Sunday, March 6, 2016

UFC 196

You'd think I'd learn. As has been noted in the space before, every time yours truly roots for somebody or some team -- they're going down.
I had the Carolina Panthers in an even up bet in the recent Super Bowl.
I rooted for the Detroit Lions for 30 years before finally seeing the folly of it all.
I've been a closet Chicago Cubs fan for decades.
I had George Foreman easily dispatching that loud-mouthed Mohammed Ali in the rumble in the jungle.
And the mighty Red Army hockey team was going to make mince meat out of that rag-tag bunch of American college kids in the 1980 Olympics.
How did all that work out?

It's a trait I inherited from my late father. Old dad could sure pick the losers, especially when it came to Friday night at the fights. He just KNEW this boxer or another would win. Then, BAM, down he'd go. When that would happen, it was a good idea to remain very quiet while sitting in the same room. Get Dad another Pfeiffer, or maybe that was E and B, and go back to my chair like a good little droid. But do not, repeat, DO NOT smile, much less chuckle. Such an insubordinate act could have painful consequences -- quickly.

But now I'm an adult, at least age-wise, and get to carry on picking my own losers. Enter UFC 196.

In the preliminary bouts, I had no idea who these combatants were. But you know how it is -- when you're watching a sporting contest with no particular loyalty to either side -- somewhere along the line you decide who you're going to root for. There's no logic or sense to it, just a feeling one gets for no apparent reason.

Given Amanda Nunes against Valentina Shevchenko, I rooted for the latter. She got beat.

Then came Corey Anderson vs Tom Lawlor. Never heard of either, but picked Lawlor as my guy. He got whupped too.

Enter Ilir Latifi against Gian Villante. Who? But I liked the taller combatant Villante to get the better of the beefy brute Latifi. Guess who won?

Well OK then. On to the main events. This is what I ponied up $60 to see in the first place.

No way did Miesha Tate have a chance against Holly Holm. Tate had been beaten by Ronda Rousy twice and Holm had recently demolished her. Knocked her out cold. What could go wrong? A choke hold in the fifth round. Holly got put to sleep. Dammit!

One last chance for salvation. The super-duper main event itself. Irish terror Conor McGregor taking on Nick (who?) Diaz. Good grief, in his last fight McGregor had dispatched Jose Aldo in a mere 13 seconds. The same Aldo that hadn't lost a fight in 10 years and was considered the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. THIRTEEN SECONDS!!.

And Diaz had a pedestrian record of 18-10 going in. This was a lock. Even the bookies said so.

See Conor tearing up Nick's face. See the blood everywhere. All is going according to plan. This will be over soon. Sure enough, it was.

See Diaz take down McGregor and get him in the same choke hold that cost Holly Holm her belt. See Conor tap out. Gadzooks!!!

This -- was -- not -- supposed -- to -- happen.

But it did.

So I picked my 5 favorites, and every one of them lost. Two in huge upsets.

And somewhere dad is looking down and thinking -- that's my boy. Do they have Drewry's in heaven?

Yep, a chip off the old block to be sure. Complete with the bald spot on the back of my head. Thanks for that too dad.

Another sure thing is the cable bill next month. It will have an extra $60 bucks added on so I could experience the dubious pleasure of picking my five favorites in five fights and watching them all get trashed. Alas.

But hey, this just might be the Cubbies' year.

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