With the passing of UFC 158 Bloody Elbow users everywhere find themselves giddy with a new meme at their fingertips. I could hardly contain myself when 209 sensation Nick Diaz accused the UFC, and probably GSP at some point, of "selling wolf tickets". While I hit rewind out of happiness, I quickly figured out my fellow BE peeps hit rewind out of confusion.
I witnessed, and participated in, some clarification and link sharing about which phrase was said and what did it mean. A couple of the most popular links shared were Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, and this one. As for myself, I packed my gear and headed for a weekend in the mountains. Yes, I also missed the fight, but hey at least I didn't miss it because of babysitting or something boring. Today I am back online and see the meme has picked up quite nicely. I hear everybody saying "this dude is so late, we all know what it means. Hell we're certified MMA meme generators for crying out loud." I assure you I ain't sellin no Woof Tickets, I've got the history of your newest meme.
The phrase was originally "Woof Ticket". It originated in rural farm areas and towns with a lot of dogs (most people say the Southeastern US). It basically evolved from watching dogs interact with each other. Wild dogs were more abundant back then and naturally hung around farms. The wild dogs ran in packs (like wolves) and often were taken in or befriended by farm owners and their dogs.
So the people on farms were a witness to many first time meetings between dogs (domesticated, wild, or whatever). I hope everyone is familiar with k-9 meet and greet behavior, but if not, maybe this will help. When dogs are introduced without handlers things can get real; fast. Dogs often woof and bark but don't always bite. Eventually, "he's sellin woof tickets" was one way people would describe a dog, which is similar to us (mma fans) describing a fighter by saying "ahh, he's all lay-n-pray". The phrase was most often used in observing the dogs interact and trying to pick the alpha dog. Home-owners still use it to describe their own dogs and calm the fears of someone approaching their property. Hey, door to door salesman and front door postal service were all the rave at one time.
The people out of school for Summer would make their way to work on a farm somewhere and eventually picked up the saying, but often found themselves explaining what "woof" meant. So between people growing tired of explaining it (like myself in this post) and people assuming they are saying "wolf", the new saying became acceptable as "wolf ticket". And why not?, wolf and dog DNA have a lot in common. Furthermore, a person who is only on a farm 3-4 months out of a year can easily mistake a wild dog for a wolf.
-Author's note: I have heard the phrase used both ways since my childhood in the mid 80's, and whether people say woof or wolf, doesn't bother me. From my experience only elderly people will correct someone and when they stop correcting people it is a sign their hearing is going bad. I witnessed that first hand with my Uncle. I just thought a lot of people would like more info on the phrase. I would link my sources, however my Grandfather and his friends "do not fux with that computer stuff" as I was told.