Jeff Pearlman

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I am a wuss. But I challenge Briscoe Cain to a fight.

Fake Tough Guys need guns.

Fake Tough Guys need guns.

In case you missed this, during last night’s Democratic presidential debate a Texas state representative named Jonah Hill Briscoe Cain responded to Beto O’Rourke’s suggestion of an assault weapon ban by Tweeting this …

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Social media jumped all over ol’ Cain, noting that threatening the assassination of a presidential candidate (or, really, anyone) isn’t a particularly good look for a member of the state government. Some of the replies were pure gold. One that had me laughing at the gym was offered by  Jack Burton, who—after Cain’s Tweet was deleted—wrote, “Why’d you delete that tweet? Squirt a little pee out knowing your ass is getting a call from @FBI?”

I digress.

Guys like Briscoe Cain annoy the fuck out of me because—like Donald Trump, like Mike Pence, like Ted Cruz—they’re fake wanna-be tough guys. I mean, see the photo at the top of this post? Yeah, that’s Briscoe Cain in cowboy garb, standing on some ranch near some fence. Only (gasp!) he’s not a cowboy, has never been a cowboy and almost certainly doesn’t know how to ride a horse or lasso a calf. He’s a suburban kid from the leafy neighborhood of Deer Park, Texas (home of Andy Pettitte and NFL kicker Zane Gonzalez). He attended college; got a law degree from the South Texas College of Law. His name has some history in Texas—a lot of society page mentions of  a Briscoe Cain from back in the 1960s. Either his dad or grandpa …

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Briscoe Cain is actually Briscoe Cain III. His grandfather, Briscoe II, was a mayor of Calvert in Robertson County. Which is weird, because in his official biography Briscoe III doesn’t mention this. Nope, in his bio he just “grew up in a working class home in Deer Park. The son of a plant operator and occupational nurse, he was taught the value of hard work and a strong commitment to his community.”

Right.

So here’s an offer I wanna make Briscoe Cain: Let’s fight.

Leave your gun at home. Stash the bullets. And let’s go toe to toe in the middle of a cell. Bare fists. Me v. You.

Am I tough? Fuck no. My lifetime fight record is 0-1, and the single loss was a staggering gym class KO. However, I am 100 percent certain I can beat the shit out of this sniveling little runt; this aspiring John Wayne who—despite a gazillion studies insisting it’s a bad idea—feels compelled to own an AK-47 and (apparently) keep it in his home. He’s younger than me, he’s surely quicker than me, he certainly talks tougher than me. But I will bust my fist into this guy’s nose, and I will enjoy doing so.

And I won’t need a gun.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life