A few months ago a debate began between myself and my good friend, and occasional writing partner, Chad Kultgen, regarding who would win in a fight between us.
The discussion started innocently as one of those topics that come up when two dudes are around each other too much. At the time we were spending long work days, sharing an office while producing Waiting to Die, a sitcom pilot for CBS. Chad started it, dreaming out loud that if he was given one year to train, he would be able to beat me in an organized mixed martial arts-style match. I disagreed. Thus, we began incessantly debating EVERY angle of the prospective contest, to the boredom and irritation of everyone around us.
At some point my good pal, actor and comedian Bryan Callen learned of our dispute and decided to weigh in via email.
Bryan’s letter to Chad, entitled Dog vs Bear, began making its way to our friends and cohorts, and has since been regarded as one of the finest essays ever written in email form.
Here it is in it’s entirety…
Bryan here. Let me first say that The Average American Male is the greatest book ever written. I put it at the top of the American Canon, and this comes from a man well versed in the likes of Faulkner, Conrad, McCarthy, the list goes on. You’re a genius with a terrific imagination and sense of humor. I look forward to diving into your next work. Imagination, imagination, imagination, raw honesty, courage, you possess everything a writer must have. Bravo.
This brings me to something else that needs to be addressed. It’s come to my attention that you are under the impression that given time (a year?) to train, you could best Will Sasso in a fight – something about getting behind the man, etc. I chalk this up to two things. One: your imagination, again bravo, and two: drink. I too love grab-assing with my bigger friends and sometimes I’ll flirt with the idea that given the right circumstances and training I could kick their fucking asses. Now in my case, I’m probably right. Let me give you some history. I was a wrestler from a very young age. Somehow I was drawn to grappling. I have the temperament, balance and wiry structure for the game. I can do forty pull-ups right now at forty two years of age (I have video of it which I’ll probably send to you). I grew tired of the weight game always sucking down so by the time I got to college I couldn’t make it through my first year. I would smell a mat and have to leave the room. I could have wrestled at American University D1. Don’t worry about that. I then got into full contact kickboxing and fought all over the country. We didn’t wear fucking pads and this chapter is way too long to go into but suffice it to say I could turn Sasso’s head to jelly right now – at forty two. I’m very at home on a mat or using my feet and hands. I hit like a heavyweight. I’m athletic as fuck and still rather aggressive by nature.
Oh, did I mention that I trained with Carlson Gracie, Renzo Gracie (considered the best in the world and a grappling wizard of astonishing skill) Renato Magno, all for about seven years? The point I’m making is I know the fight game. Comedy is something I do for fun. Fighting is my secret garden and I know that I can keep the average Joe busy if it comes down to a little scuffle. I also know who could tie me in a knot and fuck me. There are PLENTY of men walking around right now who could fuck you, me or fuckhead if they so choose. This is a fact. There are a number of men that could choke us out and we’d come to with a searing pain in our rectal cavity as they bucked and snorted, bucked and snorted, bit and choked, bit and choked ’til they spent deep in our asses, leaving us a whimpering, leaky mess.
Let’s get back to you and Will. Now I hear you hopped around a Muay Thai gym for a minute in high school. Awesome. You have a good body for fighting I would guess. Low center of gravity, close set shoulders, heavy forearms (the part of your body you’re clearly the happiest with and who wouldn’t be) short neck, MODERATELY wide face, though nothing a boxing trainer would stop to stare at. A wide face can absorb the blow more efficiently than can a narrow face. Duh. I’m sure you’re not very temperature sensitive either. Sure you get cold but not like the long and skinny. I haven’t had a chance to really take you in the way I’d like to but I’d say if you were in fighting shape (something you’ve never come close to – but who fucking cares) you’d tip out at 165lbs. I could get you lighter but now we’re talking water weight and that’s horseshit.
Your experience with baseball has taught you a thing or two about torque. Throwing a ball, swinging a bat is not so different from kicking or punching as you know, so there’s no doubt you could generate respectable power. Finally, and I’m making a big assumption here, I would guess you have the mindset of a fighter. You have a lot of testosterone and are clearly an Alpha. The general state of the world keeps you in that low grade anger I find so refreshing.
Let’s now take a look at Sasso. Will Sasso is a MOOORON. I know this. He likes to talk about his trainer, and idol, Harold ad nauseam and probably sucks him off in the gym bathroom after their work outs, etc etc etc, ha ha ha. Still, and I want you to listen to me now, Will Sasso could kick your fucking ass on ANY given day.
I’ll give you two years of Muay Thai and some grappling, he tosses you about like a fucking rag doll. By the way, and I’m not trying to be a dick, he FUCKS you if he wants.
I know this is tough to read. You’re a proud man worthy of respect but you have to understand how the universe works. A dog will never beat a bear. I don’t care if the dog gets the jump or “gets behind” the bear. A silverback gorilla ain’t hearing a peep out of a chimpanzee either. Not a fucking peep. Now, you’re mumbling something like, “well, I’m not an animal, I’m a human and I have technique” or “Will would get tired because he has weak character and too much excess weight. Or maybe you’re saying “I’m quicker than Will is (no you’re not, by the way). I’m quicker so I could shuck an arm and get behind him.â€ I got you. I like and respect your enthusiasm. I really do. But as your friend – and we ARE friends – I need to break down why you need to tell Will you were joking about being able to best the man in a fight. Ready?
Okay, Sasso walks at 6’3, 290lbs. His fighting weight is 260 maaaybe 250 but I don’t think so. The next time you’re with him I want you to make a careful study of his CALVES. Please understand their mass, vascularity and most importantly their positioning on the actual bone. Forget the perfect heart shape and the index finger sized arterial vein that branches and feeds the pulsing beast. Rather, look how high they sit. These are what we call “High Insertion Calves” in the bodybuilding world. Now why is this significant? Well, high insertion calves are almost always a very good indication of an abundance of fast twitch (red twitch) muscle fiber. Believe it or not, Will is mostly fast twitch. He’s made up of the kind of muscle one uses for explosive and powerful movements (see his high school football reputation and scouting history). You’ll rarely find a big man who can move as quickly or jump as high. Watch him dance around on his toes sometime. He makes you look like you’re underwater. The first thing a trainer would do with you, Chad, is work to get the lead out of them feet. You tend to plod. I know much of this may have to do with a general malaise but you’re still mostly made up of slower twitch fiber. You may have more endurance than the bald idiot and that’s a good thing.
Still, Sasso is more explosive and much much much stronger. You throw in some adrenaline and make the fucker angry and things would probably get rather scary. A guy that big and angry is VERY hard to hurt. They can take an inordinate amount of punishment. Will was probably made fun of as a kid for his weight issues and that shit don’t go away. It just gets buried, pushed down into his belly, but it never ever goes away. Instead, it sits, coiled like some tropical viper, waiting… wanting… dreaming to release the ever increasing venom that stretches and aches it’s jowls (we should write something together, metaphors are my thing). You don’t want the viper, Chad. You really don’t. Once it springs inside that size 54 chest, you’ll need a gun. Truly.
Tough to do this but let’s simulate a fight with the two of you. You’ve been training for a year. You’re all pumped and ready. David ready to bring down the great Goliath, etc. Oh, please understand, Will’s been training too. A lot. With Harold Diamond (seen here beating the shit out of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo III). Diamond is a Muay Thai legend, three-time Kickboxing World Champion, and from what I can surmise, an APE on the mat. He’s got some wisdom and plenty of nasty tricks he’s drilled fucknose on. Still, good on you. Get loose dude. Sweep the leg or whatever your game plan is.
I scream, “GET IT ON!” You guys come out. You’re hands are up like you were taught. You’re going to try and kick his knee and follow it up with an elbow. Then you’re going to jump behind him and get him in a rear naked choke – all 270lbs of him (yeah, he’s lost weight, Chad). You kick! OW! How the fuck did your bony foot richochet off his knee like that? Well, look at his knees next time. Look at them. Oop, what happened? Your leg go numb? All the energy just leave your body? Yup. He just launched a roundhouse into your quad. Watch the…! Shit, was that an elbow off your skull?! Aaand Will’s on top of you with both knees. You can’t breathe and HERE COMES THE RAIN, MOTHERFUCKER!!! Stop! Stop! Stop! I yell as I pull at Will’s arms. Finally, I have to fish hook him to pull him off your limp, pink body. You’re mustache now looking very much like one of those crimson caterpillars you’re not supposed to touch.
So, I know this is a lot to take in. Who gives a fuck about fighting. You’re a kick ass writer and that’s a fact. All bullshit aside, people who “take” fighting in their thirties are LOOOOOOSERS. We should go out with Will and then ditch him, fuckin’ shitkick that he is.
Just don’t fight him – ever. If it looks like things get really heated up and you feel the need to chuck all this advice aside and go for it, I want you to count to one hundred, drink a warm glass of milk and take a nap. NO FIGHTING WILL!
See you soon,