Please pardon me while I go on a rare emotionally charged rant regarding the absolute disregard mainstream media has for the sport of MMA. Until something terrible or negative happens in the sport that is.
So by now everyone has heard UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has an intestinal issue that will sideline the champ for an undisclosed period of time if not end his fighting career.
More than likely you heard this first on some dedicated MMA forum or website, one of the true supporters of MMA in the realm of sports reporting; the heartbeat of the sport if you will.
The last time an MMA article made the front page on MSN's Fox Sports section was months ago. Suffice to say they do not have the interest or the knowledge to truly cover the sport,nor do they possess the desire to become involved.
They prefer to subcontract smaller more knowledgeable websites to do their talking and reporting for them. While this opens doors for aspiring journalists, it is a slap in the face to a growing sport.
They aren't going to waste one penny covering the sport of MMA, they will let the passionate fans themselves tell the story for free. MMA is just not worthy of their attention apparently;sad but true.
What they do have is a nose for the news, in the case of MMA, bad news is the only news they are willing to report. Think back for a moment and attempt to recall the only MMA stories that were truly covered by the top media outlets and displayed on their front page.
We are not talking the MMA section of this or that site,we are talking up front where they put the real sports news that is taking place from day to day.
A few choice issues come to mind. A UFC fighter runs from the law after losing his title and a poor women lost her unborn child after the chase caused multiple accidents, never mind that the chase had nothing to do with the unfortunate miscarriage.
Some UFC hippy runs off in the desert and dies due to exposure to the elements, who are these UFC fighters, a bunch of weirdos?
How about the big boss of all MMA and his derogatory, vulgarity laden tirade about a certain high profile MMA reporter? That was so worthy of front page news that the biggest sports reporters chose to stand up and take note, as well as share their obviously condescending opinions on exactly why this sport will not succeed.
The sport wasn't worth their attention any other time, but on that day, they got on their soap boxes.
Their opinions of a mistake in the sport are obviously more important than covering the sport in the first place otherwise they might have more to talk about than Dana White and his antics.
Last but not least, we have the tragic news that Lesnar's very lucrative and potentially historic career may be coming to its end prematurely. Now that will get people reading about MMA;a champ retiring too soon due to a tragic illness, that's front page stuff right there.
Never-mind the multitude of good that comes from this sport. Never-mind the efforts of the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation and the fundraiser they did last month to support GIs transitioning back home,not a peep from the media on that one.
Never-mind an MMA fighter overseas that jumped into freezing water to pull a child out of a car. Never-mind the UFC and their efforts to create a show called Fight For The Troops, or the UFC fighter who thwarted not only his own mugging in Las Vegas but rushed to the aid of another person also being mugged by the same people, none of that is newsworthy.
But the NFL and their efforts to support the troops gets a full page spread talking about their noble efforts. So what is the difference? One brutal sport gets put on a pedestal, and another brutal sport gets brushed under the rug. Both made great efforts to do good for our soldiers
Lest we forget there is actually a sport taking place amidst all the good that comes out of MMA. How dare we expect mainstream media coverage of the events themselves. No, we should be happy that any time a tragedy or mistake takes place that we get our air time then.
Its up to you and I to take the reigns and guide the perception of this sport. Lord knows if we leave it up to the big boys of sports reporting, all we will get is negativity.
Their disregard and contempt for this sport is starting to burn a little bit more every time one reads a bad news story on the front page of a site. If they cant cover the sport in its entirety, they should leave it alone all together.
There are more than enough willing and able amateur sports reporters just waiting to prove their worth as knowledgeable and effective reporters of this sport. Why let some disinterested, self important, self righteous sports journalist give his two cents.
If you and I hadn't told them, they wouldn't even know who Brock Lesnar is.