It’s 2015, and in 2015, the troll is king.
Not sure when the meaning of the word troll transitioned in the English lexicon, but it can’t have been that long ago. Troll, from describing a mythical creature to someone starving for attention, trolling from a method used to catch fish to one that ensares passionate, overly-serious people in a web of unwinnable arguments.
Point is, everyone knows what a troll is now. Skip Bayless is a troll, proud as can be. Donald Trump is a troll, the fact that he is too stupid to be doing it deliberately a mere footnote to his condition. I’m a troll. Sometimes, but only in service of a larger point. I swear.
All evidence points to this obvious fact. Trolling is in it’s prime.
Tyson Fury is a mighty fucking troll. No doubt. Born to do this. There he was yesterday, at the opening press conference for the world heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko that he more or less talked himself into, doing his act lock, stock and goofy barrel.
An act, you say? Maybe. Watch this performance and do your own math on it.
If you’ve seen enough of Fury’s shtick, you might be skeptical. Sure, it’s a game of shit talking Madlibs depending on who the opponent is, so much so that Wladimir Klitschko made sure to point out that he knew exactly what Fury was gonna say before he said it and thus would not be gotten to, under any circumstances. Still, after almost an hour of being told he was slow, boring, weak, cowardly and his mother was an astronaut, Wlad had just about had enough. Can’t imagine anyone not feeling that way. Oh, and it’s worth noting that he’s gonna hear more of the same for another three goddamned months. You see, Fury is an unrelenting, unrepentant force of braggadocio, blather and bombast. At some point, the words cease to have meaning and give way to the larger point, which is that this big, clumsy man has the temerity, the audacity, the absolute lack of fucking decorum, to carry on as he does. He needs a beating. He needs to be brought back to earth. If there is any justice, he will.
This is the guy who sat up there, twenty feet from the reigning king of the heavyweights, the man who hasn’t lost a fight in 11 years, and told him he was a joke. That he hadn’t beaten anyone of consequence, and that his wins came as a result of holding, jabbing and basically boring his hapless opponents to death. Mind you, all of this was coming out of the mouth of a guy whose resume is about 1/100th as impressive as the man he was running down, and Fury did all of this with no hint of irony or sarcasm whatsoever. Tyson Fury, the man who has been protected ever so carefully up to this point. The man who ostensibly just earned this shot at the king by beating some guy named Christian Hammer. The dude who was once floored by a light hitting journeyman fighter named Steve Cunningham. This Fury guy has to be a joke, right? The same type of act as so many that have come before him. Pretenders, hustlers and charlatans like David Haye, Adrien Broner and old Conor himself, right?
Call me an idiot, loon, whatever. I don’t think there is any doubt that Fury believes in himself, wholesale. I also don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s missing a spark plug, or two. Hell, that’s part of his charm, if not all of it entirely.
Arbitrary as fuck, this distinction/judgement call I’ve made? Maybe. Truth is, I love Fury and cannot stomach Conor McGregor in the least. Conor’s actions and persona are calculated. Scripted. Completely and utterly contrived. Conor has read the book on how to play the troll, even added his own chapter, but deep down he isn’t that guy. Deep down, he’s still playing a part. You can watch his post-fight interview after defeating Chad Mendez and watch him switch deftly into humble, proud Irish guy mode and know that he’d been up all night practicing that speech. His act, brilliantly conceived and performed though it may be, is still an act. Fury, love him or not, ain’t acting. He ain’t playing. He is what he looks like he is. He’s a nut. He’s a cheeky devil. He’s totally sincere.
Question for you. Do you think, if Tyson Fury were to somehow unseat Wladimir Klitschko on October 24th, that he’ll launch into some humble, humanizing soft shoe in an attempt to make himself more likeable? Or do you think he’ll be the same ridiculous, immodest dickhead he’s been from the jump. The guy who did this.
That’s who Tyson Fury is. He’s the guy who thinks he’s better than you, at everything. The guy who thinks he’s singing a song by Elvis Presley (it’s by Marc Cohn, ftr) and won’t be told otherwise. The guy whose twitter rants are way too outer space to be written by handlers, brand managers or Conor McGregor. The guy who thinks he’s gonna flatten Wlad because he’s younger (sure), faster (debatable), stronger (no chance) and just plain better (and utter fucking hallucination) than him. Strike that, the guy who knows all of these things. For a fact.
Tyson Fury is gonna get waxed by Wladimir Klitschko. First, outboxed and outjabbed. Then, knocked the fuck out. Decisively. What he won’t do, though, is be outworked like Broner, or fight the cowards fight, like Haye. No, he’ll go out on his sword by walking right into a punch he didn’t see coming, because Tyson Fury won’t think he can beat beat until he is. Such a shame it is, because we need this guy to win. I do for sure. I need Tyson Fury, heavyweight champion of the world. I need his fantasy to be never ending. I need this slow, awkward, average at best fighter to be the most famous sporting man on the planet. The walking embodiment of irrational confidence. The logical extension of that old “mr. Show” skit about imminent death syndrome. Totally clueless, only not.
The biggest troll job of them all. The guy who willed himself to be what he has no business being.
And don’t forget, all month long we’ll be featuring our 27 UFC Gifts for the Fight Fan in your life post just for you so you can make Christmas easier on yourself while also being a hero!