Is Bravery Measured By Winning?

Posted: March 15, 2010 in The Duffy Dombrowski Fight Club, Uncategorized
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“I thought the announcers were a little hard on him. He fought his usual fight against the best pound for pound fighter in the world and lost,” John “Iceman” Scully said.

Scully fought as a professional for 13 years and finished with a record of 38 wins and 11 losses. He fought for world titles a couple of times and fought guys who were considered at or near the top of the pound for pound ratings.

Scully analyzes pay-per-view fights for ESPN News from the studio. Saturday night there was a really big fight that wound up being a very lopsided win for the favorite.

Some of the announcers who called the fight live said the challenger didn’t come to win and they suggested cowardice. To the best of my knowledge the announcers saying those things never were fighters.

To get in the ring in front of 50,000 live fans against the best of the world in the most demanding sport isn’t cowardly. Losing, being badly outscored isn’t cowardly. Not having the skills to win isn’t cowardly.

Why did Scully see that and the other guys didn’t?

I don’t think you need me to tell you.

  1. D.B. Dean says:

    Wow – boy are we thinking along the same lines!
    I just watched The Hurt Locker (a story about Iraq and boom disposal guy) and Then I watched “The Pacific” on HBO. And I got to thinking about bravery and soldiers and warriors and what makes them. I did a post over on Average Girl about the “Average G.I. Joe”. I got to thinking about the quote “Courage is not fighting without fear, it is feeling the fear and moving on in spite of it”. My neighbor – 90 years old, retired union butcher, grandfather, husband…and three times purple heart receiver…shot by a german sniper in the head, shot again and then last getting hit by shrapnel a hand gernande. What seperates him from me. I wrote the post while watching “The Pacific”. I need to go back and re read – not sure it even makes sense but I felt compelled to say something…after watching the movie. Those boys exepreienced things I can only imagine. And THEN came home and lived a “normal” life,,,but every once and a while he starts talking about WWII and you can see in his eyes the difference those memories have made on him.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    I didn’t see the fight, but picked up on the sports recaps in various news outlets and they were just about all negative about Scully. He ended up on feet by fight’s end against the best pound-for-pound fighter out there. Sometimes surviving is its own victory. I agree that those who gave the man grief wouldn’t have said that if they (or a friend or loved one) went into that ring against that fighter. I’m with you on this, Tom. Thanks for this.

  3. BD says:

    I’ve seen/read quite a few of Scully’s thoughts about fight-fear fear and how lonely that dressing room is pre-fight (regardless of the number of people in the room). It’s great hearing it from someone who has truly been there.
    Just getting one’s (suddenly 3000lb) feet to bring him from the dressing room to the ring is an exercize in conquering fear and doubt.

    I’ve ‘trained’ in the past at your typical school filled with 2-3x/night guys (‘weekend warriors’) and ‘serious guys’ who train 5-6x/week and lift & run occasionally as well.
    I’ve been both and when in a particularly hardcore phase thought I was a B.A.M.F. I thought I had an eye for who is good or not, felt a little too cool for ‘getting it’ while all these soft civilians out there went home to watch Family Feud or Survivor while I was tempering the steel that was my body & soul. Pitiful.

    True confessions- I’ve yelled at a quarterback & have uttered, “oh he sucks” a lot more than once. It’s really the mark of a completely ignorant person. Guilty.

    I have the privilege of training with national champions and Olympic-hopefuls and an Olympic silver medalist (judo) now and I’ve found there ain’t a bit of difference between ‘weekend warriors,’ ‘civilians’ and the hardcore ‘serious’ types. They’re all weekend warrior dabblers (me included).

    Being on the mat with these elites has done a lot to open my eyes to the discipline & sacrifice required to excel. (It’s shown me my utter ineptness as well!)

    A mere mortal like me has no idea the effort it takes to lift & work on conditioning daily as well as enduring 2-a-day training sessions week in & week out, year in & year out.
    9-5ers like me get to have a steady girl, live near my family, eat cookies, celebrate aunts’, uncles’, parents’ & grandparents’ birthdays with the fam, not be in perpetual weight-cutting mode (ie being a miserable s.o.b. constantly), stay out ’til 2am or have ‘just one more’ beer, accept an unexpected invitation to get together with an old friend… The list goes on.

    Hearing a cold, timid soul question the guts of someone In The Arena is something that probably makes any reader of Tom’s blog shake his/her head. The offender clearly knows not what they do.

    Roosevelt’s ‘The Man In The Arena’ sums it up brilliantly in my opinion:

    It is not the critic who counts;
    not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
    who strives valiantly;
    who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
    but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
    who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
    who spends himself in a worthy cause;
    who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  4. Klaus said: He thought the guy had a good corner man, but he didn’t do what the corner man told him to do. This might be his last big match on the biggest stage he’ll be on. The corner guy told him to open up, but he didn’t take that chance. Is he a coward? Not at all. Nobody who gets in the ring with Pacquaio is a coward. I saw him fight Margarito and he was good and lost due to a broken hand and I thought he won the Kotto fight. No way is this guy a coward.

  5. Robert Ward says:

    What TR said is true. Nobody remembers a critic. Still, someone has to do the job, and if a critic is brilliant like the current litcrit James Woods, he doesn’t say thumbs up or thumbs down but starts a conversation about a book. Or sees it in a new way. Woods’ book of lit crit on classics like Moby Dick ,among others, caused me to re-think much of what I had assumed. That’s exciting.

    What i deeply dislike is Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down…that whole Siskel Ebert thing, which is now endemic. Those guys trivialized all of criticism, and have never, in all the years I’ve watched them, said one thing that surprised me or made me think. Needless to say their imitators are even worse. Almost all of newspaper movie crit is now bollocks. I haven’t read anyone with any real pov since Paulene Kael. And half the time I got pissed with her. But I always felt I had to read her . There’s no one in the papers I feel that way about now. Not sure about the internet, since I dont know all the blogs. Does anyone know a great one? I’d like to know.

  6. Graham says:

    I went to a small high school where I played three sports, we routinely got our asses handed to us. During my senior year, our basketball team’s record at one point was 0-13, and some people talked about quitting. But we didn’t. We only one a single game that year, but we didn’t quit. It wasn’t fun or particularly noble but we made it through.

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