How is pankration like politics?

by wfgodbold

So there I was, minding my own business reading about MMA (for some reason). I saw that Frank Shamrock had practiced Pancrase, a wrestling format based on ancient Greek Pankration (which I read about in the historical novel The Ten Thousand, a fictionalized account of Xenophon‘s Anabasis).

Naturally, I read some more about pankration, when I learned of the fighter Arrhichion:

In an odd turn of events, a pankration fighter named Arrhichion (Ἀρριχίων) of Phigalia won the pankration competition at the Olympic Games despite being dead. His opponent had locked him in a chokehold and Arrhichion, desperate to loosen it, broke his opponent’s toe (some records say his ankle). The opponent nearly passed out from pain and submitted. As the referee raised Arrhichion’s hand, it was discovered that he had died from the chokehold. His body was crowned with the olive wreath and taken back to Phigaleia as a hero.

That is totally badass.

And somehow, applicable to the GOP debates and infighting about who the nominee for the 2012 election is going to be. Everyone is so focused on using the media to break their competitors’ toes, they don’t realize that the end result is that eventual winner will have been choked to death by all of the unfriendly media coverage by the time the convention finishes.


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