Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Remembering the Hits...Literally...

"Remembering the hits and forgetting the misses" is a concept that gets talked about a lot in critical thinking books. Basically it means that we remember unusual or anomalous results more often than we remember routine ones. For instance, if I were a routine lottery player I might be more likely to remember the few times I'd won a prize than all the times that I'd played and lost.* Well, last week a lot of fight fans got a living example of this phenomenon.

You see, a fighter named Corey Hill suffered a grotesquely broken leg during the UFC Fight For the Troops event last week. As you can see from the video above (Pardon the music - that's not my doing.) , it happened when his opponent checked one of Hill's low kicks with his knee and the poor guy's leg snapped like a stick. As pants-wettingly horrific as it is, this particular injury has happened to other folks before, such as this guy, this guy, and this guy. Holy shit! That must mean that you should never, ever, ever throw a low kick, right? After all, you're pretty freakin' likely to snap your own leg like a piece of uncooked spaghetti...aren't you?

If you said "nope", you win a cookie. Even though shocking, unusual stuff like seeing a guy break his own leg throwing a kick really sticks out in your mind, you have to remember that those nauseatingly broken shins account for only four out of the hundreds of thousands of low kicks thrown by various fighters and martial enthusiasts every year. Throw a single low kick and you have only a minuscule chance of actually hurting yourself seriously, but if enough of them are thrown eventually someone's number is going to come up. I follow mixed martial arts pretty closely, and Corey Hill's injury is the only one of its kind I know about for the entire year of 2008. (The other three videos come from further back.) That's one catastrophic low kick injury in a year in which there were hundreds of MMA fights in the United States alone, not mention who-knows-how-many kickboxing matches, etc. That being said, more than a couple of my friends who are only peripherally interested in combat sports now seem to think that this sort of think is a routine occurrence.

Anyway, I'm aware that this wasn't exactly an earth-shaking post, but I thought I'd seize on the opportunity to use a more interesting example of "remembering the hits" than scratch-off tickets.

*Actually, I've won a total of $2 in the various lottery games.

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