Thursday, March 13, 2014
Unver Interview Part II
Jay Unver Interviews Zane Hodge (Part II)
Unver: O.K. Obviously you are uncomfortable talking about that. We’ll drop it. I had a second purpose in talking with you today. I want to announce a new athletic organization: The Association of Sports Strikers. This is going to be an MMA league for multi-sport athletes, like you and your fellow Fatties, who have no previous combat sport experience.
Hodge: Wow! Sounds interesting.
Unver: Yes. This is going to be huge. The new group, like the other ASS groups, will be a subsidiary of Big Ass Endurance. I am not only the reporter for Big ASS, but I’ve been hired as matchmaker for the new fight league. You interested?
Hodge: As a fan, heck yeah, as a fighter, no.
Unver: Come on now, this league is going to be unbelievable. We are going to have a website like Facebook with a listing of all the local multisport athletes. Each athlete will have his or her own page with a profile picture and athletic resume. After you join, you will be able to make a fight request, just like you make a friend request on Facebook. If the person you requested to fight confirms, then we, The Association of Sports Strikers, spring into action and begin negotiations with both participants and try to set up a card.
Hodge: Neat idea. Wish this had come along thirty-years ago.
Unver: Don’t tell me you’re too old. I don’t want to hear it.
Hodge: You know I hate it when I hear someone say, “I’m too old.” But really, there are a couple of things I am too old for: crashing a bicycle and fighting.
Unver: I understand the bicycle part, but the fighting part I can’t accept. I’ve seen you working on the heavy bag at the Big ASS Training Center in Lehrton. You throw a pretty good punch. Obviously you can fight.
Hodge: Well, maybe I can box a little. Probably whip most people near my size. But MMA is a different beast. My knees are too loose for that. I can do inline movements like running and biking. But lateral movements kill my knees. I just couldn’t do it.
Unver: Don’t be so quick to say no. We are renting the old go-cart track off Coila Creek Road. It has room to park cars; it has stands that will seat a couple of hundred fans; it has a concession stand. We can hold fights and have runs and bike races all right there. Big ASS Endurance is about to explode. Be a part of it.
Hodge: I am a part of it. I’m a swimmer, runner, triathlete, but I ain’t no fighter. Look, I agree, this is going to be a winner. And I’ll help. I’ll work the concession stand, I’ll park cars, I’ll sell tickets, whatever. But fighting? It ain’t gunna happen.
Unver: Come on now.
Hodge: It ain’t gunna happen. Ever. Trust me.
Unver: You know we are going to pay. Minimum pay for fighters will be $200.00 per match. We are also considering bonuses for wins, maybe an extra $5.00 and even bonuses for knockouts and submissions. Maybe as much as an extra $4.00. It is conceivable that you could make as much as $209.00 before taxes.
Hodge: Two-hundred and nine dollars won’t buy a knee.
Unver: Why do you think MMA is bad for the knees?
Hodge: Because it is. You have to transfer core strength through your knees or you get tossed around and submitted. I just can’t do that.
Unver: I bet you could.
Hodge: I’m not going to. Listen. I love the idea. I’ll help in every way possible. I’ll promote it. I’ll help, I will. I’m just not going to fight.
Unver: You know, we not only will make matches through requests from the athletes, but the Association of Sports Strikers will initiate some fights. We will send certain athletes fight suggestions. This is going to be the UFC and Facebook combined for the local endurance athlete. Who knows where this could go.
Hodge: I believe you. I never heard a better idea. It’s going to work. But it’s going to work without me as a fighter.
Unver: When Dr. Nomann and I came up with this idea, the first fight suggestion we had in mind was a catch-weight bout between you and Randy Beets. At this point Hodge jumped out of his chair, spilling his coffee. He stood dumbfounded. His eyes grew large like tennis balls.
Hodge: Dude! Really? You’re not kidding?
Unver: No, we’re not kidding.
Hodge: I’m in! How do I sign up?