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kiefer uses his head, but not in a good way
proof chivalry is alive, or something else?
by jeffrey d. walker

If you missed it, Kiefer Sutherland recently head butted and broke the nose of fashion mogul, Jack McCollough, at The SubMercer in NYC during an after-party for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala 2009. McCollough "jostled" Brooke Shields as he walked past her, almost causing her to almost fall; Kiefer was upset that McCollough didn't apologize, so Sutherland approached, was reportedly shoved by McCollough, thereby prompting the Kiefer head butt. NYC Police have since charged Kiefer with third-degree assault.

Kiefer, who was born Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland, is a 42 year-old actor, producer, and independent record label owner, who has never once been associated with the WWE or TNA. As such, head butting seems like a pretty insane thing for him to up and do.

Or does it?

Here, we will examine possible motives for Kiefer's actions.

(1) Kiefer, the knight in shining armor

Given the facts, the most plausible explanation follows the theory of Occam's razor; Kiefer really was sticking up for Brooke. What straight male among us hasn't been driven by testosterone to do something aggressive, albeit perhaps foolish, in trying to impress a woman? Kiefer is currently single, was recently voted the second most beautiful person by Canadians all over Canada, is roughly the same age as Brooke, and let's face it, Brooke is a tall drink of water. Why wouldn't Kiefer attempt chivalry on Brooke's behalf?

This being the most plausible theory, it goes first. But I will note that, even assuming this is true, this may not be the only contributing factor. In fact, chivalrous Kiefer could also have been acting in concert with:

(2) Kiefer, the absolute drunk

McCollough states that Kiefer "was drunk and obnoxious and wouldn't back down or be logical."

Earlier in the evening, at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Rose Bar, Kiefer was reportedly "... running around wearing a giant feather boa and acting totally crazy. He was dancing feverishly and twirling people around all over the place." Sure, that report doesn't outright say he was drunk, but I think it's implied.

Tales of Kiefer's frequent hard-drinking aren't hard to find. An unidentified former co-star reports that Kiefer would "go to the bar immediately after he'd finish working. He'd sit there for hours, putting them back. When it was time to go home, he'd be cantankerous and ornery. He was not a pleasant drunk."

Another report states Kiefer once consumed "six alcoholic beverages within a span of 45 minutes," on an airplane, and "... was so bombed, he got violent and threatened bodily harm to another individual on the plane."

Kiefer has been arrested twice previously for drunk driving (in 2004 and 2007) as well as other "reckless driving" incidents before those, and also once drunkenly attacked a Christmas tree.

Ergo, Kiefer head butting someone in a drunken state is another fairly reasonable explanation. Much more so than:

(3) McCollough had a spider on his nose

Yeah, probably this isn't why.

But there's always my favorite theory (hence, the last one), which may be a third contributing factor added to theories (1) and (2)... or, it just may be the single overlaying factor which explains theories (1) and (2):

(4) Kiefer, the total publicity whore

Perhaps it was no coincidence that Kiefer chose to head butt someone on a Monday night, exactly two weeks before the season seven finale of his hit show, "24". Nothing like an old publicity stunt to spike the finale ratings!

I don't want to make is sound like Kiefer is desperate or something. "24" still does well, and it was reported as early as March that Kiefer is already signed on for season eight of "24". Plus, he's got that whole being voted second most beautiful person by Canadians thing going for him.

But I don't think that just being successful is enough for Kiefer. I believe that he must be paid attention to WAY more often that just Monday nights on Fox.

I mean, besides that whole Christmas Tree attack thing, Kiefer been doing kooky stuff for some time like Impromptu Karate demonstrations for booze, and taking his pants off at a Karaoke bar (see photo).

Add to that the arrests, the heavy public drinking, even his career as an actor, and it all makes perfect sense: Kiefer's antics are just the ongoing behavior of an attention whore.

But don't get me wrong. I don't blame, or even disparage Kiefer if being an attention whore is truly his motivation. Heck, I can identify with that.

Which is why I have a piece of advice for Kiefer: hire a camera crew!

Take a page out of that Christmas Tree thing. When you decided to body-slam that tree, you waited until the spectators had you on camera. Now, when you search Google video for: "Christmas Tree Drunk," "Christmas Tree Tackle", or even "Kiefer Tree", there you are, right at (or near) the top.

But if you look for a "famous head butt" video, you now what you'll get?

The answer is Zinedine Zidane head butting Italian defender, Marco Materazzi, in the 2006 World Cup final after Materazzi called Zidane's sister a whore. Check it:


Kiefer, if you just had video footage, you might have been a contender for top internet head butt video of all time. You drew blood, after all; Zidane only drew a red card.

I know that there is no footage of Kiefer's head butt, because if there was, TMZ would certainly have broadcast it by now. So, we'll never get to see it. I mean, we can speculate: The Kiefer head butt could have occurred like this, or maybe this. Who knows?

But the point is, Kiefer, while a picture is allegedly worth more than 1,000 words, I can tell you that a video of your head butt would have been worth about 2,336,488 internet hits. Not to mention all of the other internet spin-offs. For example, Zidane's hit produced:

A slew of mash-up / remixes of the incident;

A French song called "Coupe de Boule" (translated to mean "Head Butt");

Not to mention, the video game.

Sure, the game is sort of cheap. And sure, you are a voice for a better video game character; but it's not a game about your head butt, Kiefer.

Instead of these spontaneous little incidents, you need to think much grander, Kiefer, and hit them with a stunt that will be watched and parodied for years to come online. Now that's attention whoring on a Jack Bauer scale!


A practicing attorney and semi-professional musician, Walker writes for his own amusement, for the sake of opinion, to garner a couple of laughs, and to perhaps provoke a question or two, but otherwise, he doesn't think it'll amount to much.

more about jeffrey d. walker


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joe redden tigan
5.24.09 @ 10:58a

andy samberg tells the story (and actually has film footage) of how, before he hit snl, he and his co-writer buddies were making a short film in LA that involved a mugging of an old woman (hilarity ensues). they had to do several takes and apparently during one of them kiefer happened by in his car, thought there was a real mugging going on, stopped, and proceeded to jump from the car to come to her rescue. samberg et al. quickly showed they were actors and everybody had a good laugh. with all that's been goind down with kiefer lately, i'm not saying he wasn't drunk at that time either, god knows. but you gotta love a world-famous actor putting the brakes on in the middle of LA to try to break up a mugging, whether sober as a judge or drunk as a skunk.

joe redden tigan
5.24.09 @ 11:01a

my point being there that i vote for a cross between (1) and (2). kiefer might already have a Lancelot complex, exacerbated all the more by the drink.

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