Zapruder Analysis of a Crazy Road Rage Incident in Russia
In Russia, the dash cam sees it all.
At its most recent pay per view event, UFC 173, UFC did a live gate of around $1.7 million. They pulled in another God knows how many million on pay per view from fans watching at home. UFC does a few dozen events (some pay per view, some on regular television) every year.
The bottom line is Dana White's organization brings in a lot of money.
As a society, I think we leave a lot of revenue on the table. Maybe I'm in the minority, but there are times that I find regular every day people beating the ever loving snot out of each other just as compelling as two guys doing it inside a chain linked octagon. (One thing we know -- in societal fights, there will be no long, drawn out rest holds, right?)
My point is, I would probably plunk down 30 or 40 bucks to watch a dozen fights worth of regular people fighting each other out in the wild over some real life issues, like cheating spouses and forgetting to signal in traffic. And if all of those real life fights were due to road rage, I'd plunk down 50 easily. Road rage makes people STUPID. (Regular people road rage PPV would be the Wrestlemania of regular people fights.)
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Which brings me to Russia...
Russia? Yes, Russia. (At least, I think this is Russia.)
This road rage fight came across my Twitter timeline (h/t @WDStandley) over the weekend, and it's pretty incredible. I think it's the first fight that I will have Zaprudered that includes someone missing a limb. So you're witnessing history. Or something.
The video was actually uploaded a few weeks ago, but who cares, right? If you haven't seen it before then it could be happening live for all you know. It doesn't matter. So without further ado, here we go....
Ok, Zapruder time, first the participants:
This is a traditional tag team match, with a pair of fighters in each car. In the first car, the one in the "behind" position, we will call them the BRATVA (Russian for "mob"), and dub them individually Brat #1 (driver) and Brat #2 (shotgun seat). The other car, the one in front, we will give them individual names. The driver we will call Vladimir and the other dude, we will call him Lefty (You'll see why.).
Now, let's roll the tape...
0:01 -- It all looks innocent enough. A few slow moving vehicles on what appears to be a side street in a sleepy Russian town. Lots of parked cars, lots of loading and unloading. If you're on this street, you know it's gonna move a little slowly, right?
0:09 -- Well, this is awkward. A combination of a parked truck and a row of parked cars has hemmed in the drivers trying to make their way in opposite directions down the street. What are we to do here?
0:20 -- The cars try to untangle the knot of one ton vehicles they've created, but the turquoise car in front of the camera isn't having any of this waiting around shit. You would hope that they don't....uh oh....
0:24 -- They just did it. They nudged the car in front of them.
0:26 -- Twice.
0:28 -- ...oh dear....
0:31 -- Out of the passenger's side, dressed in a really intimidating version of George Costanza's puffy coat, is Lefty. Out of the driver's side, dressed in every day regular clothes, is Vladimir. Neither of them appear to be very happy with recent developments.
0:34 -- Lefty reaches into the Brat-mobile's passenger window, and I'm pretty sure he's not playfully doing the "gotch'yer nose" trick to Brat #2.
0:36 -- Nope, he's punching him.
0:40 -- Brat #2 is trying to get out of the car to address Lefty directly, while Vlad is touching up Brat #1 in the driver's seat. and by "touching up," I mean he just swung on him, really hard.
0:42 -- Now Vlad is kicking (and presumably horribly scuffing) the doors of the Brat-mobile. One thing we've learned thus far -- the position to have in a road rage fight is the "outside the other guy's vehicle" position. It's the equivalent of a Jedi having the high ground -- i.e. almost impossible to counter without sustaining some serious damage.
0:47 -- Brat #2 realizes this quickly as Lefty is hitting him, ironically, with some right hands and shutting him in the car door as he attempts to get out of the vehicle. Meanwhile, Vlad might break a foot, he's kicking the car door so hard.
0:54 -- If you're looking to circle a point in the fight where it goes sideways for team Vlad-Lefty, here it is -- clearly Lefty and Vlad didn't enter this fight with a plan. They figured they'd ride their anger to an easy pummeling of the Bratva while they were still seated inside the vehicle. They were wrong. Once Lefty exhausts his arsenal, and Brat #2 steps out of the car, Lefty and Vlad are forced to go off script. This is the bad time. Off script, Vlad and Lefty are like Matt Schaub.
0:58 -- Lefty improvises one last time with a flailing head butt, but anybody with the sense of when momentum shifts in a sporting event (NBA fans, you know) knows, this is about to turn. Lefty and Brat #2 go off camera for a few seconds...
1:05 -- Vlad throws one more punch. If he were smart, he'd pull out a gun because shit's about to change....
1:15 -- Lefty is back in screen. Obviously, his barrage of flailing headbutts didn't drop Brat #2. Now, he's coming over to the driver's side to see if they can attempt to finish this thing. The indecision with these two, Vlad and Lefty, is obvious. They don't know whether to open or close the driver's door on the Brat-mobile. And while they hesitate to try and figure it out, Brat #2 lurks...and lurks....and.....
1:21 -- BLAM!!!
1:24 -- Brat #2 was totally playing possum!! How do you say, "He is MOLLY WHOMPING THESE FOOLS!!" in Russian?!? HOLY...
1:25 -- And here comes Brat #1, OUT OF THE CAR....(Jim Ross voice) ...and heeee's a house on fire!!! He is destroying Vlad, ripping his shirt, and Brat #2 is beating the piss out of Lefty. If there were a crowd watching this, the only thing that would escalate the level of the pop would be 1998's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin himself walking in. GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!!!
1:28 -- Brat #2 rips off the puffy coat and Lefty is rolling around in the puddles. Meanwhile, Brat #1 has chased Vlad literally off the screen. This is like the scene in Godfather when Sonny is beating the shit out of Carlo, except Carlo has a prosthetic arm...wait, WHAT?!?!
1:35 -- ....YEAH, YOU HEARD ME! Lefty has no lefty! Lefty is an IRONIC nickname! LEFTY HAD NO LEFT ARM!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? Even worse, the arm is dangling around inside the puffy coat!! It's like the puffy coat episode of Seinfeld smashed head first into The Fugitive.
1:37 -- "YOU FIND THIS MAN!!!!
1:38 -- The manager of the Bratva, the Mouth of the South, gets out of the back seat and skulks away and does what every good wrestling manager does...calls 9-1-1.
1:42 -- Finally, some civilians are trying to break this thing up, but I don't know if that's wise. Lefty picks himself up off the concrete and his arm is swinging around inside the coat, and he is zero help for Vlad right now, who is absorbing an ass whooping, one blunt force wound for each shoe scuff on the side of the Brat-mobile.
2:11 -- It turns out this won't be a fight to the death, unfortunately. Instead, this fight ends with Brat #1 belly aching about the shoe scuffs on the side of his car and with the fighters all exchanging insurance information.
WORST. PPV. ENDING. EVER.