Back in the beginning of things as an MMA writer, back -to-back days were spent discussing ways to further legitimize the sport in the eyes of the general public and the mainstream.
Since then, much has been discussed and in roads have been made, with the sport growing daily and creeping closer to garnering more substantial coverage.
In addition to needing more positive stories covered the mainstream, the sport will additionally never be taken seriously if pieces like this courtesy of UK-based MMA Bay do not stopped being circulated:
Canadian Health System Blamed for Severity of Lesnar's Illness .
Please note: my objection to this piece has nothing to do with my nationality or my attitude towards Brock Lesnar. I would take equal offense to this gossip-mongering nonsense if I were from another country and wished ill upon the UFC champion as I do now as a Canadian member of Team Lesnar .
Let's start with the fact that the source for the information is Lesnar's chiropractor, Larry Novotny, who certainly doesn't stand to gain anything from getting his name out there in one of the biggest sports stories going...
Here is what Larry had to say:
His symptoms became severe while in Canada, which because of their health care system made it difficult to manage. And at this point it's a possibility that it could jeopardize his career.
I don't know if you've ever looked into the Health Care System here in Canada, but it's pretty solid. The last time the World Health Organization compiled rankings , Canada came in at No. 30.
While that was admittedly back in 2000 (they've ceased producing such rankings due to the enormity of the task), Canada's ranking was seven places higher than our neighbors to the South, you know, the country Lesnar calls home. The one without universal health care.
Something tells me that a lot hasn't changed since then, making Novotny's statement that about our health care system making things more difficult to manage make absolutely no sense.
Simply put, we have a better health care system here in Canada, and while I can attest first-hand that staffing levels are below what nurses would like (source: my wife...the nurse), the situation is the same throughout North America.
Disagreement with a chiropractor's views on the Canadian Health Care System aside, the fact that MMA Bay runs with this "story" in the first place is what frustrates me even more.
In 13 seconds of Google'ing, I was able to find those WHO stats which, at the very least, create speculation about the validity of the statements made by Mr. Novotny. A third grader could put together that kind of search, so what stops MMA Bay from doing the same?
The answer is readers and hits to their website.
This pseudo-story is surely getting the attention they desired, as the story came across my desk via an MMA news wire service, meaning it's making it's way through the masses, valid or not.
Additionally, the few comments that are contained on the site itself are all calls of "bull--" as they should be, but that doesn't stop them.
Personally, I see this as reckless reporting and a blatant push for hollow hits to their website and story, and think that this approach to news is another of the impediments to our sport taking up its place in the mainstream.
If those of us who love the sport can't care enough to accurately report the news and shy away from baseless speculation and empty stories simply to draw attention, how can we expect the mainstream to feel obliged to do the same?