Taking the gloves off

| Comments (5) | Gear Sports
Prior to last night's debate there was a lot of talk about how McCain should "take the gloves off". This is actually kind of a confusing metaphor. If you punch someone with your bare hand, you have to be quite careful where you strike;if you hit someone square on on the skull, you have a pretty high probability of breaking some of the bones in your fingers. On the other hand, if you wrap your hands in gauze/hand wraps and then put on boxing gloves, you can strike directly at pretty much any part of your opponents body without too much fear of breaking your hand (which isn't to say that it doesn't hurt, by the way). The gloves don't really improve the situation that much for your opponent, who I can assure you, experiences a quite substantial impact. Of course, if you really want to "take the gloves off" you could dip your hands in broken glass (see also putting on the foil, coach).


I suppose this could be a reference to hockey where the gloves coming off signals a fight rather than competition by the rules.

I absolutely agree that in a fist fight, bareknuckles actually improves the situation for the punchee.

A: Kevin may be right about it being a hockey reference, as hockey gloves are pretty useless to punch in.

B: You may not be able to PUNCH, but you can now grapple. So instead of fighting by Marquis de Queensbury rules, you're able to grab your opponent's hair and try to pull his head into your knee...

Hey, Eric: Aren't you flattered? Someone bothered to comment spam your blog!

The expression describes exactly the difference between being in a boxing match and being in a fight. Technical issues aside (and one can injure someone quite effectively with or without boxing gloves on by using tactics appropriate to the situation), the only time people fight wearing boxing gloves is when they're playing a (violent) game. The presence of gloves stands in for the agreement on rules, so going without them metaphorically implies that any tactic is fair game.

kudos for pointing this out.

but you have it slightly wrong. Gloves improve conditions for your hand, NOT your opponent's face, at least when you've been trained out of the natural tendency to pull your punches on impact with a hard surface... and McCain is a ex-boxer who probably would still have that tendency if he wasn't too physically limited from the torture to string together a good combo anymore.

Ask Mitch Green.. Tyson may have broken his hand hitting Mitch Green's face, but he knocked him cold and gave him stitches.

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