Maybe try having fun with sports, for a change?

chris grahamI’m listening to ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard go on about how MMA is no more than cockfighting, which, I mean, fine, sure, it’s cockfighting.

I try to think of a counterargument. It’s no more cockfighting than, say, boxing.

Boxing is cockfighting.

Kickboxing: cockfighting.

Wrestling: cockfighting.

So is football.

Come on. The problem with MMA, with boxing, wrestling, is the gratuitous violence, right?

Football is gratuitous violence.

I’m not even taking things to a logical extreme to make a point here.

People getting hurt for the pleasure of other people is cockfighting.

A little earlier, I was listening to wrestling podcaster Jim Cornette’s latest rant about what he terms “outlaw mud show ‘rasslers,” his takedown of pro wrestlers who specialize in so-called death matches involving theatrical combat with gigged weapons, tables, folding chairs, thumb tacks and the like.

These ‘rasslers, to Cornette, besmirch the good name of the those properly trained in the more traditional worked shoots that evolved from the carny days of pro wrestling in the early 20th century.

Funny thing, though: that good name, for those properly trained, isn’t held in any kind of esteem in mainstream society, even the mainstream of those who allow themselves to become fanatics of sportsball.

I hate that term, when I hear one of my liberal friends denigrate how much time I devote to thinking about, and professionally writing and talking about, sports.

And to be clear: I’m also a liberal.

I just happen to also be conversant and knowledgeable about sports, and able to make a living professionally writing and talking about them.

It can be hard for those of us who live and breathe sports to fathom that there are those who don’t, but it is the case.

To those folks, those not bitten by the sports bug, it’s all cockfighting, all outlaw mud show ‘rasslin’.

It’s all a worthless pursuit, basically.

Maybe those of us fortunate enough to be able to make a living professionally writing and talking about sports can remember not to take ourselves so damn seriously.

It’s supposed to be fun, in other words, so, have fun with it, maybe?

Column by Chris Graham

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