Thursday, May 3, 2007

Breaking News: Mainstream Media Suddenly Gives a Shit

Take a deep breath and look around. Notice the wealth of reporters, ringside at almost every event? The proliferation of MMA articles in national publications? The marriage of Sherdog and ESPN? Gone are the days when all the sport got from the press was a big plate of “human cockfighting” and a tall glass of “shut the hell up.” Mainstream media suddenly gives a shit.

At UFC 37 in Louisiana, Zuffa asked me to show a London Times correspondent the ropes. Like any good frontline soldier, I did – introducing him to fighters, commentators and fans so he could get quotes to flesh out his story, and helping his grasp the pugilistic nuances of what he was seeing in the cage. But that REMF visit was a rare thing. Human cockfighting. Shut the hell up.

The tide has turned, and while the ever-popular UFC has garnered all sorts of attention as MMA’s crown jewel, some of that love has finally trickled down to even the regional and local shows. Nowadays, producers from major news channels track me down through Myspace, while reporters stick cameras and microphones in my face and ask for my educated opinion. The sport has gotten shockingly huge and everyone wants to cover it.

And it’s about damn time.