Monday, January 24, 2011

Jersey Shore - Anatomy of a Fight

I don't watch a lot of TV. When I do, it is typically a sporting event of some sort. All the rest of my TV is on "in the background" while I am reading, working at home, or doing other things.

For the first time a few weeks ago I watched Jersey Shore. Jersey Shore is a typical highly edited "reality" show where they put a bunch of people in a house and tape what goes on. They don't really have jobs to speak of besides to entertain the audience of the show - from what I can tell. The residents of the house are all fairly obnoxious, full of themselves, and as dumb as a box of dead crabs. The guys are all buff and constantly bring back girls from the bar to their place to do who knows what. All of the ingredients for great background fodder for me. Oh, and the women all have large brestesses, and they aren't shy about showing them off. The women all appear to be a bit overweight - probably from all the drinking.

I had a bit of time last weekend and youtubed some past episodes, or parts of episodes anyway. One guy in particular has been in several physical altercations. His name is Ronnie. He got taken to court a while ago for decking a guy. He appears to be a hothead and full of himself.

This clip is one of the fights that Ronnie got into in a past episode. Please view it as I will be referring to it for the rest of the post.

The clip above is the shorter version of a longer version that you can find, but all of the essential elements I need to talk about this fight are in the shorter clip.

  • Seconds 1-15 - to me, this is the most important part of the fight. A drunk guy had been harassing Ronnie and his girlfriend for the better part of the night. Instead of either engaging security or walking away, the two keep jawing at each other. There is no way this will end well. If one of them would have simply walked away, the fight would have never happened. Situational awareness - if you live it, you won't get into fights.
  • Seconds 16-26 - prelude to the fight. Ronnie says that the drunk guy was "swinging over his girlfriend" to try to hit Ronnie. This is not true, but Ronnie does do the right thing by not hitting the woman. During this time there is more jawjacking - still time for one of the combatants to call it off and run/walk away but neither do. It is officially go time.
  • Seconds 27-30 - Ronnie windmills some strange punches. He clearly wants to get the inside position on the drunk guy so he can use his upper body strength advantage and uses windmills to close the distance. Ronnie isn't so much punching as using the windmilling as a distraction to get inside. The drunk guy moves backwards but then stumbles - partially because he is intoxicated, partially because the footing is bad. It would have been very easy for the drunk guy to sidestep Ronnie at this point and perhaps counter with either a leg kick or a punch. Of course I am assuming that the drunk guy isn't, well, drunk and that he has a bit of training under his belt.
  • Seconds 31-32 - The Knee - Ronnie gives a quick knee to the drunk guy. It was not a well delivered knee, but certainly was felt by the drunk guy as heard by the 'oof' on the tape and was a good use of the knee since Ronnie had the free shot. A better thrown knee could have really ended the contest - if Ronnie would have squared his hips, and thrust with his whole lower body into either the solar plexus or better yet, the head, all resistance would have probably ceased at that point.
  • Seconds 33-35 - Ronnie uses his weight to push back on the drunk, causing the drunks legs to fold under him and giving Ronnie full mount.
  • Seconds 36-41 - Ronnie starts punching the drunk guy on the side of the head. It might look like the fight is over, but it is not, by any means. The proper thing for the drunk to do would be to cover up, and roll with these punches, all the while trying to "shrimp" or buck your way out from under him. Most importantly, if you find yourself in this position you have to REMAIN CALM, breathe, think and act. The drunk could have concentrated on wrapping up one of Ronnie's arms, then headbutted Ronnie. Those shots on the side of the head that the drunk guy receives, while distracting, aren't the end of the day. Shots to the front of the head (eyes, nose) are much more debilitating to anyone. One well placed headbutt would have exploded Ronnies face/nose/cheekbones.
  • In longer clips you can find, this fight goes on much longer and the drunk guy actually reverses the position and ends up on top of Ronnie for a bit. And this is good news for him because what I predicted would happen, happened. Ronnie runs out of gas. Sure he is a musclehead, but that doesn't mean he has any sort of cardio underneath him. If you end up in a bad situation such as this and can withstand the original flurry, you can eventually overpower your out of shape assailant and take the situation back under your control.
  • End of video - security finally shows up and intervenes. Ronnie, limping, walks away. You will also notice that he has a black eye in the video.

I have written a lot about these 40 seconds of video - fights happen fast! In the end there are several great takeaways. This could have been totally avoided. If the fight is going to happen, let it happen on your terms. Don't let a muscle bound guy get inside on you if at all possible. If he does, buck, shrimp and cover while he exhausts himself, then counter. Street fights do NOT have rules so anything goes. Why the drunk guy didn't try a headbutt is beyond me, nor did he try an eye gouge, or biting. Neither guy attempted any groin strikes (drunk guy could have tried that from the bottom). Lastly, good thing neither guy had a shank, or friends who could have done a bit of stomping.


Carl from Chicago said...

Ha ha I think that you just put more thought into "Jersey Shore" than they spend planning out the show in the first place, or that the characters do in reflecting on their existence.

But likely good advice on a fight, starting with moving away from conflict.

Also those Jersey Shore guys are now probably targets for other meatheads which means frankly they shouldn't go out to places where they will just invite conflict. This is why football players are always getting into altercations, too.

Dan from Madison said...

That last paragraph is pretty smart - I used to bag on certain football players who would basically rent out space in a bar and "post up", now it doesn't look like such a bad idea. Of course, if the players or famous people would refrain from getting intoxicated they would be much better off to start out with and would be able to make much better judgements, such as leaving if a person is looking for a fight.

Carl from Chicago said...

I was thinking about this some more and also was interested in your categorization of Ronnie and the "drunk guy".

Wouldn't a better categorization be "drunk guy in a TV show about nothing" and "other drunk guy" :)

Dan from Madison said...

Ronnie is frequently drunk as they all are, but in this particular case he didn't seem to be intoxicated. But yes the general sentiment is shared.