Media Watch: Appeal Democrat Runs Poorly Written, Factually Inaccurate MMA Hit Piece

According to the Appeal Democrat's Andy Arrenquin, this photo features Brock Lesnar being armbarred in the third round.

This is so poorly written that it almost shouldn't qualify as "real media," yet it is sitting right there on the Appeal Democrat (newspaper serving the area north of Sacramento, CA) website.  Local sports writer Andy Arrenquin wrote a piece titled "Why boxing is better than MMA."  Now, keep in mind that I have no problem with someone disliking MMA.  Nor do I have a problem with anyone enjoying boxing more.  But this article is so absurd that it deserves reading.

Let's start with this snippet:

The reasons are many, but first and foremost I feel that boxing is a true sport and not some competition between two dudes trying to beat the pulp out of each other in a cage for money.

Now, I love boxing.  I grew up as a passionate fan of the "sweet science" and there has not been a major fight over the past several years that I have not watched.  But the idea that MMA is "two dudes trying to beat the pulp out of each other in a cage for money" makes it worse than boxing is odd given that boxing is two dudes trying to beat the pulp out of each other in a ring for money.

Another reason boxing is better — there's actually honor in the sport.

Unlike in MMA where quitting or tapping out is considered an honorable way to lose, boxers have to show heart and battle through it. When things get tough in a boxing ring, a fighter has to deal with it himself and fight his way out. Quitting on your stool or having your manager throw in the towel is frowned upon and considered dishonorable.

Tapping out is, of course, considered honorable because there's not really any added honor in having a limb broken.  But I don't need to lecture you all on the reasons why a submission is a perfectly legitimate means for ending a fight, it isn't as though the moment someone is losing a fight they drop to the ground and tap to avoid any further abuse.  But the real gem here is the idea that throwing in the towel is considered dishonorable.  It is not.  No boxing fan or media member considers a corner looking out for their fighter's best interest to be shameful.  We've all seen the sad effects of what too much punishment can get a fighter.  A trainer protecting his fighter is one of the most honorable things in the sport, it is a gut wrenching decision that no one wants to make for a fighter they have taken under their wing.

Moving on:

Although I'm still a casual fan of the sport, I used to be a much bigger supporter of MMA. Things changed when I watched a fight a couple years ago when Brock Lesnar beat the living tar out of some guy for three rounds only to lose when he had his arm tugged on for a couple of seconds and tapped out.

Here's the winner — whose face is mangled so bad that he can't fight for months — having his arm raised as the better fighter, while Lesnar is the loser and he can go another round that same night.

If you guys don't remember that particular fight, don't worry.  It never happened.  I assume he's talking about Frank Mir's kneebar in the first round of the fight, but I guess facts get in the way of a sensational story.  But even if those facts were true, have we never seen a boxer take a beating for several rounds before landing a knockout blow?

Ah, it must come back to the fact that submitting was dishonorable.  Of course.

Now if Lesnar had his leg broken and had to be carried out of the ring on stretcher, I would have considered him the loser. But he wasn't. He made a mistake, endured a couple seconds of pain and squealed like a baby before tapping out.

And finally:

If you want to peak my interest in MMA, then I want to see no more tap-outs and some bones being broken. Just think of how good the fights would be if the competitors actually had to worry about one of those submission moves working.

Better yet, I want to see a fighter put an arm-bar on somebody, brake his arm off and then beat him with it. Now you've got my attention.

First off, let's find the Appeal Democrat a real editor.  Preferably one that doesn't think you "brake" an arm.  Maybe with a better editor this kind of article would pique (not peak) the interest of more readers.

Second, it's nice to know that the health of athletes matters so very little to Mr. Arrenquin.  I'd actually love it if helmet-to-helmet contact was brought back in the NFL, scrambled brains are awesome!  While we're at it, let's go ahead and take away corner, referee and doctor's stoppages in boxing.  Oh, and let's go back to unlimited rounds.  Just imagine if modern boxers had to fight knowing that no one could dishonor them by stopping a fight for their safety!  They could just throw punches until one of them dropped, it'd be a riot!

I'll just end this by thanking Mr. Arrequin for providing me with some solid Monday afternoon entertainment.  Stay sharp!  And please, make sure to continue to avoid any form of fact checking.  Admitting you're wrong is dishonorable!

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