The Contender - A review

I'm a boxing fan. How am I non-violent and a boxing fan? I miraculously reconcile the two. Maybe I'm off-base, but on the sport's morality scale that I have, boxing is more moral than football. But more on that if anyone wants to discuss it.

The thing I love most about boxing is the discipline a boxer must have. I would actually have my children be boxers if Lindsay would let me because of the characteristics it develops. Boxing, unlike baseball and football, can't be played by someone faking that they are in good shape. A boxer must be in good shape, or he will be done with quickly.

The traits I love about a boxer, besides Mike Tyson, is being able to persevere with pain, controlling your emotions and not lashing out when being beaten, and developing alertness at all times for a weakness in your opponent. I love boxing as an art of discipline and long for it to become popular again. It would be much better to watch on Sunday or Saturday afternoon rather than golf or some human test of endurance.

This led me to watching the reality show, The Contender, last night. It was a great show, and it flipped the rules of reality television on its head. These people had integrity. The way the game works is that they divided the boxers into east coast and west coast boxers. Then they have them compete in a competition. The winner gets to choose who boxes whom, with the loser being eliminated. Sounds pretty normal. Except it isn't normal with what the west side did when they won. They didn't want to send one of their experienced fighters to poach off one of the inexperienced east coast fighters. They didn't feel it was right. Instead, they sent a rather inexperienced boxer of their own against the best boxer the east coast had to offer. It was crazy. Most reality television participants manipulate and trick in order to get an easy win. Not so here. The west coast winners took the hard way. And in the end, they were victorious.

The Contender. Bringing some morality back to reality television.


I do know the tragedy that fell The Contender. One of the boxers killed himself a few weeks ago. The story is here. It appears that he had trouble adjusting back to his normal lifestyle after being on the Contender. It's sad, sad stuff.

Watch out for the potholes.