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On Fixes, Bad Calls and Kimbo Slice

Sam Caplan at 5Oz. has some harsh words  for those criticizing the reffing at EliteXC:

One thing that really disgusts me is when knuckleheads run to their keyboard and make serious accusations with absolutely no proof. If you’re not happy with something, go ahead and express your opinion. However, accusing someone of taking a dive or accepting a payoff when you have absolutely no proof — or even logic — to back you up is completely over the line. But hey, this is the Internet, where there is no line. But Dan Miragliotta is an employee for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, not EliteXC, the UFC, etc. What would be his motive to engage in nefarious activity? Getting paid? Is what someone would be willing to pay him worth the risk of getting caught?

I can't help but think that Sam is referring to my post about Miragliotta subtly entitled "The Fixer". And yet his own post repeats the core of my criticism:

Combat in the Cage promoter Ed Hsu counted 22 unanswered elbows delivered by Thompson to Kimbo at one point. Granted, they didn’t do a lot of damage, but 22 elbows are 22 elbows. Miragliotta erred on the side of caution when he stopped the fight in favor of Kimbo, but why didn’t he show the same caution when Kimbo was absorbing all of those elbows? To me, it’s not an issue of integrity, it’s an issue of consistency. Referees are human too, and sometimes they make mistakes.

I never said that there was a payoff, I just said that the fix was in. I don't think that Miragliotta took a bribe, I don't think he had to. Everyone watching that fight knew who was supposed to win and who was supposed to lose. Miragliotta didn't need to be told what to do, he might not of even been fully-conscious of what he was doing.

Nevertheless, the ref's actions were manifestly unfair to all observers, clearly favoring Kimbo the star and disadvantaging Thompson, the can.

One point Sam makes that I have to concede is this:

I wonder where are collective ability to debate has gone? People can’t make a point without making some sort of blanket accusation or personal attack. I’d really like to see more people make more-informed arguments and start articulating their thoughts better instead of just trying to take the quick and easy way out. Can no one argue a topic based on its merits anymore instead of constantly resorting to hitting below the belt. If you don’t have the time to express a point properly, maybe you shouldn’t be posting on the Internet?

You're right Sam. My post was a cheap shot. It was thoughtless, crass and below the belt. It was also an honest expression of the feelings of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of MMA fans who wanted to see a great sporting event on CBS, not a debacle. Dan Miragliotta ripped us off with a weak-ass biased performance as a referee. He's in there to be fair and even-handed, not give the favored fighter a walk in the park. BloodyElbow is a fan's site. Yeah we work hard at being smarter than the average knucklehead, but we also reserve the right to be fans -- emotional, honest and open.

UPDATE: Sam wrote and let me know that he was responding to emails he'd received and not my post, which he hadn't read (ouch!). No worries Sam, I wanted to respond to the general issues of your post regardless and I also felt a little touchy because my post was right on the line of where I'm comfortable going.

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