On the first Thanksgiving, three hundred and ninety-one years ago, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag celebrated with days of wrestling contests, and dined on venison, popcorn, and wild turkey (not the bourbon, the bird you can shoot the head off of with those weird spinnning arrows). The historical record shows that the original colonists included William and Mary Brewster, and their sons Love and Wrestling. So giving thanks on this day, on this fight forume, is truley only juste and goode.
Wrestling Brewster is a really cool name; as cool as 2022 world champion Thor Silva. You have to go to nicknames, like "Uncle Creepy" or "Korean Zombie" to give Wrestling Brewster a run.
It is an honor to first give thanks to all the men and women in uniform serving our country, and those of our allies, so far from home in theaters of war. You are heroes to this sports' heroes, and to the rest of us.
A special shout out to those of you cutting for a fight, for who the feast is a piece of skinless turkey and a quite finite number of green beans, no butter. I hope everybody wins, I really do.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who comes here. Thanks to the fighters and the fans, to the gym rats and the champs, to the company owners and the customers. Thank to all, from the 01ers to the FOOBS; and extra thanks to the 12ers who remember that second grade lesson about two ears and only one mouth, except we have ten fingers so that doesn't even make sense.
Thanks to the lurkers and to the trolls who I really wish would just lurk, but in the end you have to do your own thing, and that's you. Thanks to the funny and funny looking (if you wondered if the latter is you, it is). Thanks to the blues and to the muds and to the rouges and the greens and the pink (you know him as Matt Hamilton). Without each of you, this place would be what my HS wrestling coach said was the most worthless word in the world - potential.
A friend of this sport is a friend of mine, so If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit digitally next to me, and post on The UnderGround :-)
But why The UnderGround?
Today, more than any day of the year, America travels to sit down and eat with friends and family, with the people we love. So what does fighting have to do with friendship and love?
In Sam Sheridan's great "A Fighter's Heart" he explains, relating pioneering academic research on aggression by Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz.
"(Lorenz) talks about geese and says that two furiously aggressive animals must bond and live together in a small space, all without weakening intra-species aggression. They have evolved inhibitors, behavior-changing devices, that turns the aggression they normally feel toward others of their species into something else when they mate.
"The same thing, although in a more complex way takes place among men and women of the same tribe or family, bound together for increased success against the outside world. Lorenz writes that friendship is found only in animals with "highly developed intra-species aggression," and goes on to say that the more aggressive the animal, the deeper the friendship.
"The ability to love and form bonds has evolved as a way to temper aggression, to turn it into something more powerful when defending hearth and home. Friendship and love are essentially evolutionary by-products of aggression. Men and women who form these deep bonds - who evolved ways to mitigate interspecies aggression - have great success in passing along their genes."
It is all about love.
Dana White famously explained to the Oxford Debating Society (and everyone else) that fighting is in our DNA. But it is more than that. Fighting, along with fear, and procreation, are not just in there somewere, they are the core of who and what we human beings are. Love and friendship developed to make that agression, that fighting, work for us. Without fighting in our DNA, humankind would not have developed the capacity for deep friendship, and above all, for love.
So Happy Thanksgiving hippies!