Fight Cup: a literal World Cup, Part 5

It’s part five of Doug Starnes‘ comically strange take on the World Cup, which you should be well on board with by now. Please find all the rest of them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. It’s hard enough to follow even if you know what’s going on, so do yourself a favour…

Group E

We’re halfway through the group stage of Fight Cup and just when you thought things couldn’t get any more ridiculous and esoteric, up pops Group E.

Switzerland – The Red Cross

Ecuador – Los Amarillos

France – Les Bleus

Honduras – Los Catrachos

The sharp end of battlefield nursing/Oona Chaplin who is pretty.

The sharp end of battlefield nursing/Oona Chaplin who is pretty.

15 June 13:00 – The Red Cross v Los Amarillos – I don’t want to state the obvious here, but the Red Cross shouldn’t be fighting anyone. Just like Switzerland, they’re neutral – proactively helpful even. Need to stow some ill-begotten wealth in our banks? No problem! Need free medical care and sanitation? Sure! Same thing really. It isn’t? Fair play, but the fact remains neither Switzerland nor the Red Cross will be involved in any dust ups in the immediate future. Just for giggles though, let’s explore everyone’s favorite alpine neighbor’s opponent in this early group round match.

Ecuador. Los Amarillos. The Yellows. You don’t need me to tell you that yellow isn’t exactly a colour with a menacing history. Bullfighters don’t wave yellow capes. The Bible doesn’t foretell of rivers running yellow with blood. You don’t slam on your brakes at a yellow light, you tend to just roll through those and pretend you didn’t see them.

In keeping with yellow’s callow reputation, a Google search revealed to me that there is a pop-punk band of high schoolers in California called The Yellow. They describe themselves as, “…four well-dressed high-school juniors of dubious personal hygiene. Purveyors of aggressive, tuneful guitar-driven pop that is alternately sweet and discordant.” They could be great, but they’re most likely a Fall Out Boy redux with acne.

So there you have it. Eleven aid workers taking on a tweenaged pop-punk quartet from California.

[Aside]: Really and truly, I’d love to see this fight happen in the real world.

In this day and age, to be an aid worker, I feel like you have to have a pretty serious commitment to your cause. Not a lot of aid workers out there saying, “@$%! This!” at the first sign of danger, picking up a rifle, and abandoning their life’s calling. That said, how many times has a whiny high school kid made you want to punch a baby? Now imagine four of them. With instruments.

Whatever actual fighting happens in this “fight”, I think it’s mostly handbags. And anyhow, anything that escalates to duffle bag or suitcase territory is probably patched up by an aid worker. Draw.

Los Catrachos in sunny New York. Looks yummy.

Los Catrachos in sunny New York. Looks yummy.

15 June 16:00 – Les Bleus v Los Catrachos – You may or may not be aware (let’s be honest, you’re not aware), Los Catrachos is a bastardization of Los Xatruches, the name given to the soldiers of Honduran General Florencio Xatruch who defeated an army of American freebooters commanded by William Walker in the mid-19th century.

Apparently, this William Walker guy was all about establishing a slave state in the area. From there, he planned to take over all of Central America. Florencio Xatruch could have been a complete dick in his personal life, but driving William Walker out of Honduras and El Salvador had to bank him some karmic currency. Stopping American South style slavery in Central America? +1.

So, on the one side we have eleven Catrachos. Sounds awesome, but remember, we’re talking mid-19th century Central America here. Old muzzle-loading muskets, static tactics, and probably a case or four of malaria or cholera. Basically, this is a squad of slow-moving, mustachioed soldiers who can’t shoot straight and are sometimes shitting themselves.

Not exactly the horse on which you put your money, but they’re fighting Les Bleus. Lots of options here. I could go the translation route and pit Los Catrachos against Blues music in a case study of magic realism. I could elect to divine who would win out between Los Catrachos and the French Television show Les Bleus, a programme centered around five young police academy graduates who manage to muck up most of the cases in which they become involved. Sounds entertaining to me, but I think the biggest thing in edge-of-your-seat good times in the mid-19th century was the harpsichord. Tough crowd. Lastly, I could stick with the letter of the law and select the most definitive Les Bleus of all the Les Bleus out there, the French Men’s National Football Team.

I mean, can you really argue? How typically French is it to have your mascot and your team be exactly the same thing?

I think the French National Team could actually give it a good go here. Eleven professional athletes in their absolute prime against eleven antique and malarial Central American soldiers seems like a fairly even match, assuming of course that Les Bleus have the desire to win.

Let’s take a step back. If you plopped down eleven national caliber football players in a stadium-sized death match against eleven hardened killers, cholera and musket afflicted or not, they would absolutely crumble, wouldn’t they? Can you imagine Olivier Giroud charging a mid-19th century jungle warrior and bludgeoning said warrior to death with the butt of the musket he wrested from his malaria-ridden body? No. No you cannot.  Win: Honduras.

Not those Les Bleus.

Not those Les Bleus.

20 June 16:00 – The Red Cross v Les Bleus – I think this match takes a little while to hot up, but eventually Franck Ribéry snaps and kills a lot of people. Immediately following the match, he calls Didier Deschamps. “Didier, it’s Franck. You’re my manager so I think you should know: I’ve killed a lot of people. Tonight I, uh, just had to kill a LOT of people. And I’m not sure I’m gonna get away with it this time. I guess I’ll uh, I mean, ah, I guess I’m a pretty uh, I mean I guess I’m a pretty sick guy. So, if you get back tomorrow, I may show up at Harry’s Bar, so you know, keep your eyes open.” Win: France.

20 June 19:00 – Los Catrachos v The Yellow – Clearly, William Walker was a massive affront to the sensibilities of the people of El Salvador and Honduras. They drove him from the area in an armed struggle, nicknamed themselves after the soldiers who gave Walker the business, and then the Honduran government went one step further in 1860 when they executed the guy.

I’m not sure a high school pop-punk band from California could elicit that sort of ire in Los Catrachos, but I still think the Hondurans win this one easily. In much the same way mosquitoes send one into a baby rage, I think The Yellow tempt Los Catrachos just enough to catch a few dismissive jabs from a rusty bayonet. All three points to Los Catrachos!

The Yellows. They actually exist and here is proof. 'Hip Shit

The Yellows. They actually exist and here is proof. ‘Hip shit” nails it for me.

25 June 16:00 – Los Catrachos v The Red Cross – I know you’re thinking this is another walk in the jungle for Los Catrachos, but remember, these guys, statistically speaking, are probably chronic sufferers of malaria and cholera and yellow fever and God only knows what else.

Before the builders of the Panama Canal got serious about eliminating infectious diseases in their workforce, malaria deaths in employees occurred in something like 16/1,000 in July…of 1906! And that’s just malaria! Los Catrachos were tromping through the jungle beating the hell out of William Walker’s freebooters in the mid-1800s and I’m pretty sure they did it without the aid of quinine or larviciding or…soap. In short, more than one of them is probably feeling a little woozy.

All it’s going to take is one Red Cross worker who speaks a little Spanish (and I’m pretty sure they’ve got that covered) to explain that he/she has some pills and IV bags that are going to make everything all right. There may be a tense moment or two at the beginning of the match when Xatruch’s boys get first introduced to modern medicine, but after that I think this match warms the heart for all the wrong Fight Cup reasons. Draw.

25 June 17:00 – The Yellow v Les Bleus – I just cannot see the French Men’s National team taking too warmly to a tweenaged pop-punk band from California. They really don’t occupy the same strata, socially speaking, and even bludgeoning The Yellow to death with their own instruments seems somehow un-cool for someone like Bacary Sagna who wears that hairstyle with a straight face.

I think the French mill about at their own end of the pitch looking cool and aloof, maybe talking about hair products and WAGS, while The Yellow try desperately to get their attention, even if it means igniting a murderous, Gallic rage. Anything to get the cool kids to notice, right? Alas, it’s all for naught. Maybe at the twenty-year Fight Cup reunion they’ll finally see The Yellow for the undiscovered pearl they were back in high school. For now, draw!

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