you ever hit me while I am holding these pads, I am going to go to my car and get my gun, I am going to put a bullet in you’re a**!” And no, I never came close to hitting him with a punch!! And there isn’t enough pretty in the world, Brooklyn Decker, meaning YOU, that would have kept you from getting a punch back at the VERY least! I understood as a plot device, but I am telling you the reality of it was pretty thin.

Even though this was a high accomplishment day for me, it took too much darn effort. But I got what needed to be done, done, and this included some extra stuff that leave me free for the rest of the week. Might go looking for a new bike!! As my boy Ask the John would say (and his shows are VERY NC-17!!), LATER!!


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Just checking in, buddy. A new bike sounds great. I love bike shopping!

All the best,


mac said...

The Ask A John guy is hilarious. I've been over there for checking it out for a while.

I've lived in several towns, big and small. I find Columbus Ohio to have been the easiest to navigate. I dunno if that's due to my familiarity with it (I was a driver there for 12 years), or it's just laid out nicely.

Sometimes, the actual boxing story is as interesting, or moreso, than the scripted one.

Living in Columbus, I had the opportunity to bump into Buster Douglass once. It was just a quick "HI, Champ" at the bike shop where I took the old cycle. I always thought Buster had a pretty good story. His mother died while he was training for the Tyson fight. Nobody gave him a chance in that fight, but he did it ! I think there were several factors that played into all that, not the lest of which was incredible luck.

Dang, I'm writing a novel up in here! Sorry :-)