Bull Durham: To the True Meaning of The First Fight SceneThe theme of this paper is to dissect the first fight scene; in themovie Bull Durham, between Crash Davis; who is played by Kevin Costner; and”Nuke” LaLoosh; who is played by Tim Robbins. The fight takes place in a barscene between these two men who have never met before. The reason for the fightis that Crash Davis is talking to a women by the name of Annie Savoy who issitting at one of the tables. Nuke already believes that Annie is going to bewith him all season long, but Crash believes otherwise.
In the beginning of the scene Nuke is dancing with all of the women inthe bar while Crash is sitting alone in the corner of the bar. Crash thenorders a drink for Annie, and is then asked by Annie to come over and sit by her.
Crash introduces himself to Annie and tells her that he is the new catcher onthe Durham Bulls baseball team. At the same time Nuke comes over and ask Annieto dance, but Crash stands up and says that she is dancing with him. When Crashstands up in front of him, Nuke takes this as a challenge and he asks Crash ifhe wants to take it outside. At this point Nuke still does not know that Crashis his new catcher. While Nuke is waiting for Crash outside, Crash begins towonder how he is going give Nuke his first lesson to make it to the majors.
When Crash finally comes outside he sees that Nuke is standing in themiddle of the street. Nuke is not alone he has the entire baseball teamstanding behind him. First, Crash says that he does not want to fight him.
When Crash says this everyone else begins to tease Crash. Next, Crash tellsNuke to throw the first punch, but Nuke refuses to. So instead, Crash tellsNuke to throw a baseball as hard as he can right at Crash’s chest. When Nukehears this everyone around him including himself begin to laugh, because theyknow how hard Nuke can throw and that it could kill Crash if it hit him in thechest or the head.
During this entire time Crash is keeping a cool head. He knows that thechance of Nuke hitting him is very small. Also, he tells Nuke that he won’t beable to do it because he is beginning to think about it. Crash goes so far asto say that Nuke’s aim is so bad that he could not hit water if he fell out of aboat. Crash also says that his million dollar body could do it, but its hisfive cent head that is holding him back. Finally, Nuke becomes so upset that hethrows the ball at Crash, but misses and ends up breaking a window. Crash looksat the hole that Nuke just made and say ball four. When Crash says this, Nukecomes at him and tries to punch him. Before he can, Crash punches him right inthe nose and causes him to fall to the ground. After Crash knocks him to theground, he introduces himself to Nuke as his new catcher and helps him up. Inthe end, Crash invites Nuke back inside for a beer and to talk.
The number of communicational concepts that appear in this shortinteraction is very high. The mental distractions that are present in thisargument are factual distractions and semantic distractions. A factualdistraction occurs when someone focuses so intently on details that they missthe main point. This is exactly what Crash’s intentions were when he was tryingto make fun on Nuke in front the rest of the baseball team. Nuke was so angryat Crash for calling him names and insulting him that he could not hit Crashwith the baseball. The other mental distraction that occurs is semantic. Asemantic distraction occurs when someone over responds to an emotion-laden wordor concept. Crash also brings this upon Nuke when Crash says to Nuke “Your justpissing away that million dollar body of yours with that five cent head.”Another very common event in today’s society is stereotyping. Thestereotyping that occurred in this engagement was categorizing or when someonelooks at another person and they think they know what kind of person they are.
When Crash stands up to Nuke in the beginning of the scene, Nuke thinks thatCrash is just a washed up old man who could not hold his own in a fight. Nukealso thinks that because of his size and weight advantage that he willautomatically win any fight. Another stereotyping of Nuke is that he believesthat Crash is saying these things because the has been drinking and when peopledrink they cannot control themselves in a fight. Nuke’s beliefs made him asksCrash if he wants to take it outside. More categorizing occurs when Crash firstsees Nuke, Crash is thinking that he is just a immature man who thinks that oneday he will be in the Majors. Crash also thinks that he should be respected byNuke just for thinking that he is older. Crash also believes that the is abetter man and that Annie would rather be with him than Crash. Just because hethinks that he is older and more mature. Both of these men’s first impressionsof each other are very close.
Another problem with listening is ourselves. One of Nuke’s big problemswas experiential superiority. Which is when someone looks down on anotherbecause their experiences with life is not as good or as extensive as his own.
When Crash stands up to Nuke, Nuke automatically thinks that he is better, sincehe is younger and is going to be in the majors. At the same time Crash thinkshe is better since he is older and more mature. Besides experientialsuperiority another problem with ourselves is defensiveness. This is acharacteristic of people who act threatened, as if they must defend what theyhave said or done. Both characters display this feature while talking withAnnie. First, Crash displays this when he tries to defends his claim, when Nukecomes up to Annie and asked her to dance right in front of Crash. Nuke thendisplays this characteristic when Crash stands up saying that Annie is going todance with him. Nuke then retaliates by asking Crash if he wants to go outsideand fight about it. Nuke also experiences this feeling when he is beingpressured by Crash to throw the ball. Because of Crash, Nuke is feelingpressure in front of all of his teammates and friends. Because of Nuke’sattitude he could not refuse to go after Crash with vengeance.
Besides the men’s verbal actions there nonverbal communications are justas important. During the entire conversation Nuke tried to show ahigher status. He was constantly either crossing his arms or standing with hishead and shoulders back. The was especially evident when they were outside ofthe bar. Crash took on an entirely different approach to the situation. WhenCrash came outside his kinesics were in a likely manner. Crash came out andwanted to talk the situation over instead of fighting. Crash had his arms open,tried to look Nuke in the eyes, and had a smile on his face; yet they all wentunnoticed. When Crash realized that he was not going to get out of theconfrontation, he decided that he would have Nuke throw a baseball at him sincehe new Nuke could not do it. Another nonverbal action that is only seen by theaudience occurs when Nuke has left after asking Crash to step outside. At thispoint Crash has a look on his face of wonder and fright. How is he going to getout of this without getting killed. The nonverbal communication between the twomen start the entire conflict, not only in this one sequence, but throughout theentire movie.
Another nonverbal communication that could be seen in both characterswas nervousness. When Nuke told Crash that to come outside, nervousness couldinstantly be seen in his face. Crash was both nervous and scared. He waswondering how is he going to survive this situation without having to fight Nuke.
Nuke started to become nervous when Crash started to make fun of him and callhim names. Since Nuke was standing outside by all of his friends he had to holdup his reputation as a bad guy.
One small hand shake that took place after Crash punched Nuke had a lotof meaning. First, Crash introduced himself and changed the entiremeaning of the confrontation. Nuke just believed that he was some guy thatwanted Annie, but in the end, he realized who Crash was and what he stood for.
After Crash introduced himself he tells Nuke that this is his first lesson”Don’t think, you’ll only hurt the tea.” Nuke respects the way that he wentabout getting his point across. He could of either been beat up very badly orhe could of been killed by the baseball.
When Crash stands up and grabs Nuke’s arm he is trying to defend hisasking of Annie to dance and instantly invades Nukes space. Nuke’s attitudetowards this is not to back down, but to stay where he is and to fight about it.
When Crash grabs Nuke’s arm he is also using touch to get his message across.
By grabbing the arm Crash instantly places more emphases on his words.
Not only were there misunderstandings in this conversation, but if theyhad not happened the argument never would have taken place. The firstmisunderstanding was that Nuke did not know that Crash was his new teammate andcatcher. Another misunderstanding was that they both did not know that Anniehad already choose which man she was going to take under her arm for the season.
The misunderstandings that occurred in this confrontation, tells us thatone main problem is men and the way that they act towards each other. Also, ifhumans would try to communicate instead of fighting changes could be make.