WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- If I'm about to die, the last thing I will see is former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin as he smiles at me.
|A choke-out from Jorge Gurgel will bring sunny dreams about beaches. (Provided to SportsLine)|
If I'm about to die, the last thing I will hear is Franklin asking Gurgel if anyone brought a camera to document this whole thing, because people in my position have been known to urinate all over themselves.
If I'm about to die, this was the dumbest idea of my life.
But if I'm about to die at least it won't take long. After four seconds, Gurgel squeezes one last time and the blood can no longer reach my brain and the well-lit gym starts to fade ...
• • •
"Hello? Hi. Hi! Hiiiiiii."
No. Shut up. Don't wake me yet, please? Someone turn off that alarm clock. I'm dreaming about an island and an ocean and --
Oh. Right. Him. It's Gurgel. For the last five or 10 seconds he has been saying "hi" or "hello" as he waited for me to regain consciousness. At least, that's what he says he has been doing for the last five or 10 seconds. In reality he could have been doing anything he wanted to me, from drawing a moustache on my face to dressing me in a thong to whatever prank his mind could conjure. But I came here to get choked out by UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel because I trusted him -- trusted him with the biggest detail of all, not to kill me, and with any smaller detail that followed.
I wake up, and Gurgel and Franklin are smiling at me. Congratulations, Franklin tells me, you didn't wet yourself. He's a funny guy, Rich Franklin.
I don't feel like laughing. Getting choked out hurts. That's no revelation, right? What just happened is the closest thing I've ever had to a near-death experience, and let me tell you something: If my dream was any indication, the afterlife is somewhere on a beach. Don't believe me? Fine. Get choked out yourself. Have your own near-death vision or dream or whatever my brain was doing as I lay there, asleep, being summoned back to consciousness by Jorge Gurgel.