The World Isn’t Coming To The End

By Tom Donelson
Updated: April 12, 2008

IOWA CITY, Ia. — CBS is getting ready to bring Mixed Martial Arts to prime time and listening to some folks, you would have thought that the end of the world is upon us. Even Bill O’Reilly had an entire section devoted the barbarity that will ensue if Mixed Martial Arts become a primetime hit.

Here is the problem with the angst that often follows any discussion about the Mixed Martial Arts. What I am going to write I have written before and most likely will have to write again and again.

Namely, the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts is not the end of civilization as we know it. Let’s face it, professional football is America’s passion and it is one of more violent sport there is.

Most football players find themselves with debilitating injuries long after their playing days are over. The average football player finds himself playing hurt throughout most of the football season it is a sport in which violent contact happens on every play, 60 minutes a game.

In the early 20th century, football was nearly banned after deaths occurred in games. A change of the rules and the elimination of the flying V-formation helped save football and allowed the sport to grow.

Boxing faced similar history as the sport was iillegal in many states and localities in the early 20th century, but both football and boxing have become entrenched in our history and not just sport history.

Mixed Martial Arts is the synergy of various pugilistic arts that include Thai kickboxing, judo, karate, wrestling and even boxing. These sports have thousands of years of history and Mixed Martial Arts have combined these sports in exciting competition that draws many young fans.

Are Mixed Martial Arts a rough and dangerous sport? The answer is it could be dangerous and it is certainly rough, but so is college wrestling or professional boxing.

As mention previously, so is football and hockey is played with sticks along with men staking at full speed bumping into each other. Mixed Martial Arts can even claim to be a safer record than many of these more accepted sports.

CBS is bringing the sport to prime time for the simple reason is that there is an audience for the sport. Hardly a crime and certainly when compared to many other programs that CBS chooses to show, it can even be Shakespearian.

This is the station that brings us Survivors, a quite contrive reality show or Big Brother.

Americans love action sports and always have. Football is popular because of action and occasional violence. No one complains or even care that young boys suit up and risk serious injuries to learn how the play the sport.

Throughout America, dojos exist to teach karate to children and adults alike.

Mixed Martial Arts is a derivative of sports that we already enjoy just as wrestling and boxing. The sport has entertainment value and it is a sport. Only time will time how popular or ingrained in our culture it becomes.

But the popularity of the Mixed Martial Arts is hardly the end of the world or civilization. It is another sport striving to become popular.