Beauty is probably in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the proliferation of cameras (security, cell phone, or otherwise) in public places.
I mean, I'm guessing right about now, Ray Rice (and to a "walls are closing in" extent, Roger Goodell) probably longs for the days where to take a picture of someone, you needed an actual camera with a flash bulb, and when security footage surfaced, it was grainy and not nearly as plentiful.
Let's be honest -- with no footage of his TKO of his wife, Rice is probably waking up at the team hotel this morning and getting ready for Thursday Night Football.
Me? I love the age of omnipresent cameras, the content whirring of footage being shot everywhere we go. I have nothing to hide. My peccadilloes are pretty boring, and the exciting stuff I do is social media-friendly.
Also, the ever present video camera spawned the Fan Fighting League, and the 2014 FFL season got underway big time late Saturday night in El Paso!
This melee took place prior to the late night game on Saturday between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the UTEP Miners in the battle for supremacy in the "Medium Sized Texas Cities Nobody Wants To Live In" division of college football.
It took place amidst some tailgate parties in front of a building that is (somewhat ironically) called the Las Palmas LifeCenter (ironic, since some of these punches came dangerously close to ending a couple people's lives) and involves a bunch of fans from UTEP and a few fans from Texas Tech, but honestly the whole scene is too confusing to be able to tell if the battle lines were drawn based on collegiate affiliation.
Judging by the size of most of the people in this video, there's just as good a chance that the battle lines were drawn over a dispute involving a plate of chicken wings and a deep dish pizza.
Let's go to the tape....
And now, it's Zapruder time!
0:11 -- A little rustling, some yelling, a bit of screaming, and a LOT of fat. Seriously, I'm not trying to be mean, but the first thing that jumps out at you in this video is that everyone in here is the size of an African Elephant. In particular, keep an eye on the bearded fellow with the gray t-shirt in the foreground. The next four minutes don't end well for him.
0:15 -- Oh, swing that camera around to the right, because WHOA NELLY here we go!! It's on! This is what it would look like on the Nature Channel if they had a show about hippos fighting. And if the hippos were belligerent. And if they rooted for UTEP.
0:28 -- My favorite part of this video comes early with the aforementioned whale in the gray t-shirt squaring off against some old dude with a goatee, and the two of them are actually in "sweet science" form, kind of bobbing and weaving and looking for an opening. Technically, both are very sound. Good form. I'm not sure if they realize there are no judges in parking lot fights in El Paso.
0:31 -- The technical lesson on boxing defense is interrupted by someone off camera presumably whacking Shamu (gray t-shirt dude needed a name, sorry) on the ear, and he's off to go devour them like a turkey leg. Old dude is held back by a female Tech fan in yoga pants (who should never be wearing yoga pants).
0:34 -- Everybody in the background is enormous. I'm so glad I lost 60 pounds a couple years ago so I can point these things out and feel only slightly hypocritical. Also, El Paso's answer to Carrot Top ambles across the scene, walking with a purpose.
0:38 -- Shirtless fat guy manages to break free of a tussle, and we just can't unsee that.
0:53 -- Somebody is down on the ground, being attended to by some guy whose neck looks like a hairy package of Ball Park Franks.
1:01 -- We head underneath the overhang in front of the main door to the LifeCenter, a building which sounds a lot more uplifting than the carnage being wrought outside of it. In the distance off to the left, there's another victim on the ground, looking like he got knocked the fuck out. Honestly, I've seen very few actual punches thrown. Given the physical conditioning of most of the people in this video, there's just as good a chance that they are on the ground from heat exhaustion as they are from being knocked out.
1:12 -- This begins about three minutes of some massive woman in jeans and a green sleeveless shirt blocking the camera, to varying extents. It's like in Porky's when Pee Wee is trying to spy on the girls in the gym showers, and Blubber McNeal is standing in the way. Only (thankfully), unlike Blubber, Green Shirt McNeal is clothed.
1:20 -- Shamu is back in the picture! He's being held back by a couple of El Paso chicks, and Carrot Top is lurking as well. This could get good soon....
1:38 -- ...but first, apparently, we have to let some dude in a white polo skip through the screen. I mean, literally, he is skipping. That's never good. Skipping Guy is always anxious to do something.
1:49 -- OH! Carrot Top just cold cocked a dude! TOTAL SUCKER PUNCH! I always hated his comedy, now I hate his evil, out of shape twin in El Paso. Dickhead. And he jumps in on top of the dude and starts whaling on him with both hands. But....
1:55 -- ....there's the exact opening Shamu needed to get back in the fight game, and let me tell ya, no sweet science going on here. He's having to fend off about four people. This is the best Fat Guy Handicap Match since Dewey Oxberger took on the five bikini chicks in a mud wrestling match in Stripes. (Yes, I'm trying to refer to as many movies from 1981 as I can in this post.)
2:02 -- Shamu is able to waddle away as the little people smacking him get distracted by a ladybug or something.
2:15 -- WAIT! What happened?? We pan to the right, and just when we thought Shamu had safely escaped, we find him on the ground, with no visual evidence as to how this happened. Hell, we barely have visual evidence he is on the ground, because there she is! Green Shirt Blubber McNeal blocking the goddamn camera. In the words of Pee Wee, "WILL YOU MOVE IT, YOU LARD ASS!?!"
2:33 -- Shamu is OUT. Carrot Top is standing there looking fairly proud of himself. I have no idea if they're on the same side of this fight or not. I think this was more like a battle royal, where you just find the guy closest to you and just start beating the shit out of him.
3:04 -- I love how socially acceptable it's become to just stand there and film anything. Can you imagine like 15 years ago, before we all had cameras on our phones, pulling out a camcorder and just start filming whatever was happening in front of you in public? Especially a series of brawls between drunk, obese college football fans in El Paso? You'd wind up eating the camera.
3:46 -- The video ends uneventfully with Green Shirt Blubber McNeal lurking in the middle of the parking lot by herself, still trying to block our view.
As it turns out, two people were arrested in the midst of this donnybrook, but it wasn't for fighting:
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"It appears that two separate groups engaged in a verbal then physical altercation," Petry said in an email. "Officers generated a police report and while at the scene arrested two men with outstanding warrants. The two that were arrested did not appear to be involved in the physical portion of the altercation."
Outstanding warrants. Awesome.