So I am cruising along reading some stories around the MMA blogosphere and I come across this piece from Strikforce about Scott Carson, who is Herschel Walker’s next opponent. Obviously many media and fans have already pointed out that he is 4-1 in MMA and his first four opponents have a combined record of 1-8 and that was from 1999 through 2001. Then he took 9 years off and came back as a 40 year old and was first round Ko’d in June at MEZ Sports – Pandemonium at the Palladium. The UG breaks down some of the points he makes.
“I’ll tell you one thing. I’m a lot better fighter than the one I’ve been reading about on the Internet. This is a huge deal for me, a tremendous opportunity, but you’d think I was nothing going off what has been written by some of these keyboard warriors, who I doubt have ever stepped in a cage. It’s a lot easier to sit in front of a computer and talk s— than it is to actually fight.
“I am trying to take it all in stride, but I have no idea why some people are talking so negatively without ever having seen me. They don’t know me. I’m pretty well-rounded with good standup and wrestling.
“They say I’m old at 40 but I don’t feel 40 and I certainly don’t look 40. I think I look 30 and I’m in great shape. I’m ripped, just like Herschel.
“I’m going to be more ready for Dec. 4 than I have for any other fight. I plan to shut up all the critics, each and every one of them. Let them write something factual after they’ve seen me on Dec. 4.
“I’m really excited about fighting a great athlete like Herschel. I’m training every day. But the fact that some people aren’t giving me a chance is only giving me extra motivation. This is going to be a great fight.’’
“I was out a long time because of my back and I did rehab for a while. I never thought much about not fighting again; I always wanted to come back.
“But I couldn’t do anything until I was 100 percent. Once I got healthy again, I got better the more I trained. I’ve helped a lot of guys get ready for fights while waiting for my chance. I had a few fights lined up before my last fight, but they all fell out for one reason or another.’’
“It got to the point for the longest time that all I did was train.Then, the next thing we know, I’m fighting. I felt good going into that fight but just got caught. It can happen to anybody.’’
As Dennis Miller famously used to say, “I don’t want to go off on a rant here”, but in a sport widely considered the so called “manliest” a lot of the participants are operating on permanent hurt feelings.
When a fighter takes some heat from some media, more specifically bloggers, their first response goes something like “I’ll bet none of them ever stepped in the cage” or “Those keyboard warriors don’t know what it’s like to train”. There are 2 problems with this. The first is that the fighter doesn’t really know that to begin with. Personally, no I have not been in an MMA fight and dedicated my life for 4 months to train for it, but yes I do train and a good percentage of the MMA media that I know do as well. The second and most important point is that who cares if they have ever fought and trained. That’s not the media’s job.
Hypothetically, let’s say a fighter hires me to lay his tile down in his new house. He picks out the color, the pattern, the locations and everything is good and we move forward with the job. Two weeks later he comes back and the color and pattern are not what he wanted. Is he to keep his mouth shut and not critique the fact that I did a complete screw job on his floor? No, what will happen is he will probably tell me I’m an idiot or something and make me give him his money back. The point of the story is that it’s not just the MMA media’s freedom to critique, but it’s actually in their job description.
Just hypothetically again, let’s say one of these so called “keyboard warriors” is a wounded veteran who happens to love MMA and have a strong opinion. Maybe he doesn’t know what it’s like to step into a cage and fight, but maybe he’s thinking to himself “you don’t know what it’s like to experience combat”.
The ultimate and most pertinent point is simply it’s not personal. We’re critiquing your job, not you as a person. To steal a quote from my favorite movie The Big Lebowski, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man”. That’s all it is. So can we please retire this whole “keyboard warriors” notion? Let’s put it right up there with “You can’t leave it in the hands of the judges” and “Jon Fitch is boring”.