Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Real American Gladiator

There are many things that define who we are: the things we do, who we associate ourselves with, the impact we have on the lives of others. For most people these vary. However, many guys in my generation are defined by the same three things- Lace, spandex and spray on tans.

Maybe I should expand on that.

Is there anyone who didn't watch and love American Gladiators? I mean, other than the foreign kid who is more familiar with the knock-off version Bulgarian She-Men.

What a great idea for a show. Take regular joes, and pit them against massive, 'roid induced, meat heads in creative and entirely unsafe competitions. Climb into a large steel ball and roll around banging into each other? Sure! Let she-hulk pull you off a climbing wall by your ankles? Duh! Have tennis balls shot at you at 100 mph? Sign me up!

Who didn't fantasize about running through the final obstacle course, jousting with giant q-tips, or jamming colored balls into odd shaped trash cans in Powerball? Every kid dreamed of having a giant tennis ball cannon that they could set up on their roof and fire at unwelcome guests.

Pair that with the awful windbreaker wearing, mustache sporting, awkward 'sports reporters' of the early 90s, and you have a show that can't miss.

So, naturally they tried to re-create American Gladiators in 2007 with Hulk Hogan and Layla Ali as hosts. And I think we can go on record here and say pretty firmly that any show that has Hulk Hogan and Layla Ali not fist fighting each other will be a complete failure.

But I watched it. I'm a sucker. Unfortunately, I had to come to the realization that some things are better left alone. Plus this guy REALLY creeps me out (I'm not sure if he's gonna eat my liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti, or tickle me inappropriately until I pee).

So we're left with our nostalgia of the mid-90s episodes, wishing we could play Swingshot, battle in Breakthrough and Conquer, or run on the Skytrack.

Unfortunately we eventually realized our dreams of tennis ball cannons may not be a part of our future...or will it? Enter the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster.

First of all, what an absurd name. Its completely impractical. Who would call anything that? You waste 10 seconds trying to say what it is when you could be blasting fools in the mouth!

I do have a few question though. 1) Who needs this? 2) Why don't I have one? and 3) Since when are kids having Nerf gun battles so strategic they need a mounted gun on a fixed position?

I don't know and I don't care. I'm getting one of these this weekend. So don't come near my house, or you will get sticky-darted in the face.

So here's to the excellent memories of the epic American Gladiator battles. I couldn't think of anything more American to celebrate this 4th of July.

Also if you're bored, have access to YouTube and haven't seen this video there's an 80% chance you will laugh. Oh Malibu....


  1. AJ.. just thought you might enjoy this comparison.. look at the picture if that guy and then this picture of Ben Stiller


  2. Sir. A better video compilation for you. Epic.