The last time we devoted blog space to Ultimate Fighter coach Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz, some of you complained that we were applying a double-standard by encouraging his drunken antics and denouncing those of Jesse Taylor and Junie Browning. Fair enough, but what you have to remember is this: when a young, strong professional fighter gets drunk and violent, it’s called assault. When a crazy old man who goes by the name “Stankie” does it, it’s hilarious. Why? Because he’s old. The rules are different for old people. The rest of us just have to accept that.
It’s kind of like when you go to a family Thanksgiving and your racist grandfather makes a remark about “those thieving, hot-blooded Latins.” There’s no point in getting upset, and you know he’s just talking about Desi Arnaz anyway. So you do what any minimally functioning family does. You pass the potatoes and pretend it didn’t happen.
Today’s Stankie story comes yet again from Ryan Bader, who seems way more interested in telling these tales than any other cast member, God bless him. This time, it was our very own blogger, Efrain Escudero, who found himself pulled into the mysterious world that Stankie seems to inhabit all by himself:
Stanky had this thing with Efrian Escudero. He liked Efrian a lot but really wanted to spar him. Stanky always told him that he would kick his ass if they boxed. So one day we told Stanky his dreams were going to come true. Nogueira told him he could spar Efrian in straight boxing if he wore the chest/rib protector. They would spar in the ring, with full walkouts and the whole hooray. I would corner Efrian and the rest of the team would be behind Stanky. This made his day, if not year — well, probably decade.
Kyle overheard Stanky while he was hitting the speed bag warming up talking to himself. Stanky was muttering out loud to himself, “Stanky, one last hoorah. This is it, old chap! You’re back in the game! Back in the fire! Do this and you can finally put down the gloves.”
Efrian and I walk out first, make our way to the cage and get him ready. Stanky comes out with the whole team behind him, on top of the world. It almost looks like he was going to break into tears. He entered the cage and gave Efrian a menacing look. (Or was he just squinting to see Efrain across the cage because they took of his glasses?)
The bell sounded, and they are at each other’s throats. Well kind of, considering Efrian could only hit to the body on Nogueira’s persistence. Stanky was actually telling Efrian to engage and heckled Efrian the whole time. In the end Stanky came out on top, with a little help from Efrian, but on top. This was his time, his glory, his moment where he shouted out, “Ponchita!” (His wife’s name.) “Ponchita, I did this for you!” The scene freezes, goes to black and white, and fades out to blackness on his team’s shoulders.
Wow. Seems like Bader gets a little carried away there at the end. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t, and I’m almost expecting him to admit that it was all just a crazy dream he had. Someone please just tell me that there is video evidence of this and possibly other Stankie antics.