Fight to the death in Falvey

Santo Caruso

Now that the basketball season is officially over, it is time for Villanova’s only campus-wide sport to return to center stage. Full-contact, no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle, ultimate finding a computer in Falvey between noon and five. Or UFC-FBNF for short.

Yes, once rated the most extreme of the illegal underground death matches, UFC-FBNF is making its comeback as desperate students do whatever it takes to get to one of the coveted open terminals in the Main campus library.

Though vision and quickness are crucial components to successfully maneuvering the six rows of identical Dells, the less-gifted students stick to brute force to gain access to their e-mail, instant messenger and most often whatever stupid thing they want to read on the internet while desperate “outsiders,” as those waiting for a computer are known, tear at each other.

Matches are separated into three distinct periods: the hunt, the clash and the log in. The hunt is characterized by combatants circling around the pillars and popular reading section rack, hoping to position themselves closest to “insiders” who appear to be packing up books or slowly rising from their seats.

The good ones can spot an AIM conversation wrapping up; the greatest have the timing and sequence of clicks that goes along with the event that starts every match, the log out, memorized.

The skill and suspense of the hunt are quickly replaced by the sheer brutality of the clash. As the “insider” finishes the log out, thereby signaling the end of the hunt, competitors have fractions of a second to dodge obstacles such as book bags, chatting students and, the most crippling, a slow librarian with a cartful of books inconsiderately left lying around.

Combatants do anything during this brief window of opportunity, up to and including slitting the throat of their own mothers, to get to that seat. Shoving, kicking, scratching and hair pulling are not uncommon events during the clash, and though the use of weapons such as pens, staplers and notebooks is discouraged, no holds barred means anything goes.

After the flurry of violence that colors the clash, the log in is the culmination of the UFC-FBNF match. A true champion can begin the log in before he or she has even sat down and is capable of typing in their username and password one handed, fending off a barrage of “outsiders” attempting to extend the clash.

The end of the login can always be delayed by a bogged-down Ethernet or a mistype, leading to the dreaded “Invalid username or password.” This screen usually causes the struggling participant to pass out from the pressure of remembering the random noun, number, noun sequence of their password because they never changed it from the one UNIT originally assigned them. (Though often sued for deaths resulting from mistyped passwords during UFC-FBNF, UNIT denies accountability as UFC-FBNF is illegal. Furthermore, every student is able to change his/her password through a series of trials similar to those in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”)

The victor of a UFC-FBNF match enjoys the spoils of checking their e-mail every 15 minutes for an hour, making sure their friends haven’t changed their away messages in thirty seconds and looking for updated Facebook profiles. Veterans have been known to read every page of or The Onion, mostly to frustrate the circling vulture “outsiders.”

Observers, besides being disgusted by the graphic display of true human nature through mostly unarmed combat, have noticed the stunning application of the event to global politics: the “insiders” are the haves, and they pit the “outsiders,” or the have-nots, against each other, partially for their own amusement and partially for their own bloodlust and need to eliminate potential future competition. Where Marx would call for the proletariat “outsiders” to rally against the bourgeois “insiders,” the reality is that the minority “insiders” use up all of the resources, most noticeably the terminals and the brief time between classes, while the lower class members battle among themselves. The tragedy of the poor continues.

Already banned in over thirty countries, UFC-FBNF has remained intact only where it originated: Villanova University. Credited with creating the bloodbath disguised as a sport, Doug Petock has retired as the all time leader in kills, the UFC-FBNF equivalent to a victory, and in actual hospitalizations. He still trains in Mendel Field and continues his work as an innovator of full-contact sports around various parts of Villanova’s campus.

Though no match has ever been caught on tape, it is widely speculated that over 30 students are mortally wounded each day, and by mortally wounded I mean they don’t get to check their e-mail. Do your part to prevent senseless violence; check your e-mail and move along.