Thursday, October 22, 2009

Famous Fights that Never Happened - Sinatra versus Cash

The Rules:
1. Two celebrities face-off in an imaginary fight.
2. Both are in their prime.
3. No weapons can be used.

Let's start the match, shall we?

In this corner, standing at 5'8, is Frank Sinatra.

Points in Sinatra's Favor:

  • Sinatra was expelled from high school at 15 for rowdiness.
  • His father, Martin, was an illiterate former prizefighter and fireman.
  • Frank's dying words were "I'm losing" implying that even death was a fight to him.
  • Sinatra has a highly unpredictable temper. According to one source:
"Though his temper was excessive, Sinatra was known for going from extremely angry to somewhat amused in a matter of seconds. In one incident he dumped hot coffee on a casino manager named Carl Cohen, who had somehow gotten on the singer's wrong side. Cohen responded by punching Sinatra in the face, knocking out his front teeth. Sinatra than concluded, as he later told a friend, "never fight a Jew in the desert."

"For all of his life Sinatra had a very unpredictable temper, often screaming at reporters and getting in fights. In one particularly violent tantrum he ripped a phone out of the wall of his hotel room, broke the windows, and then set it on fire."
  • Sinatra had endurance:
"Dean and Sammy, they couldn't hang," says Hank Cattaneo, Sinatra's concert production manager for the past 20 years. "They weren't in shape for it. After a half-hour, Dean would say, 'I gotta go to bed,' and then Sammy would say, 'Please, let me go too.' But the old man loved to hang, loved to talk and tell stories."
  • Sinatra's favorite passion was prizefighting and was a "close friend" of Tami Mauriello, a heavyweight contender in 1943.
  • A series of recent brawling incidents had been widely covered in the media on the night in 1957 when Sinatra and some of his Rat Pack pals dropped in on the act of insult comedian Don Rickles at a Hollywood club. Rickles, who spared no one during his act, immediately ad libbed: "Here's Frank Sinatra. Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody." After an awed silence, broken only by a few titters on the floor, Sinatra laughed with gusto and the tension was broken.
  • The Mob Connection - if Sinatra didn't win the fight, Cash would be swimming with the fishes. You don't disrespect Sinatra by kicking his ass.
Points working against Sinatra:
  • He's a crooner and crooners just don't seem tough.
  • He's dead, which makes fighting a challenge these days. 

In this corner, standing at 6'2 is Johnny Cash:

Points working in Cash's Favor:

  • Cash may be a little cold-blooded with lyrics like:
    "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."
  • Johnny had hard times in his blood: "Johnny Cash was born in rural south-central Arkansas, on February 26, 1932." Ouch. That's got to hurt.
  • Cash was of Scottish descent and Scots can be badasses sometimes.
  • Cash was Southern and Southern people like to kick ass.
  • Cash was high and high people are unpredictable with drug-induced superhuman strength:
"As his career was taking off in the early 1960s, Cash started drinking heavily and became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. For a brief time, he shared an apartment in Nashville with Waylon Jennings, who was heavily addicted to amphetamines. Cash used the uppers to stay awake during tours. Friends joked about his and erratic behavior, many ignoring the warning signs of his worsening drug addiction. In a behind-the-scenes look at The Johnny Cash Show, Cash claims to have "tried every drug there was to try."
  • Cash often said fuck you to the man:
    "In June 1965, his truck caught fire due to an overheated wheel bearing, triggering a forest fire that burned several hundred acres in Los Padres National Forest in California. When the judge asked Cash why he did it, Cash said, "I didn't do it, my truck did, and it's dead, so you can't question it." The fire destroyed 508 acres, burning the foliage off three mountains and killing 49 of the refuge's 53 endangered condors. Cash was unrepentant: "I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards."
    • During a live performance of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", Cash refused to change the lyrics to suit network executives, singing the song with its references to marijuana intact: "On a Sunday morning sidewalk / I'm wishin', Lord, that I was stoned."
    Points working against Cash:
    • He's a Pisces and Pisces can be real wusses.
    • He too is dead, which makes fights more of a challenge.
    • He posed like he did time in the slammer but he didn't really.
    "Although Cash carefully cultivated a romantic outlaw image, he never served a prison sentence. Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, each stay lasted only a single night."

    And the winner is?

    We believe from extensive research that whilst Cash was bigger and a badass in his own right, Sinatra is ruthless and soulless with brawling in his blood. We also believe that even though no weapons are to be used, Frank would disregard this rule and slice Cash before he knew what hit him.

    Tune in next week when our Celebrity Fist Fight includes:

    Steve Perry and Kate Bush

    Thanks to Ms. Ruby Lawrence for her contributions.

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