Everyone, or almost everyone, wants to be a tough guy. Americans are infinitely interested in the question of who can kick whose butt.
As a kid growing up on the New Jersey shore, I was often involved in heated debates as to who was my school’s biggest badass. Even though there was an automatic three-day suspension for fighting, this involuntary vacation was well worth the price to defend your status as someone not to be trifled with. It was a matter of honor; you had to throw hands with anyone who challenged you.