New Thing #312: Watch an MMA Fight

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I’ve never seen the point to boxing. Two men punching each other seems pointless to me and downright boring when you get down to it. But I’ll admit I was an avid pro-wrestling fan when I was a kid, based solely on the showmanship of it. 

When it comes to the UFC’s mixed martial arts fights I’ve just never understood the allure. It just seems like boxing’s dorky little brother to me. None the less, I fired up the 2010 St-Pierre vs Koscheck fight from Montreal on Netflix this afternoon. I figured at least I’d have a pony in this race based solely on St-Pierre’s Canadian citizenship. 

I also figured that since MMA is a rather new sport on the world stage that it would be filled with any, and every, dude who likes to start a bar fight. But no, these guys really know what they’re doing. They’re in top athletic form, switch between fighting styles on a dime and have to constantly defend against an ever changing opponent. St-Pierre alone is a black belt in just about anything that has one, as well as a top wrestler and boxer.

Sure, the whole thing is wrapped up in the same pomp-and-circumstance that the WWF uses to hype its fights. At the end of each fight though the ruse is pretty much up when you see the respect that the fighters show each other. It’s downright homoerotic the way that they embrace each other afterwards, and they really seem to have nothing but nice things to say about each other, even as blood drips off them.

I’ll fully admit that my preconceptions of this sport were completely wrong. In fact, after watching the title belt I went back and watched all of the matches that came before. I even found myself yelling at the screen a few times and audibly gasping at a quick turnaround in the fight.

I can just imagine how much more intense it would be seeing something like this in a live venue.

 

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New Thing #282: Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaws

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Loblaws_center_iceLoblaws_butcherLoblaws_fishmongerLoblaws_aisleLoblaws_outside

I headed down to the new Loblaws that took up residence in the old Maple Leaf Gardens today. 

I have nothing but good memories of the Gardens. From the Leafs to WWF Wrestling and a few concerts thrown in, it always makes me smile to remember it. So there’s something a bit surreal about finding a big red dot marking centre ice next to the soy sauce. Aisle 25 if you’re interested in finding it for yourself.

It’s hard to stay weirded out though when you’re surrounded by what’s easily the biggest, most spacious, beautifully designed grocery store in the city. The immaculate tile typography that ushers you towards the fishmonger and butcher is definitely the star of the show for me. It’s big, bold and stunning and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

My only complaint is that the hot food section is a complete mess. I ended up having to buy my entrée and sides separately, amounting to multiple pieces of packaging that needed to be weighed and tagged for purchase. Plus we got shuffled around to another side of the register where people were gathering their utensils even though it made more sense for us to stand opposite them. This caused one woman to freak out, call us animals (yes she actually called us a bunch of animals) and storm off, only to turn around and decide that we were actually bitches. And she wasn’t even one of the crazy ladies that I used to see in the neighbourhood when I lived there. Not to be outdone though, the older eastern European gentlemen in front of us proclaimed that if she’d said something like that in his country, he would have punched her in the face. Good times.

But aside from their eatery bringing out the worst in people’s souls, it’s a pretty damn nice place.

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