That was the headline on Pardon the Interuption on ESPN today when they devoted a whole 60 seconds to talking about one of the biggest sporting events this past weekend. The PTI guys unabashadly hate on mma and have never ever given it a fair chance, which is a fair representative on how the sport is recieved by the major media. Check your local newpapers sunday edition and i dare you to find any coverage of UFC 121, there will be little if any.
Now lets change the focus of this post for a bit, my college roommate, lets call him Mike, is the quintessential 50 year old upper middle class, white, sports fan in a 19 year old body. Mike is a Colts fan, and Yankees fan, occasionally watches NBA basketball rooting for Lebron, and never watches hockey. Mike also claims to be a boxing fan, saying he'd watch more if everything wasnt on ppv.
Now when it comes to MMA Mike absolutely doesnt give a flying fuck. He sees it as a brutal ripoff of boxing that simply doesnt compare to the excitement of a boxing match. I tried for an extended period of time to get him to at least respect the sport, showing him a collection of great fights from slugfests like Griffin-Bonnar to beatdowns like Silva-Griffen, and even high level grappling matches like Diaz vs Sanchez. Mike still claims to find it boring and whenever i watch a fight and a takedown happens states "It looks like they're trying to have sex"
Now Mike is an ignorant dumbass this can easily be agreed upon. And how does any of this matter? Because ignorant dumbasses exactly like Mike run all of the mainstream sports coverage and as long as they are alive and in power will never ever give mma its due. The top thing talked about on ESPN about the UFC event was Brock losing and the Undertaker saying to him "You Wanna Go". This Video from Colin Cowherd over at ESPN Radio in his interview with Tito Ortiz sums it pretty nicely
UFC 121: TITO ORTIZ on ESPNRADIO w/Cowherd (via ncaasteve)
Now I'm not sure that I can exactly agree with Cowherd that more 18-34 year olds watched the UFC then MLB playoffs (but I am in the center of Phillies and Yankees territory so my opinion will be biased cause everyone here gives a fuck) but his point is still extremely strong, MMA is a mainstream sport. Its been for a little while and it was a slow and hard process getting there. Its time for the Mainstream media to stop being ignorant dumbasses like my ignorant dumbass roommate and get with the picture and give this amazing sport the coverage it deserves