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Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Competition for the UFC?

The past fifteen years have seen MMA rise to a successful and highly promoted sport. One major reason for this is the UFC, which reigns supreme among all other mixed martial arts organizations. The UFC’s big names and stacked fight cards have made them the top dog of the MMA world. They have some of the best and most popular, fighters, promoters, match makers, cut men, and of course, ring girls. You name it, the UFC has not just it, but the best of it.

There is still hope for other organizations. Personally, I love the UFC and think they will stay on top for a very long time. However, that might not be the case as small fight promotions are starting up everywhere looking to take the crown. It will be a tough task to accomplish as the UFC has made a name for itself and is run by a guy like Dana White.

To show how tough of a task it will be, I will simply type one word—Affliction—lol. Affliction is known as a clothing line with some cool shirts and jeans that have to be making them money. They have been the favorite of MMA fans everywhere. So Affliction should stick to clothing. In 2008, Affliction thought they had a chance of being a successful fight promotion and started their own organization. The UFC then in return banned them from sponsoring any fighter under contract with the UFC. Affliction did have some big name fighters and put together some pretty hefty fight cards. For the two they actually had anyway. The payroll of the big fighters and the low income from sales led to the promotions downfall in a short stint of time.

 Dana White is a business man and knows what it takes to keep his business afloat. The purchase of the WEC by Zuffa, which is the sports promotion company that owns the UFC, made the WEC and UFC sister organizations and also boosted their exposure to a higher level with better television deals. This also made it harder for other organizations to get T.V. deals.

 There are many organizations out there that could easily rise to the top and become big. There is one particular organization I have my eye on. That would be Bellator Fighting Championship. Bellator already has an exclusive television deal with ESPN Deportes. In their second season, they expanded to NBC and FOX Sports Net and soon hope to get into pay-per-view. The organization has four weight classes but has held fights in various weight classes and even has women fighters. Roger Huerta didn’t renew his contract with the UFC in hopes of a modeling and acting career but when he did get back into MMA, he chose Bellator. With a middleweight champion like Hector Lombard, it is very possible for Bellator to become a big name organization and have people loving them.

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Every guy, of any age, knows the answer to this question: what’s the point of cheerleaders?

 Answer: Nothing. But bless their scantly-clad hearts I love them.

 At this year’s NFL Hall of Fame game, which I attended with my parents, their was a moment when the guy sitting in front of us was called out by his lady for “being too interested” in the timeout routine of the Ben-Gals. And yes, perhaps the guy shouldn’t have been taking a video on his phone while his girlfriend was scowling right beside him, but this led my mom to pose a great question: What’s really the point of cheerleaders?

 Never being one to not have an answer for something, I accepted my mother’s challenge…

 The long history of cheerleading is indisputably tied to the history of football and by looking back at the early history of cheerleading one will discover its purpose: to change those fans in the crowd from passive spectator to active participant.

George W. Bush Cheerleading

 The official birthday of organized cheerleading is cited as November 2nd, 1898 when student John Campbell directed a crowd in cheering “Rah, Rah, Rah! Varsity! Varsity!” Soon after Campbell’s super creative cheer, the University of Minnesota organized one of the nation’s first “yell leader” squads. Mind you that these early cheerleading squads were mostly all male frat boys or soon to be frat boys – I would point you to the early years of former President George W. Bush. It wasn’t until the 1920s that women started to participate in cheerleading due to a lack of female collegiate athletics. It’s no surprise that it was around this time that cheerleading began to transition from a bunch of over-privileged white dudes to the sport that we know today.

 Everywhere you find football you find cheerleading, whether it is pee-wee, high school, or college, children of all ages are given an opportunity to be part of the greatest American past time. Cheerleading has evolved into a very competitive national sport with thousands of young people from all across the country competing for national honors. Hell, colleges even give out scholarships for cheerleading now! While today’s cheerleaders may not play the same role that cheerleaders played a century ago, cheerleading is still an avenue for those who can’t or don’t want to play the most popular sport in America to still be involved.

 Those first “yell leaders” were an organized way to get fans more excited about the game they were watching. Judging by the games that I’ve attended during my life I would say cheerleading has achieved its goal– nowadays the cheerleaders are usually drowned out by the drunk 45 year old trying to give the coach advice from the upper deck.

So think twice before you bad mouth cheerleaders because if the intertwined history of football, and cheerleading teaches us anything it is this:

 To love football is to love cheerleading.

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