In the 1995 action film Sudden Death Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Darren McCord, a fireman who loves his kids and doing spin kicks in equal measure. McCord finds those worlds colliding when his children become part of a hostage situation at Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Not during Game 7. At it. Terrorists have seized the Vice President (who was already in attendance; they didn’t just drag him there, though that would have been a funny twist) and wired the arena with explosives. Because the terrorists appreciate the importance of sports, they will now blow the building until the final horn.
If this all sounds very normal and mundane so far, you should know that the first fight scene Van Damme has in the movie comes against a woman dressed as the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot. Fair warning: This gets pretty gruesome!
In the event you chose not to watch that clip, I will tell you that the weapons both fighters utilized included a deli slicer, a cleaver, a deep fryer, an industrial ventilation fan, a meat tenderizer, red pepper flakes, and a dishwasher.
I have decided that this fight is the best cinematic summation of the LSU-Florida rivalry, a series which just added “drive extended by way of shoe-throwing penalty” to its incredibly stupid and hilarious history.
This is a game decided by running backs going to the wrong side on the goal line and fake field goals bouncing just right and weird jump passes working. Sense and logic are simply not part of the script. LSU-Florida is a fireman fighting a costumed mascot in a kitchen to the death.
It’s immaterial that the circumstances and proceedings are ridiculous. Van Damme fights Iceburgh because this foam penguin-person is trying to kill him. Iceburgh’s trying to kill Van Damme because he might screw up the brilliant hockey-centric ransom plot. A Florida defender throws a shoe because it wound up in his hands. An LSU defender grabs the most improbable sideline interception for, well, the same reason.
The only meaningful difference between the two is Van Damme gets to move on from that fight to other challenges, like actually taking the ice and playing goalie. (I’m not making anything up about this movie, which is perfect.) LSU and Florida have to do this fight scene over and over and over again, just waiting to see which one’s going to be the mascot strangled to death by a dishwasher conveyor belt.
You know, normal shit.