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The Biggest Fight

The Biggest Fight

The Biggest Fight

Sports in Storytelling: The Power of Triumph, Discipline, and Humanity

Sports and storytelling have been intertwined for centuries, a dynamic partnership that transcends time and cultural boundaries. They both showcase the essence of human struggle, triumph, and personal growth. Whether in film, literature, or real life, the themes and symbolisms that arise from sports can resonate with all, even those who may not be sports enthusiasts.

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A Battle Within and Without

In The Biggest Fight, Joey Habib, a motherless teen, faces internal and external battles, struggling to find a balance between violence and peace. His journey from an angry child to a disciplined professional fighter is a reflection of human nature’s dual aspects.

*SPOILER WARNING AHEAD* I suggest you read the short story first, before reading through this section.

Here’s what the story conveys:

Symbolism of Wrestling and MMA Fighting

The sports of wrestling and MMA fighting in Joey’s life are symbolic of his inner struggles. Wrestling, often considered raw and primal, represents his innate anger and aggression, while his transition to MMA reflects a more refined, focused application of these energies. These sports become a stage for Joey’s battle between his father’s teachings of peace and patience and his uncle’s violent and irate tendencies.

Themes of Discipline, Respect, and Humanity

Joey’s victory over Franco Cruz is more than just a sports win. It symbolizes his triumph over his inner demons. By embracing his father’s teachings and showing compassion to his opponent, Joey wins not just a match but a moral victory. His father’s final words, “Peace and patience always win,” encapsulate the core theme of the story, highlighting the triumph of discipline, respect, and humanity over violence and anger.

A Universal Connection

Stories like The Biggest Fight and others from film and literature illustrate that sports can be more than mere entertainment. They symbolize our internal struggles, societal challenges, and shared human values. The disciplines, training, competitions, victories, and even defeats in sports all translate into life lessons that resonate with many.

In a world where aggression and haste often seem to dominate, Joey’s tale, and similar stories, stand as a testament to the enduring power of qualities like patience, respect, and empathy. Whether you are a sports fan or not, these narratives connect us to our shared human experience, reminding us that it’s not just about winning a game, but how we choose to play it.

Recommended Works of Film and Literature

Film

Rocky (1976): The classic story of an underdog boxer overcoming personal and professional hurdles reflects themes of perseverance, determination, and self-belief.

Remember the Titans (2000): A story about a high school football team during racial integration illustrates the power of unity, teamwork, and breaking down cultural barriers.

The Way Back (2020): A former basketball star turned alcoholic finds redemption and hope when he’s hired to coach his alma mater’s struggling high school basketball team, rekindling his passion for the game and inspiring the young players to reach their potential.

Literature

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: In this novel, the battle between Santiago, the old fisherman, and the marlin he’s hooked symbolizes the eternal struggle of man versus nature. Fishing here is not just a sport but a profound metaphor for life’s challenges, resilience, and honor.

The Natural by Bernard Malamud: This novel tells the story of Roy Hobbs, a baseball player, and his tumultuous career marked by success, failure, temptation, and redemption. Baseball becomes a platform for the exploration of the American Dream, hubris, and the human condition.

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby: An autobiographical novel that explores the author’s obsession with football, particularly Arsenal FC. It’s a witty and insightful look at sports fandom, personal identity, and how football can become intertwined with daily life.

Final Thoughts

In literature, sports often go beyond the game, becoming rich and multifaceted symbols. They offer a unique lens to view life, culture, psychology, and even spirituality. From Hemingway’s deep existential musings to Hornby’s modern social commentary, sports serve as a versatile storytelling tool.

Whether it’s the disciplined grace of a professional fighter in “The Biggest Fight” or the stoic perseverance of an old fisherman, these stories resonate with readers from all walks of life. They remind us that sports are not just about physical prowess or competition but about the essence of being human. The playing field, the ring, the river all become stages where life’s most profound dramas unfold.

This story was submitted on Reedsy into Contest #174.

If you enjoyed The Biggest Fight, check out my other short stories.

The Biggest Fight