Search Box

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Who would win in a fight?

I happened to see this picture of the First Couple hosting their final state dinner yesterday --


-- and I had the same childish thought I often do: which of them would win a fight?

Michelle has the arms and shoulders, and appears toned:



Whereas Barack, seen here pre-Presidency, does not look all that hard-bodied:


Michelle also seems to be more of a fighter by nature:


Whereas Barack appears less belligerent:


And Michelle actually has an interest in fisticuffs:


Whereas Barack appears to be more of a pacifist:


Then again, Barack has the guy thing going. Early on in his Presidency, he played basketball:


Though he has reportedly given that up, and now just plays golf:


It's a tough call.

But my guess is that if they ever did go at it, Barack is the one who would end up shaken to his core.

(I know, silly post. But I swear, I have that thought every third or fourth time I see a picture of them, and I needed to exorcise it.)

25 comments:

Jokah Macpherson said...

Funny.

But yes, to a very close approximation, any man would absolutely destroy any woman in a fair fight, regardless of what the movies tell you.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
Thank you.

I agree, in principle, though in this particular case it at least SEEMS as if it could go either way.

Steven said...

I'd put my money on Obama but I wouldn't be confident. He looks pretty broad and like he's got some muscle on the beach photo. Plus height, reach and man strength. You think Trump could take Obama, at his age?

John Craig said...

Steven --
It wasn't an entirely serious post, I was just in the mood to insult the Obama's after Michelle's "shaken to my core" speech.

That's a good question, actually. Trump weighs a lot more, but he's never looked particularly athletic to me, and his sport of choice is golf, which is sort of a non-sport sport. Then again, Obama has been looking awfully skinny recently. The only honest answer I can give you is, I don't know. Eight years ago, when Obama was still playing basketball, I would have said Obama, fairly easily. Now, I just don't know.

Steven said...

Jokah, untrained man vs untrained woman or male vs female in the UFC at the same weight, I'd agree with you. The man wins a very high percentage of those.

However, you'd be surprised how well *some* girls can do in grappling, like in BJJ, when they train against guys. I've seen girls get really good submissions on guys at the same level. Highly trained kickboxing women will beat male novices too. So I'd think a tall woman highly proficient in martial arts could beat most ordinary guys.

Steven said...

John,

Trump is taller than Obama and in the last debate I thought he had this quite heavy, lumbering quality when he was towering over Hillary. I could imagine him being strong. If Trump was Obama's age, I'd give it to Trump but not sure with the age.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, no question, high level mixed martial artists who are women would do well against similarly sized men. But I think Jokah was referring to the average man on the street vs. the average woman on the street.

Steven said...

yeah I agreed with him on that but he mentioned the movies so my point was the right woman kicking ass isn't totally unrealistic (though its usually some skinny chick and they way overdo it).

Anonymous said...

Love your choice of pictures to illustrate your point, John! Julie

John Craig said...

Thank you Julie. (They were chosen with care.)

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Obama, he came down with a case of plantar fasciitis, so had to give up the basketball. It's a nasty painful condition.

What's BJJ?

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Ah, I hadn't heard about the fasciitis.

BJJ = Brazilian ju jitsu.

Curt Flood said...

I feel like there's (an obviously very very important) story to be written about Obama's lack of basketball game. I've never seen him really play (just still photos), other than him missing twenty shots in a row when shooting around with a bunch of kids. In the still photos, he wearing jogging pants which is....bizarre. I wonder if his "love" of basketball is more of a calculated political move to make him seem more masculine and appeal the hip-hop generation. They rely on NBA players for that too. Now, Obama did play basketball in high school so its not completely made up....but I think its likely he went a couple decades without being involved.

Awesome blog by the way. I got pulled in on a search related to Asbergers and now look forward to a daily nightcap!

John Craig said...

Curt Flood --
Thank you. Yes, Obama was just a JV player at Punahou, couldn't make the starting five. He attributed this of course to his coach not understanding his style of basketball. I think the more telling story is that Obama thinks he's better than he is. You can tell with all those pictures of him playing with NBA players, and the serious expression on his face, that he takes (or took) his basketball very seriously. And you also know that all those NBA players he scrimmaged with were letting him score on them, not guarding him closely, etc. And I'd be willing to bet that Obama, narcissist that he is, took this as evidence that he was in fact close to being at their level.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Tucker Max wrote an essay years ago about playing pick-up basketball with Obama at the University of Chicago. I don't know how true it was but it was pretty funny.

John Craig said...

Jokah --
That was interesting, thank you. Obama actually sounds like a nice guy from that description, which doesn't really square with my perception him. I see him as an Alinsky-style con man, and I never hear him speak without hearing at least a few lies, or at least misrepresentations.

I think the reason Tucker Max was surprised by Obama's inability to stand out -- despite Obama's being black and knowing the game -- is because he's not taking into account the difference between East Africans and West Africans. almost all American blacks are of West African descent, meaning they're high testosterone fast twitch athletes. Obama is not only half white, his black half is East African, and Kenyans are known for their endurance, not their jumping ability or speed. In fact the fastest an East African has ever run the 100 meter dash is 10.4 seconds, which is amazingly slow when you think about it. (The fast person of West African descent, Usain Bolt, has run a 9.58, and both Asians and whites have dipped -- barely -- under 10 seconds.)

Steven said...

People are always talking about those of west African descent being good sprinters because that's the source population of African Americans and Jamaicans. But good luck telling a Nigerian apart from a someone from the Congo or South Africa. is there any evidence that within Africa, west Africans are any more athletic than central or southern Africans? Apart from that happens to be where the slaves were taken from.

Runner Katy said...

Awesome post, again! So do you think Barack or The Donald would win a basketball game? Love the running stats, I didn't even realize the differences were that stark!

John Craig said...

Steven --
Yes, if you look at the results of track meets, there have been a fair number of West Africans who have excelled at sprinting. It's not a question of being more "athletic," it's a question of what they're talented at. The East Africans (Kenyans and Ethiopians in particular) completely dominate distance running.

Interestingly, the sweet spot for whites seems to be the 800 meter run. It's a little long for the west Africans, and a little short for the East Africans, though an East African, David Radish of Kenya, now holds the WR in the event. But it was the last running event in track that a white man (Sebastian Coe) held the world record in.

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
Thank you very much. I think there's no question, Obama would win at basketball. To the best of my knowledge, Trump never played the game.

Steven said...

I just looked down the list of all the men who have run 100m in under 10 seconds. I count 11 from West African countries- most from Nigeria, also Ghana and Ivory coast. I also count 4 from South Africa and 2 from Zimbabwe.

Nigeria + Ghana = 190 million people. South Africa + Zimbabwe = 60 million people.

Southern and central Africa have small populations compared to west Africa. Nigeria is one of the richest and most populous countries in SS Africa and predictably produces a lot of the sprinters.

So I don't see any strong evidence that west Africans have more sprinting talent than central or southern Africans, who you probably couldn't tell them apart from in a line up.

John Craig said...

Steven --
South Africa has had some great sprinters, including Frankie Fredericks, a great 200 meter guy who had the misfortunate to run at the same time as Michael Johnson (I think Fredericks went a 19.66 or thereabouts.) And at these past Olympics, Wayde van Niekirk, who set the WR at 400 meters.

But whether or not they have more talent, people of West African descent have dominated sprinting for a long time, due mostly to the fact that virtually all Western hemisphere blacks are descended from slaves taken from West Africa.

gambino dellacroce said...

At the least, I take it as evidence of the lack of polarity in couples who lean left on the political spectrum (something I think you have commented on previously). In my own experience it holds true: male and female move away from their masculine and feminine poles and converge; in some instances they cross over. Here I say they meet pretty much in the middle (and it probably drifted from when he was first in the Oval Office and was still shooting hoops).

gambino dellacroce said...

Steven:

I think if you look at gold medal winners, that will give you your answer. Considering sub 10 times is a false measure, particularly given the downward drift in times and the fractions between winners and losers natural to the sport of sprinting.

John Craig said...

Gambino Dellacroce --
True about the lack of polarity in this couple. But I think that rule applies more to whites than to blacks, in the sense that being more masculine generally correlates with sticking up for one's own race, and the political positions that go along with that attitude. (I wrote about that somewhere too.) So, an effeminate white male is more likely to be liberal -- and believe in white privilege, etc. -- whereas an effeminate black male is less likely to gravitate to black culture. (The average gay black man seems to aspire to white culture more.) And it's the skinny, somewhat wimpy black guys (like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle) who are the most critical of black culture. (Chappelle has since gone on steroids, but that's a different matter.) So, in that sense, Obama is an anomaly, since he's not that masculine, but all of his domestic initiatives are from the Left, and mostly about helping blacks at the expense of whites.