Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

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Sport yells

Ideally I'd've watched tonight's Portland Timbers-Sporting Kansas City game at Beulahland with friends, but I didn't move with enough of a purpose after getting home from this afternoon's long walk and I realized I wouldn't make it by bus-and-foot before the start of the game. So I watched closer to home at Blitz Ladd, about 20 blocks north of my place. Three-quarters or more of the screens were showing UFC pay-per-view mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts.

The MMA crowd and the football crowd (represented by a fair number of people in Timbers green, including scarves) co-existed more or less OK; we just yelled at different times for different reasons. As long as it was happy and/or impressed yelling, which it was all the time I was there, things were good.

I've yet to really "get" MMA. It's hella athletic, obviously, and there's a theatrical quality similar to boxing, with how important the build-up to each bout is, but what makes me more fond of pro wrestling -- really (see? I can enjoy people pounding each other!) -- is that it can have more of a sense of humor. It can be so smart-assed (the wrestlers are encouraged to be so), and it can be really over the top; there's that soap opera quality and I've had some experience watching soaps, so I respond to that quality. Put more simply, I like it for the reasons Barry Blaustein talks about in his wonderful documentary Beyond the Mat, which I saw theatrically back in 2000. Maybe I'll "get" MMA more if I watch it more; and I did watch bits of some of the bouts tonight. Some impressive movement is needed when fighting. Much more impressive than what I can do. *smiles*

Let me never be a sports snob. I want to get behind anything that makes people happily yell, as long as it's not illegal.
Tags: sport!
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