Selling Out? Moi? Perish the Thought

Guess which big-budget summer blockbuster starring Robert Downey, Jr., the creators of FMJ watched before pitching the show. (Remember, The Sherlock Holmeses both came out in December.)

Apparently, the blog is well and truly resurrected now, for the inbox is starting to fill once more with off-topic press releases and requests to slip paid content and links into my old posts in awkward, intrusive ways.*

But the most recent inbox volley brought an offer I don’t mind taking them up on, an ad for a new show called Full Metal Jousting that’s debuting Sunday week on the History Channel.**

What I learned from their free preview, which you can see by clicking the only slightly intrusive javascript widget above, is as follows:

1. “Jousting is the one competitive sport in the world where there’s no defense.”***

The History Channel is taking the bold stand that surfing, cycling, long distance running, short-distance running, middle-distance running, swimming, luge, skiing, biathalon, triathalon, golf, weightlifting, curling, archery, shooting, sailing, modern pentathlon, ice skating, speed skating, ice dancing, gymnastics, and that gymnastic thing where they twirl the ribbon are all either not competitive, not sports, not in this world, or feature a defense. Way to fire a broadside right at 80% of ESPN’s programming.****

Also, armor now no longer counts as a defense. I assume it’s been reclassified because there’s no peacock plumes in their helmets or tokens from their ladies fair.

And when you clink your bracers together, it causes lightning to flash. Just like Captain Mar-Vel's Nega-Bands! (It is unknown whether this will cause a confused Rick Jones to appear. I'll keep you posted on all the important developments as the day continues.)

2. They “guarantee there will be injuries.”

So like Nascar with horses. And hopefully less country music. But there were two dudes wearing cowboy hats in the promo, so I wouldn’t count on it.

3. “The hit that you’re going to experience on the end of that lance is unlike any force that you’ve ever experienced.”

I am uncomfortable with their shift into the second person. You think you know what forces I’ve experienced now, do you, History Channel? Ostensibly, they’re talking to the muscular, tanned, tattooed dudes who are going to be jousting, but you never can be too careful about these things.

Also, I’m pretty sure the force of a lance hitting me would be pretty similar to any force created by imperfectly elastic objects transferring momentum during a collision, unless the History Channel is horning in on Discovery’s old beat.***** Could the lance be the long-sought fifth fundamental force that opposes, albeit weakly, gravity’s pull?

4. “Each joust is like being in a car crash.”

Except there’s a horse there in the car with you. But he won’t stop changing the radio to NPR, and Morning Edition ended hours ago. Can you blame a man for crashing his car into a knight on horseback to try to escape the eighteenth hour of the Diane Rehm Show?******

4. One of the jousters******* boasts “I’m going to knock a lot of the tattoos off those guys’ arms and put them on their faces.”

Kids, this is why ambiguous pronoun antecedents should be left to the professionals, because we have no way of telling whether the flaxen-haired braggart means he is going to knock these tattoos off and then unhorse the tattoo’s owners, so that (figuratively) their faces touch the ground, or if he is claiming he has the power to transfer tattoos from one part of a person’s body to the other.

5. “This type of jousting, it ain’t no dinner show. It’s the real deal.”

If these knights are the real deal, I hope the producers of the show have considered what to do if the Pope declares a crusade. Or if the French start getting uppity again.

Also, take that, Medieval Times aficionados. Though you comprise the main demographic to which this show appeals, you’re a bunch of suckers. Don’t you dare try to eat a giant turkey leg while watching this show. They put it on late for a reason. I don’t care if you skipped lunch because you were too excited by the idea of seeing 20 minutes of guys talking about jousting, three minutes of the same 15 second jousting clips played over and over again, and 7 minutes of ads for Medieval Times and that lady who sells the dragon crystal paperweight thing.******** Put the turkey leg down. It’s no movie. There’s no Mekhi Phifer.

But there is a lance that defies your limited human understanding of the laws of physics, and if ratings start to slide, I’ll bet they start making those dudes ride Hitler Sharks, maybe even jump them over some Fonzies. The only rule is there are no rules. And no defense–which might technically count as a rule. So there may be at least one rule. I’ll check with the officials and let you know.

  1. * I have to delete those before my erratic co-blogger sees them. I shudder to think what he’d get up to with the money. Thankfully, he hasn’t figured out PayPal just yet.♣  
    ♣ I would not be so sure about that, porcine sodomite–and while we are on the subject, you should surely lose some weight so that you could fit your pale, quivering fleshy bits into a fine Medieval War Axe Pinstripe Mens Vests such as can be found currently at for only $39.98 with free shipping, a savings of over 49% off a price they clearly fabricated by multiplying the desired sales price by 2. []
  2. ** You know, the Alien, Hitler, and Alien Hitler network. []
  3. *** If I were an actual sports fan, I’d probably have a zinger here along the lines of “No defense? Sounds like the History Channel hasn’t seen [Insert famous team known for having a bad defense here.] []
  4. **** First they cam for the ice dancers, and I did not speak out, for I was not an ice dancer and thought it was kind of goofy, really. Then they came for the curlers, and I did not speak out, for I never bought that “Chess on Ice” line–I mean, c’mon, really? Chess on ice? Did I miss the day at Chess U when they covered the rule that lets your horsey dude move an extra space if you sweep off the spaces in front of him with a broom? Y’know what? Take the curlers. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of people on that list before you get anywhere near me. []
  5. ***** A beat that’s wide open now that Discovery has discovered that you can just send a camera crew around with a couple of antique dealers and so long as you’ve got a distinctive font and an adjective or two handy you’ve got a whole weekday lineup. []
  6. ****** Fun fact: Diane Rehm has been locked against her will in an NPR studio deep in a bunker beneath the famous Haliburton-built Undisclosed Location since 1987. Each papery crack of her increasingly fluttery voice is augmented to encode messages to sleeper agents in deep cover in foreign nations. []
  7. ******* Who I’m going to assume is following the Puck school of reality tv acting. []
  8. ******** ♣♣ I am glad you mentioned that dragon crystal paperweight thing, flabby chalk-white blogger, as the complete series of the critically acclaimed 80’s cartoon Dungeons & Dragons is also on sale for less than the price of two of Starbucks’ sinfully addictive Venti Caramel Macchiatos. []

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Linda C. McCabe


    Your English teacher would be proud of you for diagramming the grammar mistakes in that commercial.

    Wow, so the History Channel is competing with the National Geographic Channel. 

    As I started reading your blog post I thought that this series was just a rebroadcast of the Nat Geo’s “Knights of Mayhem” reality series.  Then I watched the clips and didn’t see any sign of the foul mouthed tattoed and testosterone poisoned Charlie Andrews and his troupe of jousters.

    Had you caught that “reality” series?  The aspect that bugged me the most about it was the repeated neglect of training with the horses.  Multiple times jousters would mount an animal and try to joust without the horse cooperating with them.

    Really?  The first time you get on a horse wearing full armor is when you plan on competing?  Really?

    :shakes head:

    Yeah, I bet a lot of Olympic athletes who compete in equestrian events wait until the day of the competition to consider training their horse.

    I reviewed the Nat Geo series on my blog a few months ago here: 

    At least reading the short bios of the jousters in this show has many mentions of them being experienced horsemen.  Hopefully they won’t be repeating the same stoooopid mistakes I saw on the Nat Geo show.


    • Steve Muhlberger

      I have seen jousting in a number of venues and it really is remarkable how many testosterone-poisoned young men think jousting is entirely about hitting somebody really hard.  Guts is all you need!  Then the old guys who have ridden for years get on and clean the field with the kids.   
      Then of course there is the fact that riders on good horses beat riders on untrained or flaky horses.  Like in every other horse sport.
      It’s all about the  horse.

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  • Judy S

    I think they meant contact sport rather than competitive sport, but it still makes no sense. As a fan of ice dance, I think that a superb twizzle is the best defense.
    Also, you and Sr. Renard owe me a keyboard. Mine is covered with snot and coffee.

  • Nancy Frye

    My husband is jouster and knows a few of the persons involved with this show. We’re getting a huge kick out of the hype and hypberbole. There’s also a lot of eyerolling around the house, but at the end of the day I think it’s cool that jousting, if not a type that I endorse, has made it to television, albeit as a sort of reality show.

  • Jennball

    funniest post you’ve done in a while

  • Katja

    I find FMJ to be weird, I also wonder where the Hell are PETA when you need them? The horses get hurt as well I’m sure.
    Those horses have no barding!

  • Maria

    “If these knights are the real deal, I hope the producers of the show have considered what to do if the Pope declares a crusade. Or if the French start getting uppity again.”  For me, that was the funniest part of a VERY funny post.

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