IF THIS STORY WERE a prizefight, Bruce Buffer would get introduced first. He's the challenger, after all, the baby brother by 13 years. Coming up in the shadow of a legend drove him to find his own voice, conquer his own sport, be his own Buffer. And so he should enter the arena to something suitably UFC, something suitably Bruce. "Jump Around," by House of Pain, let's say. Bruce jumps around. Nods his head. Raw energy wafts off of him in squiggly lines.
And now it's time for the champ. The lights dim, and as he makes his way toward the ring, the speakers blast something suitably Michael Buffer. "Diamonds Are Forever." The Shirley Bassey version, not the Kanye one with just the hook that the kids prefer. Michael takes his time. He knows how to enter a room. He makes the VIPs at ringside feel glad they dressed up. He doesn't have to charge himself up once he enters the ring because he was born for this. It's effortless. All he has to do is open his mouth.
What a family story, right? Two brothers who've scaled different peaks in the same range, Michael in boxing, Bruce in UFC. A pair of mountain GOATs. The full story, though, is more like a great American saga, not quite rags to riches but close enough, filled with money and guns and fights, foster homes and family mysteries, global plagues and cancerous tumors, Dana White and Donald Trump and James Bond, beer, bourbon, celebrity poker and -- date TBD this fall -- officially licensed bathroom products. If the Buffer brothers' lives were a movie script, it would come back with a note to tone it down about 25%. Yet every word is true. Almost every word.