The new Project Mayhem: Creating the Pro Sports Fight Club

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By TYLER DASWICK
College Contributor Network

Professional sports are growing soft. Flags fly, whistles blow, and fights stop almost immediately. Isn't it terrible?

When all of our favorite teams seem to be playing something more resembling Nerf ball than our classic sports, it is time to acknowledge that we have a problem. Someone needs to resist this movement toward a sports world full of penalties and punishments. Someone needs to create an oasis of violence and carnage amidst the two-hand touch and wiffle ball. Someone needs to start the anarchy.

The Pro Sports Fight Club exists somewhere between Bill Belichick's basement and the first circle of hell. Fights take place in a deep, dark pit hand-dug by Tim Donaghy, and they exist to bring proper order to a sports world that has lost its edge. Of course, you are new to the Pro Sports Fight Club –- we will have to initiate you.

The Rules of the Pro Sports Fight Club

1. You can talk about Pro Sports Fight Club: Seriously. Just deal with it. ProSpoFC encourages trash talk, live tweets, photo sharing, and all the rest. Suck it up.

2. No professional fighters: Boxers and MMA fighters already have their outlets to destruction. Plus, the inclusion of trained fightes takes out all the fun of the classic "If James Harrison threw down against Lawrence Taylor, who would win?" debate. If you want to watch legal fighting, go to Vegas. Here, we want the scrappiness and insanity of an unpolished match.

3. No equipment: Goes without saying. No pads. No sticks. No cleats. Show up in your street threads and toss out all the gimmicks. As awesome as the WWE is, this is not the WWE.

4. Steroids: Look, Pro Sports Fight Club is an inclusive affair, and we want to share the love with the likes of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Ray Lewis. Allegedly we want to do that. Because those guys aren't steroid users, right guys? Is my tone coming across here?

5. Time Machines Exist: We want to be able to bring back some legendary athletes, or even just better editions of modern athletes. More on this later, but trust me, the ProSpoFC will benefit from a little classic mode.

6. Anything Goes: Seriously. Our fighters can do whatever they want to beat their opponents. To paraphrase from our inspiration: fights will last as long as they have to last.

Keys to Winning a Fight

Soon you will see a list of eight potential nominees to our fight club, and your first reaction might be, "Hey, these people aren't the best fighters in their sport!" I know.

Understand this: the best fighters at fight club are the ones who completely buy into the spirit of fight club. They might not be the best pure fighters, but we are not looking for the best pure fighters. We are looking for the athletes who, plain and simple, would love destroying people in this kind of environment.

With that being said, ProSpoFC fighters are chosen based on three criteria:

Intimidation Factor: how good are you at head games? When you enter the pit, has the fight already started in your mind? This is key to breaking your opponent early.

Psycho Factor: do you go where no one else is willing to go? Do you linger on the edges of the fight, or do you try to surprise your opponent and charge in close? How much can you keep your opponent on their toes? The best fighters always surprise, and they are not afraid to enter Insanity Mode.

Rocky Factor: in the words of the greatest fictional boxer ever, "It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." These fighters can last a long time in the pit, they can take a beating and a bruising, but smear away the blood and continue to brawl. If you cannot hang, you have no place at ProSpoFC. Luckily, these men and women can definitely hang.

Here are the fighters:

Luis Suarez ("The Animal")

Intimidation Factor: 6/10
Crazy Factor: 10/10
Rocky Factor: 3/10


Fight resume:

--Bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal in the shoulder (2010), Chelsea's Branislov Ivanovic on the arm (2013), and Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder (2014)

--Scuffled with Ajax teammate Albert Luque during halftime of a match (2007)
--Total suspensions: 49 matches


Every other athlete on this list would be afraid to fight Suarez. There is no way to prepare for him. Even if you punched him in the mouth, he'd probably still come after you with his broken teeth. His track record precedes him, and as a result, he would enter every fight with a huge psychological edge. This is a guy who would enter the pit and have his instincts take over. He is essential to this operation –- exactly what we want in a fighter.

Serena Williams ("The Trash-Talker")

Intimidation Factor: 9/10
Crazy Factor: 7/10
Rocky Factor: 5/10


Fight resume:

--Cussed out line judge at U.S. Open for calling a double-fault (2009)
--Ongoing verbal feud with Jealana Jankovic (2013-14)
--Total fines since 2006: $106,000

While Williams might remain unproven in physical brawls, there is no denying that she has the temper and the attitude to enter ProSpoFC. No one is safe from her tongue-lashings –- not line judges, and certainly not her opponents.

And let's be honest here, if you were to enter the ring and you saw Serena Williams waiting for you on the other side, you would freak the hell out. This woman is terrifying in all the right ways. She would jump at a chance to prove herself against the other athletes. Jury is still out on a Venus Williams tag-team, however.

Alex Ovechkin ("The Crushin' Russian")

Intimidation Factor: 5/10
Crazy Factor: 7/10
Rocky Factor: 7/10


Fight resume:

--Fractured Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell's ribs and collarbone after a dirty hit (2010), three-game suspension after a leaping hit on Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (2012), two-game suspension after a knee-to-knee hit against Tim Gleason, suspended two games (2009)
--Largest fine: $154,677.75

Are there dirtier players in the NHL? Certainly. Are there skaters who fight more often and brawl more often? Yes. However, no one combines an edgy style of play with tremendous talent like Ovechkin, and that is why he has the invitation over other hockey players.

ProSpoFC calls for talent and a desire to destroy everyone standing in your way, and right now, the Caps' captain is the best rep that hockey can send.

Watch this clip (mute it, the music almost ruins it) and pay attention to Ovechkin in the lower left portion of the screen. He circles back around twice and creams that poor guy like some kind of ruthless hitman. He earns the nod.

Ndamukong Suh ("The Titan")

Intimidation Factor: 10/10
Crazy Factor: 8/10
Rocky Factor: 6/10


Fight resume:

--Pushed Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the ground and stomped on his arm, on Thanksgiving Day no less (2011), kicked Matt Schaub in the family jewels, also on Thanksgiving (2012)
--Total fines to date: $216,875 (also holds the record for largest fine for an on-field incident -– $100,000 -– for his low block on Vikings lineman John Sullivan in 2013)
--His name literally means "House of Spears" in the Ngemba language of Cameroon. Lord Almighty.

There was no one else. Suh has the reputation, he has the moniker (House of Spears?! Why is that not a WWE character already?!), and he has the willpower. Throw this lineman in the ring and not only is he a massive presence, but he carries a dangerous unpredictability along with him. This is a mountain of a man who is fast, strong, and will resort to any means necessary to make himself known. I'm already imagining his ground-and-pound game –- he would be unstoppable.

Diana Taurasi ("The Temptress")

Intimidation Factor: 8/10
Crazy Factor: 7/10
Rocky Factor: 6/10


Fight resume:

--Two-time WNBA season leader in personal fouls (2010, 2012)
--Six-time WNBA season leader in technical fouls (2008-2011, 2013-2014)
--Kissed Lynx guard Seimone Augustus during an on-court altercation (2013)

Taurasi has a little more on-court experience than Williams in the confrontation department, but there still is not a huge archive off fights from which to choose. Fortunately, we can infer a lot from all those fouls records.

Taurasi can certainly be physical, but her nomination to ProSpoFC comes from her uncanny ability to just take things too far. She even kissed an opponent who was trying to intimidate her! Like a female Anderson Silva! The stat sheet speaks for itself with this one -– Taurasi belongs here, and she will more than hold her own.

Charles Oakley ("The Enforcer")

Intimidation Factor: 8/10
Crazy Factor: 8/10
Rocky Factor: 7/10


Fight resume:

--Went after Rick Mahorn following a flagrant foul on Michael Jordan (1988), brought the hammer fist down on Charles Barkley in a preseason game (1996), allegedly slapped Charles Barkley at a player's association meeting (1999)
--Slapped Tyrone Hill in a 2000-01 preseason game because Hill allegedly owed him $54,000 from an old dice game debt. After Oakley roughed him up, Hill would eventually pay $108,000 –- double what he owed. You can't make this stuff up.

This is where we are allowed to start messing around with our time machine. Charles Oakley patrolled the NBA in the 1990s as someone who prioritized protecting Michael Jordan, settling scores, and seeking revenge on the punks in his life over things like "winning" or "staying in the game" -- pretty much the exact philosophy we want in a ProSpoFC member. So we would go back in time to 1999 to find the Charles Barkley-beefing, Tyrone Hill-hustling version of Oakley, because if we chose not to, he would probably find us and kill us.

Tyler Hansbrough ("The Wildcard")
Intimidation Factor: 2/10
Crazy Factor: 9/10
Rocky Factor: 6/10


Fight resume:

--Has seen on-court altercations with Metta World Peace (2013), Chris "Birdman" Andersen (2013), and Tristan Thompson (2012); tackled Mike Dunleavy (2014)
--Generally, is fouled a lot, usually in bloody or destructive fashion
--Probably the most hated collegiate basketball player in the last 15 years

Every fight club needs a Jared Leto, amiright? Tyler Hansbrough would show up because, well, he's a crazy dude, and he would probably have a lot of people lining up to crush him because, well, he's a crazy dude. Hansbrough also looks like the grown-up version of the kid in your grade school class who had anger issues and kicked the ball over the wall in recess when his team didn't win the game. When you remind people of a child throwing a hissy-fit, your Intimidation Factor is low.

I think Psycho T might hold his own for a while though; he kind of has that "I'll flail my arms wildly and bring you to the ground if I have to" vibe you find in most middle school and high school kids. You just cannot beat that heart of his, though, and that is what matters in fight club, right? Right?

Nolan Ryan ("The Cowboy")
Intimidation Factor: 6/10
Crazy Factor: 7/10
Rocky Factor: 10/10


Fight resume:

--Initiated the greatest fight in MLB history after bean-balling Robin Ventura (1993)
--He's Nolan Freaking Ryan.

Sometimes, though, you have to bring in the seasoned veteran. Let's go back in our time machine to 1993, when a young scamp named Robin Ventura charged the mound against the surliest salt in all of Major League Baseball. Nolan Ryan entered the annals of sports brawlers that day, and though the rest of his resume is thin, does it even matter? He had the guy in a headlock and was punching him in the face repeatedly until half of his team dragged him away!

Ryan could go a dozen rounds with anyone in fight club, and he would just keep coming back and coming back and coming back again. Then, when this new Younger Nolan Ryan retires from fight club, he can oversee the proceedings as Commish of the ProSpoFC. Perfect.

For now, the Pro Sports Fight Club is confined to its seedy underground lair, but with any luck, the revolution will grow. With the help of our blood-minded athletes and our trusty time machine, we can reclaim the lost world of athletics –- one that had toughness, grit, and true put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is morality.

The revolution is happening right now. And the best part? We can talk about it.


Tyler Daswick is a junior at Northwestern University. He is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers, Indiana Jones, and writing stories about cowboys and banditos. Follow him on Twitter: @AccordingtoDazz
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