If our goal this Monday is to connect politics and sport, here it goes.
(Uh, who said that was our goal, big guy?)
Kimbo Slice's effort vs. Seth Pertuzzi was alot like Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric.
The problem Palin faced with her interview a few weeks back wasn't that she was dumb or poorly versed in politics, it was that her intelligence was devoted to other things, like Alaskan politics, motherhood and killing mooses. She wasn't thrown into the mix with any expectation to know big concepts like Israel-Palestine or have quick recall on Supreme Court rulings she's supposed to hate. How many governors that didn't come through legislative ranks would?
The same sort of workings went on with EliteXC and Kimbo. He wasn't expected to be a great fighter out of the chute. Rather, he was going to get there. In the meantime, everybody will make a little coin on the big guy with the bushy beard beating up on tomato cans.
Unfortunately, the script changed Saturday night. One tomato can didn't get the message.
And in the short term, it looks bleak. But in the long term, this could be just what EliteXC needs.
Just like how Palin's interviews set the bar so low for her debate, there's a positive angle to Saturday night's loss.
The fledgling outfit can never be questioned as authentic now. The little secret that could -- Kimbo as Globetrotter -- was derailed. And it could potentially cripple EliteXC. But if it doesn't, the organization is stronger. It's no longer about building up a street fighter, it's about creating the best cards out there.
In short, the pressure is off.
EliteXC can go about its business finding the best fighters to fight, and not worrying about developing the star that Kimbo should be.
Don't get me wrong, Kimbo is still the cash cow of this operation and will continue to draw people. But now that the secret is out, focus can shift to finding true fighters and relaxing the reins on Kimbo. Let the guy star the undercard, while putting the legit fighters at the top. Isn't that how it should have been from the get go?
Let's hope EliteXC thinks so. At the press conference after the fight (one in which Kimbo arrived roughly 30 minutes late to), Jeremy Lappen, one of the outfit's head honcho's spun faster than Paul Van Dyke.
"This is MMA, all the best have lost," he said, along with, "Kimbo showed just how big a man he is for taking the fight on such short notice."
Well, yes. But let's hope the spin stops there and reality sets in.
If EliteXC gets that Kimbo is hamburger meat masquerading as filet, Saturday night was a victory. But if despite this TKO in 14 seconds, they keep selling him as filet, there are serious problems with EliteXC's reputation.
Having people like Jake Shields at the top of a card isn't the draw Kimbo is, but if EliteXC keeps pushing Kimbo, or people like Kimbo it will lose its core. Getting their brand of MMA to the mainstream is important, but keeping the core intact is vital to survival.
After all, isn't that why Palin is on the ticket?
Michael Turner vs. LT
Each Monday/Tuesday I chronicle my bet with a buddy of mine. I said Michael Turner would win two of these three categories: 100-yard games, rushing yards and total touchdowns.
I'm looking golden so far as I await my bottle of scotch.
Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns
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This is the bonehead trifecta:groin shot, hit to the face, 10-yard penalty