Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fight of the Week Results: Gordan Ramsay vs. Anthony Bourdain, Week 5

The Bullet Points

- Toughness. I put Tony out in front in this department. His hard knocks experiences growing up in the Big Apple is evidence that he knows how hard things can be. He’s got that tougher edge and could probably take a lot more punishment. Ramsay is no slouch here, either, having moved out of his family house and into his own flat at 16, but I think that he is more vulnerable to attack. He claims to have been abused as a child and, rather than toughening his hide, it just gave him a crass outward appearance so volatile and intimidating that no one would dare attack him. I bet he hurts bad inside. Tony, I think, is tougher, but that’s largely a matter of opinion.

- Aggression. Tony is an angry guy but far more laid back than Ramsay. You can see the frustration in Tony when a TV shoot isn’t going well. You can hear the scathing criticism in his voice when he writes or talks about something he completely despises (including most of the television-based culinary world). He is still, however, nice to the faces of most people he interacts with, only dicing them up in writing or in post-edit voiceovers. Ramsay is blindly aggressive. He takes on all comers, no matter what. If he thinks you’re shit, he will tell you so to your face. If you want to talk back to him, he’ll slam you against the wall of his lifetime of cooking experience. He will not hesitate to give his full-blown and fully-emotional point of view. It’s like a Jedi vs. a Sith. One contains his emotions and one works through them. At least publically. Ramsay definitely has the edge in this category.

- Physicality. Ramsay used to be a footballer and Tony’s a squishy alcoholic smoker. This was usually the first comment out of everyone’s mouth when I told them that these two were fighting. Babe Ruth was another New York-based squishy alcoholic smoker who accomplished incredible physical feats. Not to say that Tony is as particularly squishy as the Bambino (as per the visual evidence). I was pulling for Tony in this area but, in the end, the physical nature of Ramsay beats him out.
Though available internet pics show Tony as having the build of Iggy Pop, I think Ramsay keeps up with that kind of thing more often.

- Street Smarts. Sure, Ramsay had it tough; alcoholic father, leaving home young, and blowing an apparent pro-football career due to a bum knee (the reality of this is still subject to debate). This gives him the aggression as we’ve said above. But, Tony has the street edge. He would probably know how to fight dirty and do it well. I’m giving Tony the nod in this category because of his gruff, punk rock kind of style. He’s the guy who would wear steel toes and spiked leather gloves to the fight without thinking twice and he’s who I’d rather have on my side in a bar fight.

In the end, I think if they were to truly duke it out, Bourdain would throw the first punch. It would be a hell of a fight due to the factors listed above, not necessarily the blow out that most Ramsay voters thought it would be. However, as loyal as I am to my man Tony, I have to go with the facts. I think Ramsay would have the edge in stamina. Tony would be out of breath before the third round. I know this because I would be, too, and I don’t smoke half as much as Tony used to.

Debate Winner:
(Tony’s dirty tactics negate Gordon’s superior athleticism)

Vote Winner
Overall Winner: GORDAN RAMSAY

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