Monday, June 02, 2008

I don't care, and you can't make me!

There's a few things in sports that seem to be hot ass topics, but I couldn't give 2 shits about. You realize that means I have to give my opinion on said topics, right?

Mixed martial arts on CBS: Hard to believe CBS, a network whose demo is even older than me, was the broadcast outlet for something that skews so damn young. I didn't see the Elite XC show because I was at a benefit Saturday, and the only TV there was tuned to, obviously, the Red Wings.

(Note from Big Al: Not that I was able to watch much of the Wings game either, as the alcohol was flowing and the bullshit was being slung as I was talking to friends I hadn't seen in quite some time. I finally got to see "The Kill" or "The Shift" //I've seen both used in regard to Hank Zetterburg's Conn Smythe worthy 5 on 3 penalty kill// Sunday morning. All I can say is...WOW! But I digress...)

To be honest, I had totally forgotten MMA was making it's mainstream TV debut this past weekend. But from reading the blogosphere the last few days, as damn near EVERYONE has an opinion about what transpired, it seems I'm in a very small minority. Then again, I'm already in a very small minority, being an older sports blogger who remembers when boxing was king. Which also explains my "meh" feeling when it comes to MMA in general.

I'm not a hypocrite. I'm not going to call MMA barbaric, call for it to be banned. If so, then you'd have to say the exact same about boxing. As I consider boxing a sport, then MMA is as well. Sure, it's a violent sport with vastly different rules than boxing, and the fighters have a different skill set, but it's a sport all the same. A bloodsport, but still a sport.

I was able to see some of the Elite XC fights via the miracle that is the world wide web. From my admittedly uneducated in the ways of MMA view, by far the best match was between 2 women. Women put on the best, most evenly matched, fight? Good Lord, this was the best MMA has to offer?

To a person like myself, to whom MMA is more show than legitimate sport, and the type of sports fan they want to convert, the overall show featuring an overrated Kimbo Slice, wasn't the best way for the somewhat marginalized MMA to reach out. They did not put their best foot forward.

So to hear the complaints from the blogosphere claiming Kimbo Slice is an internet creation, with no true skills other than looking like a bad ass and having the ability to brawl, and is fighting nothing but washed up tomato cans? That fights were stopped at the wrong time for the wrong reasons? That the under card was full of total mismatches? That the most exciting thing to happen was seeing some poor soul's ear explode into a mass of bloody cartilage?

The first thing that comes to my mind is, "Sounds exactly like it's worst."

To break out the hairy old cliche', the more things change, the more they stay the same. MMA apparently is just like boxing. As much as both bloodsports strive to become mainstream, neither will ever become more than a sideshow to stick and ball sports.

It's a damn shame the lousy MMA event had considerably more viewers than the hockey on NBC. The players on the ice were world class, unlike the stiffs they rolled out on on CBS.

The Lakers-Celtics "Rivalry": First off, I'll admit my bias. I'm not a fan of either team in the NBA Finals. Of course I'd have preferred the Pistons to have made the finals instead. But it's not the teams themselves that have me going. It's a specific kind of hoopla surrounding the final that, as Peter Griffin said on Quahog 5 News, "Grinds my gears."

I'm not looking forward to being beat over the head by the MSM and NBA with a so-called rivalry that hasn't actually been a rivalry since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were in their primes. You know it, and I know it, even if ESPN/ABC attempts to convince us otherwise. No matter how many ways they try and spin it, events of 20-25 years ago do not a rivalry make.

Rather than sell the fact the best 2 teams in the NBA are facing each other in what should be an entertaining series, the powers that be would rather sell a NBA that no longer exists, except in the memories of those of us who were lucky enough to have lived through it.

For example, I have ESPN News on right now, and the 4 letter their talking heads recalling their "Favorite Lakers-Celtics rivalry moment." Every "moment" comes from the 80's. My God, I just saw a clip of Kurt Rambis, for chrissakes! Enough already!

When you have to reach back to 1987 for something memorable between the 2 teams, that isn't a rivalry. It's past history.

Big Brown's hoof: I don't care for horse racing. I never watch horse racing. I'd only be interested if I have a betting slip in one hand, and a beer in the other. Even then, I'm more interested in the beer.

Horse racing is dead and buried. Has been for years. But the MSM tries to resurrect it every spring.

For reasons I don't attempt to comprehend, the MSM is trying to make horse racing into something it isn't. Something that fans of stick and ball sports care about. Note to the media: We don't. Degenerate gamblers do, and that's about it.

The public at large only cares, remotely at that, about the Triple Crown races. Even then, only if a horse wins the first 2 races. If Big Brown hadn't have won the Preakness, who would pay attention to the Belmont?

So Big Brown has a cracked hoof? I feel for the horse, but so what? I'm more worried about the welfare of the horse, than his winning essentially a meaningless race.

There's no such thing as "The sport of kings." Horse racing is nothing more than an event for richer than sin horse owners to blow their money upon, and gamblers to do the same. Nothing more. It sure as Hell isn't a sport. So please don't try to convince me otherwise.


  1. I didn't watch the MMA on CBS as I was watching the Wings on NBC (unfortunately, I can't get CBC on DishNetwork satellite, but Mike Emrick is pretty good-I can't say the same for the camera work-it sucks).
    I like all the fighting sports and have been watching Ultimate Fighting for at least 15 years now, back to when it matched up fighters from different martial arts styles and would generally end when Royce Gracie would tap out some guy twice his size. It's definitely attracting a better caliber athlete now with all of them schooled in some form of groundfighting. Unfortunately, it's ubiquity (there's multiple leagues and organizations on multiple channels) and evolving rules (that has left it somewhat less savage than it was in the early days) actually has lessened it's appeal for me.
    Then again, maybe my drifting away from the sport indicates that, in my 50s, I'm finally gaining a modicum of maturity. Hold on, I'll ask my wife.

    She said no.

  2. That's a very good point, Mr. P. There's so many different MMA sanctioning bodies, I don't know what's what. It's worse than boxing!

    I realize it's not as savage as it once was, but in order top go mainstream...

    I'd bet that's why the Kimbo Slice fight was stopped on CBS, as if it was pay-per-view, the immense amount of blood flowing from James Thompson's ear isn't as big of a deal.

    I can't believe Elite XC let him fight with that "thing" waiting to explode hanging off the side of his war. From all accounts, if it had been drained/lanced/taken care of before the fight, Thompson probably beats Slice.