How many of you have ever seen The Running Man?

To those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it was an Arnold Schwarzenegger film in the 80s based off of a Stephen King novel. Long story short, its based in future (what Governator film, much less film in the 80s period, wasn’t based on the future?) and the government controls basically everything. They broadcast these TV shows and one of them is The Running Man, a show where criminals run through the worst parts of the city as they are chased by “hunters”. Basically good guys chase bad guys, but in reality, the bad guys are the good guys, plus some dirty politics, mixed in with the government lying about everything to us, and well, you get the point.

Anyway, when my good friend Casey asked me to give my opinion on whether or not MMA should be on network tv, this is the first thing that came to mind.

I know huh, not a good sign.

Not necessarily.

You see, the reason why I thought of that is because like in the film, people like to see violence. They like to see fighting. This is why the gladiator battles were such a popular sport way back in the year 45, same with professional football, and now with MMA. BUT, like in the movie, when people see the true nature of HOW VIOLENT the sport can get, that’s when the lines get blurry.

In the movie, the government convinces its viewers that the “runners” can actually “win” if they survive the night without being killed. However, what the general public doesn’t know is that the runners are killed off no matter what, which is what we discover when Arnold’s babe discovers the burnt corpses of former “winners” in a closet. When the public finds out the truth, and that people can actually “die” playing the game, as both the hunters are being killed by Arnold and the former “winners” bodies are pirated onto the screen, the public goes into an uproar.

Same can be said with MMA. YouTube isn’t a phenomenon for a reason. Kimbo Slice isn’t getting paid 6 figures a fight because people think he’s the best fight on the planet. (note: to Kimbo’s defense, I do think he’s very talented, as well as humble, and has the potential to be a great fight.)

The general public wants to see MMA. They want to see fighting. Guys go to bars and watch the latest UFC pay-per-view because they want to see some guys get knocked out. Girls watch the show with their boyfriends because they like seeing athletic guys run around with no shirt on, plus, and I don’t think I have to explain myself when I say this, but women enjoy seeing a man whom is a warrior. As much as a woman may tell you she hates fighting, she wants to know the guy with her can demolish his opponent should they be threatened while out on town at night.

But it’s when you have an event like the 1st EliteXC show when people begin to make their complaints.

“Did you see those two women beating each other up last night?”

“That one girl looked like she was SERIOUSLY hurt.”

“Why didn’t they stop the fight sooner?”

“That guy’s ear was bleeding way too much.”

and my favorite

“Someone could get hurt.”

Now let me stress the purpose of an MMA fight. It is not to kill your opponent. You don’t even want to injure your opponent. You just want to win. It’s about getting the win. Now, this is a combat sport, so injuries and bodily harm can and will most likely occur. But do not get this confused with a fight on the street between two thugs.

But when a young woman gets beat on national TV, to the point where it looks like her assailant might have used a baseball bat, then people say its gone too far. That a line needs to be drawn. People want to see the knockouts, but they don’t want to see the potential brain damage. They don’t want to see what COULD happen, what MIGHT happen.

I won’t lie. Anytime two fighters step into the ring, there is a chance someone COULD die. Blood COULD be shed. That’s a reality of the sport. The two fighters have acknowledged this. I think it’s time the audience does.

Honestly, I would LOVE to see more MMA on network TV. I love MMA. It’s slowly becoming my 2nd favorite sport behind basketball (sorry Saints, if you guys win the division this year, I’ll keep MMA at 3). But I think that either the public needs to be more educated about the sport in general, and it also needs to stop being so naive.

It’s a fight. It’s an organized fight. It’s a sanctioned fight. It’s a controlled, officiated fight, but at the end of the day, it’s a fight. There’s probably gonna be some black eyes, swollen lips, and a little bloodshed. You see that stuff every day, twice a day like clockwork on your morning and evening news, so it shouldn’t be the reason for the damnation of MMA on tv.

And as far as women fighting goes, who am I to say these women shouldn’t be allowed to fight on TV, much less fight period? The last time I checked, no one is FORCED to get into that ring. With the sudden surge of people picking up MMA as a hobby and sport, I don’t think anyone is forcing them to pay the $50-125 dollars a month in training fees.

I’m sorry. This post is probably all over the place. I’m really bad as far as that goes. I lose my train of thought constantly because there’s so much I want to say. But bottom line, I DO want to see MMA on network TV. However, I think it’s got to be one of those things that are TV rating Mature or whatever. Professional MMA is not for kids. Speaking of which, my next article shall be on just that, the influence and training of Mixed Martial Arts on children (by children I mean anyone younger than 15).

To reference a true hero that people can look up to, consider Kevin Everett. He was paralyzed in front of million of people on national TV. Think about that. PARALYZED. Couldn’t even raise his hand to give the crowd the thumbs up as he was being carted off the field. All while making a routine tackle on a kick return.

As of late, Mr. Everett is currently very much enjoying the use of his legs, as well as walking himself around. Do you think that he would have wanted professional football taken off of TV because of the negative effect his partial-paralysis would have had on people? He knew just like you and I both know the chance of being seriously hurt while playing contact sports.

If I had to put it simply, I would put it this way, and this actually applies to more than just this topic and sports in general.

Some people just need something to bitch about. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Advertisements