Everyone seems to have an opinion about the event-ending “brawl” that took place at the latest Strikeforce event in Nashville over the weekend between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Jake Shields. But was it relatively worse than the little scuffle between the Celtics and Heat in their first-round playoff game in Beantown yesterday? Is such a comparison even possible to make? Let’s pretend for a second that it is.
After Shields’ dispatching of Dan Henderson to defend his middleweight title, Miller approached him and smugly asked, “Where’s my rematch?” The comment touched off a brawl inside the hexagon that saw Miller getting punched and kicked from the bottom of a pile. This, in my opinion, is Brawling Done Right by people who are experts in the field of human incapacitation. But some MMA fans, who are well aware of their sport’s stepchild status on the national leisure landscape, didn’t see it that way.
If MMA wanted attention from the mainstream media they will probably now have it. Ignoring how the media reacts will be how CBS reacts and if they want disassociate themselves with this now. I am unsure how much was on live t.v. and how much attention it will get, but this is not a case of “no publicity is bad publicity.” –Watch Kalib Run.
Meanwhile, in another arena, the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett elbowed Quentin Richardson of the heat in one of those “Get the hell off me” moments where the play seems to be over and yet the defender is still up in dude’s business. He got a one-game suspension for his trouble, as the wheels of NBA justice seem to move quickly whenever on-court “violence” is afoot. That said, the incidents of Game One weren’t really that bad, but the league office is too determined to condemn this sort of chicanery, even though one could argue that better on-the-spot officiating could have prevented the whole thing.
The same cannot be said for the dust-up in Nashville. One MMA insider already is calling for better post-fight cage control, a practice that (one presumes) received little to no attention before the fact. And some will make the argument that Miller’s beatdown highlighted an evening of less-than-stellar fighting, even if Gus Johnson’s cries of “You’re on national television,” put an apologetic face on it.
If you’re over the age of 40, I could see you arguing that the NBAers were “caught up in the heat of the moment” and that the MMA folks were “acting like a bunch of violent thugs.” Of course, if you’re under 40, you’d probably say exactly the reverse. You really can’t lose, so let your scorn fly freely. Because it’s entirely too early to be talking about baseball.