In my rugby days, I played second row. This meant that in the scrums my ears were ground from both sides by the hips of teammates wearing canvas shorts. To avoid cauliflower ears, most of us wore protective gear that looked something like ear muffs.
Which is to say that we were marginally more intelligent than these total morons:
Unfazed by the prospect of living life as a walking what’s-grosser-than-gross joke, a nationwide corps of professional fighters, amateur enthusiasts and teenagers have taken to leaving their ears untreated or self-treated, wearing their shriveled, hardened waxen auricles as badges of honor.
“It’s definitely part of the culture,” said Dr. John H. Park, a physical therapist in Rockville, Md., who specializes in treating M.M.A. participants. “They say, ‘Chicks dig that stuff because they know you’re a fighter.’”
…As a signature injury, cauliflower ear stands alone in one illuminating respect. Although most athletes tend to err on the side of overtreatment, or at least treatment, fighters develop cauliflower ear by avoiding medical care.