An epic fight has gripped our office for the last few days, as polarized sides have hardened and dug in. No, it isn’t in reference to the upcoming Republican or Democrat Conventions, but rather to a more important age-old question: Who would win in a fight, a lion or tiger? Now, a quick trip to Google will provide you with a plethora of ammunition no matter which side of the fight you take, but there are many variables at play here.
“Lions and tigers each have their strengths, and "the outcome of a given fight completely depends on the individuals: their history, fighting style and physiology," said Craig Saffoe, a noted tiger sympathizer, biologist and the curator of great cats at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C. in a recent Huffington Post article. "But if I had to put my money on it I would give the advantage to the tiger," Saffoe continued.
Now this Mr. Saffoe is obviously a shill for Tigers, especially since he says that the fight depends on the individual but would “put his money” on the tiger in some kind of blanket statement. Well, let’s see it Mr. Saffoe. You get the biggest, baddest tiger you know and meet me at Michael Vick’s house, where I am currently training my lion.
Seriously though, throughout history Lions have repeatedly demonstrated their superiority. Here are ten reasons why Lions are superior in all aspects of life, from Hollywood to the plains of Africa and all stops in between. And I state unequivocally as an expert in lions that a lion would beat a tiger so mercilessly that you would hear the whimpering for miles.
Lions are social and live in prides
Put simply, lions have friends while tigers are losers. Lions are uniquely social among felines and they live in prides with other lions, while tigers roam around all alone complaining that they have no one to go out with on Friday nights. If you weren’t such jerks, tigers, maybe you would have more friends.
Snoop Lion and Haile Selasse
Snoop Dogg recently changed his name to Snoop Lion in a nod to Rastafarianism and Emperor Haile Selasse, embracing the lion as his new moniker. The only rapper I am aware that is named after a tiger is Tyga, who isn’t as bad as Drake or Kanye West, but he is certainly no Snoop Dogg. I mean Snoop Liony Lion. Of course Snoop also stated he was Bob Marley reincarnated, which is a little difficult since Marley was alive at the same time as Snoop, but then again Snoop has puffed a few over the years.
The Detroit Lions are the superior NFL team to the Cincinnati Bengals
It is frustrating that the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals will not meet during the 2012 NFL season, however, most sane NFL fans will agree that the Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford is superior to the Bengals quarterback “Raggedy” Andy Dalton. The Lions also have the best receiver in football, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, while the Bengals have A. J. Green, a good receiver but no match for Johnson. While the Bengals lead the all-time series against the Lions 7-3, the tide has turned and the Detroit Lions are now the superior team.
Disney’s Lion King and Jungle Book cast lions as kings and tigers as evil
One of the greatest Disney movies of all time, The Lion King, centers on Simba’s rise to power as he conquers his evil uncle Scar to assume the responsibility of not only a pride of lions, but also thousands of other animals who actually bow down to this Lion King. In the Jungle Book, Shere Khan is an evil tiger who repeatedly attempts to kill a defenseless child, Mowgli, but is thwarted by other jungle animals like Balu the bear and Bagheera the panther who come to Mowgli’s aid. Hardly the stuff of royalty, Shere Khan’s reprehensible villainy contrasts sharply with the kingly Simba.
There are no tigers on Broadway
The Lion King’s success on the screen was eventually adapted to the stage, and is currently a top-selling theatric production on Broadway. It’s no surprise that a story about a lion, a majestic and highly respected animal, made it to Broadway while the curt, short-tempered and uncivilized tiger didn’t make it out of the jungle. Can you imagine a play about Shere Khan? It would be like the character of Roy Cohn in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.
Now I’m not just saying this because my astrological sign happens to be Leo, but it certainly is one of the best collections of stars since The Expendables 2. Now I realize that the tiger has some constellation in Chinese astrology, but it pales in comparison with the majestic lion. Also, it took Hercules to put that lion in the sky, which I will delve into momentarily.
Lions have been the true test of strength throughout history, from Samson to Hercules and more
Samson, inarguably the strongest man in history until he got a haircut, proved his strength by killing a lion with his bare hands and then killing tons of Philistines with the jawbone. While the Bible doesn’t mention it, Samson also killed many tigers but it wasn’t until he killed the lion that he gained his reputation. Hercules, who is also a legendary symbol of strength, also killed a lion and put the lion in the sky. Daniel withstood the lions’ den, a notorious pit of danger to prove his religious meddle. The point is that if you want to get a reputation, you kill a lion, the ultimate test of strength. If you kill a tiger, no one is impressed.
Lions are the undisputed king of the jungle and king of beasts
I never hear people refer to tigers as ‘kings’ of anything, let alone the jungle. Lions don’t even live in jungles and still rule over them as monarchs. Every wildebeest that crosses the plains of Africa through the baobab trees has to pay a tariff to whichever lion that controls that specific territory. In fact, tigers had to move north to the frigid tundra where polar bears rule, and accept a position as the second-most ferocious animal in the climactic region.
The Lion of Judah: King David, Solomon and Jesus all belong to the tribe of Judah
The most celebrated of the 12 tribes of Israel, the tribe of Judah, uses the lion as its symbol. King David, who killed a giant with a stone, and his son King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, were both members of this lion-clad tribe. In fact, the book of Revelations even calls Jesus “The Lion of Judah.” Even thinly-veiled allusions to the Bible, like C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, feature the protagonist Aslan as a lion, who rises from the dead three days after being crucified. If you crucified a tiger, it would remain dead for eternity and engender the scorn of the WWF.
Lions are symbols of iconic companies like MGM while tigers sell sugar cereal to your children
Everyone recalls the roar of the MGM lion as they settle in to watch a movie. The iconic lion tilts back his kingly head and roars ferociously, letting the world know who the true king of the beasts is. In a sharp contrast to this, tigers are huge sellouts, none more disgusting than Tony the Tiger, who plays sports with children while attempting to sell them Frosted Flakes. Frosted Flakes, while obviously full of empty calories and gobs of sugar, are also one of the worst sugar cereals around. Even if Tony sold Captain Crunch, I could cut him some slack, because Captain Crunch is Grrrrreat. Frosted Flakes? Not so much.
I hope this has thoroughly convinced you that lions are vastly superior to tigers in every way, and would beat the sh*t out of a tiger if they met in the street. However, I will offer one caveat, and that is that Hobbes, the stuffed tiger of Calvin & Hobbes fame, is pretty cool. But other than that, lions remain the king of the jungle. Even Tiger Woods fell from grace.