Monday, August 29, 2011

Raissman's Ranting. By Michael Steczkowski

This editorial by Michael Steczkowski of the Darce Side Radio is in response to Bob Raissman's artcle "Blood Money"* from Yesterday's Daily News

I usually try not to read anything a mainstream journalist like Bob Raissman writes, because  he is beyond irritating and often annoying.  However, I still found myself uncontrollably drawn to his column on Sunday just to see how much I disagreed with him.  I usually read his articles, mumble a few choice words on my opinion of him, then move on.
Yesterday Raissman decided to talk about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and I almost spit out some of the delicious Captain Lawrence Pale Ale I was drinking.  Yes I was having a beer early on Sunday.  No big deal right? But, if you were a star athlete in Mr. Raissman's eyes, you’d be a heathen.  That’s the kind of vibe you get from him on a consistent basis.
Mr. Raissmans take on MMA and the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) recent TV deal with FOX is much like like any movie critic's review of a horror movie; always one star or less, and horrible.  As a horror movie fan, I often get the vibe that the movies are not watched and the reviews are just mailed in.  Reviews are passed off as acceptable because a lot of people who aren’t fans think the films are gory, campy crap.  Same problem lies in the public perception of MMA!  Today Mr. Raissman was the horror film reviewer, he gave a bad one, and he clearly doesn’t watch the sport.
“Blood Money” was the title of Sunday’s gem of an article.  Raissman is appalled at the idea of the UFC being promoted during Major League Baseball (MLB) telecasts on FOX, especially if it’s during the playoffs.  Here is a direct quote:

“Still, going full throttle promoting the blood and guts, the punching and crunching of UFC is different.  The graphic nature of this type of promotion might upset suits inside baseballs establishment.”
Not only are we back to reading about “blood and guts” but, now we are subjected to a new mis-characterization of “punching and crunching.”  Did Raissman come up with that on his own, or did he steal that from Walt Frazier? (for  fellow Knicks fans).  He also eluded to Dana White's suggestion that we need to educate the masses about MMA:
In order to "educate the masses" the violence of UFC must be presented to paint an accurate picture of what fans can expect to see. It's a major selling point.
Raissman then followed up with the ultimate kicker:

“Does the MLB commissioner really want violent UFC spots running between innings?”
Let me guess, this could lead to kids who see MMA on FOX getting into fights because they are trying to emulate the athletes?  Entirely possible if FOX does "mix baseball with blood,"  Raissman suggests. Everyone loves to have something or someone to blame instead of looking at themselves, after all, we do live in the land of the scapegoat.

Raissman clearly needs to educate himself on the sport of MMA.  To write a column about a sport without any knowledge of it is completely irresponsible.  It lacks credibility and validity.  If you don’t know about something, you research it, learn about it, and gain knowledge of the subject.  This is the intelligence behind journalistic standards.  But, in this case Raissman lacks both. He’d rather attack the sport we know and love with the same old negative rhetoric. 
I said on my show last week that the UFC’s deal with FOX might not sway the New York vote right away, but it is undoubtedly another bullet in the chamber to fight with.  I know, I know...I should use a less violent example  (sorry couldn’t resist).  The more people who see it, especially on a major network, the increased chance it will be recognized. 
Lets hope Dana White and the UFC “educate the masses” this fall when the UFC comes to FOX.  Lets get pumped up for promos being seen between innings of playoff baseball games.  I hate those football robots on Sunday NFL broadcasts, but if you throw some shorts on them and make them MMA Boots I will jump for joy!  Let's hope we see the cameras point out George St. Pierre or Cain Velasquez sitting in the stands of a big game, or have the opportunity to hear Dana White, or maybe Joe Rogan or Frankie Edgar talking with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver during a telecast!  FOX has always had a reputation for having balls.  They didn’t spend all that money to not promote the UFC. 
We can’t stop articles like the one that just came out, but we can keep doing what we’ve been doing and that is supporting MMA and New York MMA!  I firmly believe that come the fall MMA will finally start to be seen on the same level as NFL, MLB, NBA, and the NHL.  Some of the greatest athletes in the sport will start to be seen in a different light and taken more seriously.  The real “blood and guts” reputation will be seen as well.  The “blood and guts” and sweat and tears of the fighters, trainers, managers, promoters, writers and supporters of MMA and New York MMA!
Then the naysayers will have nothing to stand behind.

Michael Steczkowski, Co-Host of Darce Side Radio 

* The article was titled "Blood Money" in the print version of Sunday's Daily News.


  1. Excellent article. You noted correctly that Raissman should educate himself prior to commenting on the sport. Great read. Thanks Palmer

  2. Thanks. I hope to have more content on this blog from Mike. If you get a chance, check out his show: Darce Side Radio (linked in original post).