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Old 05-31-2007, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Blogger schools Anti-MMA Journalist (read)

I read this blog and thought I'd put it up over here for us MMA supporters. Two different POVs, one filled with hate and misunderstanding, the other filled with facts and knowledge.

I haven't seen an intelligent MMA article/response in a while. This blogger schools journalist Tim Dahlberg.

Check out Dahlbergs's article link in the introduction before you view the response.

Read it.

Quote:
By Mad Squabbles
Posted on Wed May 30, 2007 at 05:05:35 PM EDT


It has taken forever for the mainstream press to not only pay attention to MMA, but to accept it as well. Now we've got their attention, but there's a new problem: arrogance. The traditional sports journalism community can no longer ignore the sport's business growth, but they can dismiss the sport itself. And why do they do that? Because they think - despite never covering the sport or ever training - that they understand the sport. They believe they've got it figured out, and so they issue stern pronouncements and hold strong opinions despite not being the least bit qualified to do so. Tim Dahlberg did just that with this piece, so I wrote him a response:
While I understand you're new to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), your ****ysis of the Chuck Liddell vs. Rampage Jackson fight begs for correction.
You watched the fight in a bar, which was your first mistake. The sport's newest fans from it's recent growth are rednecks and fans of professional wrestling. You're right that most of white males in attendance could've just as easily been watching Hulk Hogan. That is an unfortunate side effect of MMA's development, but so long as they're buying PPVs and I'm able to watch MMA events live or in the comfort of my living room, I tend to not be bothered by it.
As for the fight promotion, I find your ****ysis curious. You note that the marketing and promotion of the fight was supposed to expand the sport beyond it's core audience. I'm not sure how one defines that, but wall-to-wall coverage on ESPN, an appearance of a UFC fighter in Entourage, and the cover of Sports Illustrated seem like a decent place to start. As a consequence of the sport's existing momentum and the promotion of this fight, more people than ever watch MMA - most notably, the traditional sports journalism community. That also means you. You claim to not be impressed and will not bother watching anymore. That is certainly your prerogative, but I can assure you those who also hold that minority opinion will not be missed. Those journalists who pride themselves on research, insight, fact-checking, and objectivity, on the other hand, will likely stick around. After all, their preconceived notions won't preclude them from seeing the beauty in MMA.
With respect to the fight itself, I'm not sure what you're looking for. I tend to create my own opinions regarding how I feel about fights and stoppages, not by what the louts at Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings tend to think. Personally, I thought the fight was extremely entertaining and I was on the edge of my seat from the moment the ring entrances started. Did the fight end in under 2 minutes? Yes, but how is that a bad thing? The knockout was clean and the stoppage was not premature. A fight is a very choatic activity and sometimes they end early. Rampage's KO of Chuck seemed like a pretty decent finish line. What exactly are you hoping to see? 15 minutes of two fighters hurting each other for the sake of violence? It's not that I mind seeing long, difficult battles (Karo Parisyan vs. Diego Sanchez is an excellent example of such), but I don't need to see blood or battered bodies to be satisfied. I like to see a technical contest between two premier athletic fighters end in a such a way that's spectacular (mission accomplished) and definitive (mission accomplished). Real fans of the sport like the physicality of fighting, but we are not vampires with an insatiable thirst for blood and damage. That's not what MMA is about. So who's the bloodthirsty one now?
And that's the other problem with your article. You say the sport is so new that even those watching it aren't sure what they're seeing. Well, I'm afraid that's your cross to bear, not mine. I have trained in the sport and cover it extensively. I know exactly what I'm looking at. As a consequence, I believe I am far more qualified to give strong opinions about a fight one way or the other than someone who freely admits they've got no idea what they're looking at. Boxing enthusiasts and critics constantly talk about the "science" of boxing as if MMA were the antipode of technique. I can't help but pity those folks for embarrassing themselves is public domains. The fact is the mainstream press fancies themselves sporting aficionados, yet clearly know nothing about the various techniques and strategy involved in MMA. And by technique I don't mean non-existent, mystical "death touches"; I mean over-under clinches, Gable grips, double underhooks, a whizzer, duck under, guard pass, triangle choke, underhooks, overhooks, ankle picks, circling opponents to outside and inside lead legs, double leg takedown, single leg takedown, single leg sweep, oma plata, farside amrbars, striking with the use of elbows, knees or kicks, muay thai clinch, uchi mata, and so on. These are all techniques from some of the world's greatest (and in many cases Olympic) sports - Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, Thai boxing, Jiu-Jitsu - but it seems virtually no one in the mainstream bothered to learn anything about them. Is it any wonder, then, that MMA is confusing or boring to those who believe themselves to be all-knowing, yet don't have the faintest clue what they're talking about?
The mainstream press needs to realize that years of watching baseball and football isn't going to confer upon them an understanding of a sport (and the various other sports built into that larger sport) they've never bothered to learn. Furthermore, when you buy into the packaged storylines of the UFC, don't be surprised when they clash with reality. The storyline of Rampage vs. Liddell was not the dominance of Chuck Liddell; it was the return of Rampage. If anyone in the mainstream press had bothered to do their homework instead of assuming they knew everything there was to know about this fight, this sport, and the UFC, they'd know Saturday was a moment of redemption for a better fighter. Rampage had all the talent in the world, but had suffered crushing defeats in Japan. There were questions about his mental state and his ability. He slowly, but surely, gathered himself and would use last Saturday as an opportunity to prove he was back. Just as the Japanese set Rampage up to lose by matching up against Kazushi Sakuraba, Ricardo Arona, and Igor Vovchanchyn, so too would the UFC by pairing him up with Liddell. And as real fans know, when Rampage is counted out, Rampage is at his best. Saturday night was a spectacular event because it allowed one of the best fighters in the world to prove he was as good as everyone once believed he could be. It was triumphant and spectacular. And how did you treat it? With jejune insouciance. So, if you don't want to cover the sport anymore, be my guest. You don't know anything about it, so in order to say anything competent you're going to have to do a lot of homework. Just do me a favor: save the dismissive and sanctimonious attitude for a sport you actually understand. It's very unbecoming to pontificate when you're on the back end of the learning curve.
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm struggling to find a significant difference between the article and the blog. They're both filled with the same stereotypes, gross generalizations, and narrow-minded points-of-view.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I expected to see savage punches to the head, forearms to the neck, and kicks to the midsection. I figured there would be blood, and lots of it, as befits a sport once called ``human ****fighting'' by Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Sounds like your typical UFC fan. These guys aren't interested in seeing a sport, they're interested in seeing savagery.

I hope he takes the time to read what you had to say. I also hope he takes it into consideration.
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Old 05-31-2007, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasvll
I'm struggling to find a significant difference between the article and the blog. They're both filled with the same stereotypes, gross generalizations, and narrow-minded points-of-view.
Yeah, but if you had to, who would you rather read an article from?

The blogger is only calling Dahlberg out because he feels Dahlberg shouldn't attempt typing an article when he clearly doesn't have the background for it. Dahlberg's article could've easily been a positive one. The blogger shows that the reason Dahlberg is slandering the UFC is because he doesn't have enough knowledge about the sport is all.

Smacktalk aside, there was a guy with not enough facts attempting an article vs. a guy with facts making a blog. There may not be much of a difference in their personality, but there's a huge difference on how they both view the sport.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i didn't read the hateful piece, as i don't need to; i've heard it all before. but the response that you posted was well thought out and really put an intellegent exclamation point on the subject for those of us who aren't rednecks, or newcomers. this guy wrote with class, style and really knew how to prove his point. great article, great post. rep!
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pt447
i didn't read the hateful piece, as i don't need to; i've heard it all before. but the response that you posted was well thought out and really put an intellegent exclamation point on the subject for those of us who aren't rednecks, or newcomers. this guy wrote with class, style and really knew how to prove his point. great article, great post. rep!
I'll second that. I was really impressed with the intellect in this arguement. Its was really well thought out and covered everything. rep
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Scape
Yeah, but if you had to, who would you rather read an article from?
None of the above isn't an option?

Quote:
The blogger is only calling Dahlberg out because he feels Dahlberg shouldn't attempt typing an article when he clearly doesn't have the background for it.
Motive never justifies tactics, unless you work for a government institution.

Quote:
Dahlberg's article could've easily been a positive one.
Yes, and an example of such an article is the blogger's response. The only difference is their personal opinions, which they've raised to universal truths. The article's author wasn't entertained by the fight, whereas the blogger was. Judging the worth of the sport by their lone opinions is a mistake in both cases.

Quote:
The blogger shows that the reason Dahlberg is slandering the UFC is because he doesn't have enough knowledge about the sport is all.
How so? The blogger himself says that the typical UFC fan is looking for the exact same thing the article's author was, which means he agrees with him. Besides, there was no slander (or libel), since the article's author was merely stating his opinion of what he saw.

Quote:
Smacktalk aside, there was a guy with not enough facts attempting an article vs. a guy with facts making a blog. There may not be much of a difference in their personality, but there's a huge difference on how they both view the sport.
Nonsense. The blogger referred to new fans blanketly as 'rednecks' and 'pro wrestling' fans. Is that supposed to be different than Dahlberg saying that at the bar, he was surrounded by people that looked like fans of Hulk Hogan?

The blogger condemns the author for basing his opinion on the reaction of the bar crowd, when the author gave no indication that his opinion was based on anything other than what he watched on the screen, which he gave a clear description and personal ****ysis (are we actually censoring prefixes?) of.

Actually, the more I look at these two articles, the more I see Dahlberg being condemned for having a personal opinion, and not liking a meal after taking one bite, neither of which justify the reaction he received.
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Originally Posted by Joe Rogan
That longing to return to the retarded past can only be born of some collective, subconscious, internal desire to try to turn back the clock on humanity and halt our obvious progression towards the inevitable zombie apocalypse of 2012.

Last edited by jasvll : 05-31-2007 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great find, definitely repped.

After reading Dahlberg's article, I find that the long ass article is a little bit much, so I'll simply it and try to articulate it as best I can, make it a little bit smaller in portion size and take it apart point by point.

First, Dahlberg is clearly an idiot who knows even less about mixed martial arts than he does about sports journalism or boxing. I still don't understand why the mass media hasn't picked up on some actual fans of the sport instead of these guys who pretend like they understand the numbers, the fighting styles and the point of the contest. It doesn't need to be me, because there are 3 or 4 dozen guys on this forum alone who are more qualified to write this article than a bandwagon boy like Dahlberg.

He says that boxing fans went home happy after the De La Hoya v Mayweather fight went home happy. I have friends that are professional boxers who admit that the fight was boring and I have a hard time believing that such a slow fight could be enjoyed by mass-culture in America.

He says that MMA packs the joints with "not so rich and famous" but clearly he hasn't watched the last half dozen event, especially the ones in LA, Sacramento and Anaheim. Stars come out for the average MMA event. They don't do that for the average boxing match anymore, if they ever did.

He pokes fun at Liddell for looking out of shape. That's how Liddell looks. Period. He can say that it's because he's "out of shape" and "doesn't care about the fight" but that's Liddell's build. No one among boxing's top ten heavyweights has the athleticism of Andrei Arlovski or Mirko CroCop, and De La Hoya and Mayweather look like scrawny b*tches next to Sean Sherk.

I guess he tries to make the point that Liddell isn't much of an athlete, but that's fine. If he wants to step in the octagon with Liddell, or even just hold the thai-pads for him during training, he can do that.

He, like every other conservative idiot, makes reference to McCain's human ****fighting comment. Apart from the fact that McCain is actually an advocate for the modern UFC, now that it has established regulations, and the fact that it is legal in McCain's home state of Arizona, that portion of the argument is long gone. If he was really a sports journalist, Dahlberg would know that.

If this had been boxing, the fight would have been 36 minutes of me yawning while people try and figure out exactly how much money for each uneventful minute of dancing they have lost. If this had been boxing, the fight would have gone to a decision like every other boring matchup any of the 4 major boxing organizations has put together since Tyson v Holyfield.

But, perhaps most importantly, if this was boxing, the sport would be dead.

He does say that the UFC is a monopoly, which is a mark of his ignorance of the hundreds of smaller shows the UFC pulls from, but also of the Japanese MMA machine that controlled PRIDE and still controls K-1 and the ever more successful DEEP.

As I have said, if he was actually a sports journalist, he would know these kinds of things, but, as he has made abundantly clear with his generalizations, misquotations and ****ogies that make as much sense as calling this article resonable, he has no idea what he's doing.

He also says that the UFC was trying to expand its core audience with the UFC 71 card. Not as far as anyone knows or cares, because it market expands regardless, with every event that it puts together. Something that could not be said for boxing, at any point during its history.

To top it off, Dahlberg ends with a sentence that would make even a forth grade English teach stamp an F on a paper: "Something it doesn't need a bad reputation."

It seems appropriate, since it makes about as much sense as the sad attempt at anti-MMA propaganda that the article was.

Great find. Like I said before, definitely repped.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasvll
None of the above isn't an option?

Motive never justifies tactics, unless you work for a government institution.

Yes, and an example of such an article is the blogger's response. The only difference is their personal opinions, which they've raised to universal truths. The article's author wasn't entertained by the fight, whereas the blogger was. Judging the worth of the sport by their lone opinions is a mistake in both cases.

How so? The blogger himself says that the typical UFC fan is looking for the exact same thing the article's author was.

Nonsense. The blogger referred to new fans blanketly as 'rednecks' and 'pro wrestling' fans. He condemns the author for basing his opinion on the reaction of the bar crowd, when the author gave no indication that his opinion was based on anything other than what he watched on the screen. The blogger is no different than who he was responding to. Ignorance, assumption, and rhetoric abounds in both cases. They just happen to be 'arguing' for opposing sides.
Do you disagree with the initial article? If so I want to know your counter arguement and what you wouldve said since the blogger apparently handled this so poorly.

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Old 05-31-2007, 07:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asskicker
Do you disagree with the initial article?
Seemed like personal opinion and experience to me. That's something I can share or not, but not something I can agree or disagree with.

Quote:
If so I want to know your counter arguement and what you wouldve said since the blogger apparently handled this so poorly.
He did handle it poorly, but that doesn't mean I can handle it better. I would have never picked it up, since the author neither condemned the sport nor claimed to be an expert on it. He simply didn't like what he saw.

I'm getting off work now, but if you want to make a list of specific offenses you think the CBS author made, post them, and I'll respond to them tomorrow.
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