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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Shoot Style

Wednesday
July 26, 2006

This past Saturday night I ended up at Bell Bottoms, a nightclub in Birmingham, where I saw my first MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) show in-person. The place was PACKED; there were some chairs in there, but they had all been spoken for, so I ended up standing behind the row of chairs by the bar near the entrance/exit of the club.

Being tall (I'm 6'2") has its advantages, particularly in crowd situations. There were people at the bar who had their view obstructed, but no one did anything about it. People see a tall guy with a shaved head, especially at a shootfighting show, and they let well enough alone. I wasn't there to start anything, but the perception that perhaps I could was enough to keep those behind me silent.

Five fights took place, with all but one ending via tapout. The main event was enjoyable, though when the out-of-town guy threw two extra punches after the bell, a riot nearly broke out. If this has been boxing, all the extras and handlers would've stormed the ring. But since this was an MMA show, and there was a cage, the only way in/out was through the door (or I suppose over the top of the cage, but this wasn't a WWE show, and anyone trying to climb the cage would've been dealt with quickly.) The right guy ended up being declared the winner, so the crowd calmed down enough for things to end peacefully.

I was there with Pouncey and his roommate Chris; Pounce left early on, and Chris and I weren't planning to stay just a long time (the downside to a packed show like that is, while it makes for a great environment, moving around is next to impossible.) However, Chris ran into an old friend of his who served with him over in Afghanistan, and then the three of us were approached by some women in a bachelorette party.

That experience was quite fun; that wasn't my first time around the block with a bachelorette party, but it was probably the most memorable one I've encountered. Typically they are big-time trouble for guys, with the requisite "throw cold water on your plans" girls who cockblock you. But in this case, things ended up turning out allllright. In a related note, I'm just today finally over being sore from dancing. My hips/legs were hurting through even yesterday, which is pretty much unprecedented. I may be on the shadow of my 29th birthday, but I think that had to do more with the 45 minutes of fun on the dance floor than getting older.

A girl who I dubbed (in my head) Aggressive Chick from the bunch and I had a fun time. Unfortunately after that, I tried to play it cool by acting disinterested, and at first it seemed to work as she tracked me down and chided me (somewhat playfully) for disappearing. It wouldn't be my life if it didn't have a dark comedy edge to it, though.

I bought her another beer, and Aggressive Chick turned into Drunk Aggressive Chick, saw some other guy who looked like a friend of hers, and that was that for me. But we had fun while it lasted. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me; the bachelorette party girls ended up with all the pictures from the night. So it goes.

This weekend it looks like I'll be heading up to Nashville. My Granddaddy Blaylock isn't doing all that well, from what I've been told, and I plan to see him. Plus my sister Mary Beth will be back from Japan, and I'd like to catch up with her on everything...

NCAA Football '07 came out last week, though I haven't purchased it yet. It received very strong reviews online, which is making me think it might be worth picking up. If nothing else, it could help me with Draft King as far as getting to know some of the elite college players going into the season.


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