(A good representative of the spokesmodels at the Arnold Classic. I’ll let you decide whether that’s good or bad.)
I have no idea what Columbus, Ohio is like on weekends when it isn’t hosting the Arnold Classic and the UFC. Maybe it’s a normal, pleasant little town. But this particular weekend it shines like a beacon attracting every meathead in North America. It’s the kind of city where when you walk into a restaurant and ask the hostess if there’s room at the bar, she replies that there’s an empty seat next to a big guy in a backwards baseball cap and then stops herself when she realizes that description is no help at all.
The UFC knows what they’re doing coming here on this weekend. Instead of trying to draw their crowd to Las Vegas, this is the weekend that they go where their crowd already is.
And since I’m here to report on tomorrow’s fights I figured, when in the land of meatheads, go to the Arnold Classic – or, as I now like to call it, Land of the Awesome t-shirts.
(Yeah, you knew these assholes would be there. And Anthony Johnson.)
Walking around the convention center that houses the Arnie Classic, you’re bound to see t-shirts bearing slogans that seem like they’re making fun of t-shirts bearing slogans.
“Look Good Naked,” read one rather chubby man’s shirt. This prompts one to wonder, what about looking good clothed? A woman with large, obviously fake boobs wore one with a road sign on it saying: “Caution: Baby Under Construction.”
My personal favorite was one I saw on a guy who was nearly as wide as he was tall, covered in some kind of fake tanning chemical, sporting a carefully sculpted faux-hawk. His t-shirt said simply: “It’s just genetics."
It made me want to break into a ‘U-S-A!’ chant right then and there, except I would have been drowned out by the people a few feet away chanting ‘Muscle-Tech!’ Seriously.
Surprisingly, the Arnold Classic really has something for everyone. In addition to powerlifting contests and booths hawking every imaginable supplement, there was also a ping pong tournament, grappling competitions, and some kind of weirdo fitness dance-off that was immensely popular.
(It’s all fun and game until it’s not anymore.)
The strangest thing was the Army recruit station that offered a large scale war simulator that might have been cool if not for the fact that actual members of the Army are dying right now doing the real thing. Makes the fun video game experience seem…inappropriate.
I much prefer this type of combat.
(It was a good fight until the kid with the red gloves gassed out.)
Now I’m off to the weigh-ins, and after that our VIP party with Fight! Magazine at the Sugar Bar. If you’re in the area you should come on down at 10 pm and I’ll let you buy me a drink. Just don’t think it means that I, you know, owe you anything afterwards. Okay, maybe just one dance.