The History of the Red Ribbon

No, not the DARE kind. 

And disclaimer: the word “history” is being used loosely as I could only find one source, so consider yourself forewarned.

We’ve all seen it. A proud Mexican boxer strutting to the ring wearing a red ribbon with his last name emblazoned upon it tied aroud his forehead, popularized by Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and carried on by JCC Jr. and, well, every other Mexican boxer currently fighting and their fans. (And I also saw them at the USA vs. Mexico soccer match earlier this year, although I was too busy trying to keep my husband out of jail to inquire as to why.)

According to Jose Sulaiman, this whole trend started before JCC Sr.’s fight against Edwin Rosario, which probably occurred at some point before my birth. (Editor’s note: No it didn’t. I was 7.) As legend has it, Rosario was alleged to have been utilizing black magic against Sr., and it was also reported that they had “his [Sr.’s] picture upside down in the refrigerator in an ice bucket.” Jose Sulaiman, Hook to the Liver.  Enter a friend of Hector “Macho” Camacho’s, who recommended that Sr. wear something red to the ring in order to ward off sorcery. Cue the red ribbon. And boom! Chavez won the fight and evil spirits the world over were befallen at least for that night. (I made up that last part. But it could have happened!)

I kind of feel like I owe you all an apology, folks, because I really wanted this to be better. I thought that FOR SURE the history would encompass years of red ribbon headband wearers fighting various battles. Surely the Mayans had something to do with this, right?! But all I got was Jose Sulaimain said a friend of Camacho’s hooked up Sr. and he won. Not a bad story, but not the best either.

So, in the spirit of creativity, I’ve comprised a list of additional reasons why Sr. might have started sporting that iconic red ribbon headband. An official list, if you will:

The Official Junk in the Trunks List of Reasons that Sr. Wears a Red Headband:

1. This is an easy one, guys (and girls, of course): maybe he likes the color red. I mean, if my job would allow it, I’d wear a different colored headband (but probably mostly pink) with a different last name on it every day AND I’d incorporate a roman numeral at the end, just for the fuck of it! 

2. Red is the color of blood, and he’s a warrior, right? It just makes sense.

3. It’s one of the colors in Mexico’s flag, although I have to say this is the least likely of reasons to wear a red headband. Sr. is a national icon, he could DEFINITELY have a headband with all of the colors in the flag made for him. Shoot, he could wear a replica of the flag itself across his forehead if he wanted to. So this probably isn’t it.

4. “Rambo” wore one, and he was a badass. But this is kind of a “chicken and the egg” scenario. Which came first?! Technically, Wiki told me that “First Blood” was released in 1982 and Chavez fought Rosario in 1987. So really, he could have been mirroring the badassery that was Rambo. Or MAYBE Rambo is such a badass that he could see the future and knew in advance that Sr. would be the quintessential badass and decided to wear the red headband in an effort to be as great as Sr. Either explanation makes perfect sense, so pick your favorite and run with it. 

5.  It matches his skin tone nicely. Not just anyone could pull that off and still look good, but Sr. did it. (And still does. Not that I have a thing for old guys, but that man is a hottie. Truth.)

And finally:

6. Maybe the top part of his head would fall off without it. Remember that urban legend about the girl who wore the ribbon around her neck? When it was removed, HER HEAD FELL OFF! What if that was the case with Sr. at the time and we just didn’t know about it? A cynic might point out that there were pictures of Sr. taken before the headband (and after) where it was missing and his head was intact, but there’s a perfectly reliable explanation for that: makeup. Lots of it. (Or a flesh toned headband.) And once he became big time, maybe he just super glued the top part of his head to the rest of his head! (Or had some kind of surgery. The possiblities abound!) And now that the top part of his forehead has been permanently affixed to the rest of his head, he just wears the red headband for nostalgic reasons. 

It’s also possible that he still wears the headband to ward off evil spirits before Jr’s fights. But if that’s the case, it might be time to switch up the technique a little, as the luck is clearly wearing off. Except in Texas. You’ll always win here, Jr.! (Editor’s note: I know he won his last fight, but c’mon.) 

Twitter: @junk_n_trunx

Facebook: Just look up “Junk in the Trunks”

The site where I obtained the story about Sr. is: http://wbcboxing.com/wbceng/calendar-gancho/2013/06

On Floyd Mayweather

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: I’m a girl.

And I’m also a Mayweather fan. 

Although I’ve been informed in polite (and not so polite) company that the two should be mutually exclusive. In fact, one might actually be surprised at the boorish nature of complete strangers who, when the subject of Mayweather is mentioned, feel it necessary to remind me of my link to Eve. (Trust me, my monthly caller and massive collection of paper and cotton absorbent products in my bathroom cabinet are all the reminder I need. Shoutout to all of my male readers!)
But still the ugly truth remains that to most, I shouldn’t appreciate Floyd Mayweather Jr. in any way. Not as an athlete, a person, and certainly not as a man. Because the crime that he committed against a woman is the most reprehensible one that a man can commit aside from rape-he beat her. Badly, from what I’ve read. In front of their children no less. 

I’m not here to advocate on behalf of Floyd (not that he would need it, anyway), but I would like to discuss just how fatally flawed the “you can’t like Mayweather if you’re a girl” argument is. (The “I can like whoever I want, dammit” argument notwithstanding, of course. ) I feel it important to note at this point the obvious, which is that I’m more than capable of separating the actions of a man from the abilities of an athlete. Mayweather is the best at what he does at this time. He might not be the most interesting or exciting fighter, but he’s cornered the “hit and don’t be hit” market. The dude is a defensive genius, and he’s definitely mastered the mental chess aspect of the game.  Love him or hate him (both acceptable) he’s the pound for pound greatest of his time until he retires and a more talented boxer comes along. 

Now let’s deflect for a second here and turn our collective attentions to the NFL. It just so happens that a fortunate occurence, well, occurred in the middle of my writing this post. Namely, this meme popped up on my Facebook feed:

  
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a football fan as well. (College, that is.) As a matter of fact, I’m staying up way too late on game day to get this post published. But I think we can all agree that one need look no further than the NFL to find a rather large amalgamation of derelicts. For within that league  exists a veritable potpurri of offenders: women beaters, kid beaters, dog beaters, rapists, murderers, and ball deflaters (like I could let that last one go.)  

According to an article written by Tomas Barrabi, “NFL’s History of Domestic Violence Extends Beyond Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson Abuse Cases” (September, 2014), from the years spanning 1989-1994, 140 current and former professional or college football players were reported to police for violent acts against women.  And lawd, let’s not forget O.J. After the O.J. arrest in 1994, another study examined criminal background checks on 500 players at random, showing that 21% of them had a record for a serious crime, prominently domestic violence (Barrabi, 2014). 

Granted, 1994 was a loooooong time ago. But not much has changed since then. The same article posits that “Among the 713 arrests of NFL players from 2000-2014, 85 were related to domestic violence,” (Barrabi, 2014). (On a sidenote-713 arrests?! Holy shit! What are those boys doing?!) Regardless of your loyalty toward the sport, the statistics point to a very real problem within the league.  And the NFL’s response? Basically,”we picked these guys up from impoverished hoods! What would you expect from them?” Huh. Can’t remember the last silver spoon sucking, born into wealth boxer that came across my screen. (Kidding, it was Chavez Jr!) But for real, most fighters come from seedy, money-challenged backgrounds, as boxing has always been hailed as a poor man’s sport because it’s one of the cheapest to engage in. 

With all of this being said, why is it okay (encouraged, even) for women to appreciate professional football? Why are these women accepted and lauded while I, a self-proclaimed female Floyd fan, am basically told that I need to be better? After all, we buy the t-shirts and jerseys of men who have commited the same crimes, don’t we? So why is one accepted and the other not?

Oh, I know that Floyd is annoying. But so is Tom Brady with his perfect hair, Ray Rice with his Ray Rice-ness, Aaron Hernandez with his murder charge, and Michael Vick for being Michael Vick. (And don’t even get me started on Tim Tebow.) Just because one is louder and more obnoxious than the other doesn’t make his crime less equal. 

Even more disturbing is that as of 2011, one in three women have experienced “rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, Chen, & Stevens, 2011). Again, one in three. That’s a disturbingly small amount. In other words: if you have three sisters, three female family members, or three female friends in the same room, one of them has exprienced some form of domestic violence from someone that they trusted, be it a boyfriend, husband, or a hook up.  If we as women are strong enough to look past our own hardships and are able separate the bad from the good from the not applicable in a man and still appreciate their talents, let us. Don’t tell us that we need to be better.

 Indeed, for that we already are. 

Twitter: @junk_n_trunx

Facebook: Just look up “Junk in the Trunks”

Never though I’d need a reference section post grad school, but here it is:

Barrabi, Thomas (IBT Times.com, 2014). NFL’s History of Domestic Violence Extends Beyond Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson Abuse Cases. Retrieved from: http://www.ibtimes.com/nfls-history-domestic-violence-extends-beyond-ray-rice-adrian-peterson-abuse-cases-1692014.

Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention.

Why Rousey vs. Mayweather Will Never Happen

In the words of the immortal Tone Loc, “let’s do this.”

Unless you’ve been hiding from Bleacher Report or Facebook for the past month, you’ve undoubtedly heard in some form or fashion about the “beef” that’s been occurring between Ronda Rousey and Floyd Mayweather. (“Beef” is in quotes, btw, because it really seems like this is just Ronda being an attention whore and that Floyd is metaphorically swatting away the annoying fly without truly being all that angered toward her.) I really want this to go away, but I’ve also found that I apparently have strong feelings about this that just won’t quit; and as the old saying goes: “Those who can do, those who can’t teach, and the rest blog.” Or something like that.

First of all, there is no way in hell that Floyd or Floyd’s people (read: Al Haymon) would ever allow him to do this. This would be a PR nightmare for all involved. It doesn’t require exceptional mental prowess to understand that pitting a man convicted of domestic violence against his ex-baby mama in a ring with the intent to fight a woman is a bad idea. Period. And even if all of the VIPs in Floyd’s camp (read: Al Haymon) suffered a giant lapse in judgment, there isn’t a sanctioning body in the nation that would allow this fight to occur, BECAUSE IT’S A TERRIBLE IDEA. (Not even Texas, which is saying a lot. Of course, if the potential bout was JCC Jr. or Canelo vs. Rousey, Texas would be all over it. And Jr. or Canelo would win before even arriving at the arena. That’s just how we roll down here).

If, hypothetically, this fight were agreed upon by all parties, magically obtained a sanctioning body, and was actually going to happen, the next roadblock would be figuring out what type of fight it would be: MMA vs. boxing.  Before I go any further, I’d like to take a second to recognize the legion of rhinestone studded Affliction t-shirt wearing masses who have leapt at the opportunity to point out that “Ronda would kick Floyd’s ass in an MMA fight!” You’re probably right. (Take a screenshot of this, folks, and save it forever as it’s more than likely the only time that I’ll acknowledge and/or agree with MMA fans.) But it doesn’t matter, because I guarantee that this would be a boxing match.  And here’s why:

Yes, Ronda has become a nationally (internationally?) recognized phenom in MMA. Rightfully so. This chick has worked her ass off and earned her place at the top. She’s a beast. But she’s no Mayweather. She lacks the star power, notoriety, (love him or hate him, you’re still watching his fights, and if you say that you aren’t, you’re lying. The same can’t be said for Rousey.)and most importantly the money (TMT shoutout!) that is associated with a Mayweather fight. This man generates millions upon millions of dollars in ticket sales alone, not even counting what he makes in PPV sales, merch sales, or money from “All Access.” And as we all know, the dollar always wins.  I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be a multitude of arguments and contract negotiations between the two camps, because there would be. But Floyd would win in the end, because if he didn’t get his way, he would walk. And the whole thing would be just another pipe dream. (Hopefully much like Margarito’s recent push to get back into the ring, which would definitely be sanctioned by Texas.)

I would say that weight class would be an issue, but more than likely they would just fight under an agreed upon catchweight (which fight fans just LOVE but would be a necessary evil in this case) with a rehydration clause. I just felt like I should address it because I wrote “Weight Class???” as a potential barrier in my notes.

All jest aside, though, there lies a much bigger and important issue at stake here: feminism-to an extent, anyway.  (Bye, male readers! Thanks for sticking around for the first half!) As I’ve previously mentioned, Rousey’s is a household name now, and her fame and accolades are certainly well deserved. She’s become a hero to young girls, which is something I find appropriate. As someone who isn’t even an MMA fan, I have a lot of respect for her because she’s become such a prominent figure in a male-driven sport, and I wholeheartedly agree that her status as a mentor is appropriate. With all of that being said, does she really want to encourage to the girls who idolize her the idea that it’s okay for a guy to hit you (because let’s be real, Floyd would get a few hits in) if you’re being paid for it? Because that’s kind of the message that she’s sending. 

There’s also the fact that she hangs out with Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist. Regardless of your feelings about Iron Mike, the fact remains that he WAS convicted and served time. Much like Floyd WAS convicted and served time for his wrongdoings as well. Both men have multiple crimes against women under their respective belts (no pun intended), and although these crimes differ in nature they are very much equals in that respect. Why, then, is there no call to arms against Mike circulating various social media platforms? Eye for an eye, right? At least, that seems to be the antequated notion she’s operating under.  Maybe because that fight just wouldn’t be as lucrative. 

At any rate, I truly do hope that this nonsense is over now.  Because a marriage between these two sports (even if only for a night) is a bastardization that I just can’t handle. After all, I don’t even own a Bedazzler.