Coffee's for closers only. But mixed martial arts? That's for everyone.
Even New Yorkers!
That's according to David Mamet, one of the few writers that doesn't leave me feeling embarrassed when I unholster my Webster in an effort to keep up. Having said that, don't expect any half-assed attempt to litter this post with big words, for the same reason I wouldn't spar with Floyd Mayweather or bring a knife to a gun fight.
Anyway, the legendary screenwriter and the man behind 2008's Redbelt is taking aim at New York State's "wearisome folly" against the sport of MMA.
Specifically, the state-wide ban on live events that sends millions of dollars in revenue to New Jersey and Philadelphia.
From his NY Post blog:
"American sentiment has, in the last century, and with some exceptions, endorsed prize fighting as legitimate sport. It is less dangerous to the individual not only than grand prix racing, but than professional football -- but the specter of men drawing and shedding blood, understandably, has its detractors ... It is, statistically, less harmful than boxing, as boxing’s major and frequent injuries are trauma to the brain, resulting from that same haymaker sung in story and song as the decider in the barroom brawl ... Opponents of Mixed Martial Arts in New York state have enacted a statute to ban the exhibition its proponents hold is protected under the First Amendment as 'artistic expression.' Now, as a longtime student and fan of mixed martial arts, I hope these opponents fail ... In our transformation into a country of maiden aunts, we have forgotten that phrase concurrent to The Greatest Generation, 'Mind your own business.' The purpose of law, our Constitution teaches, is to allow people to interact free from government intervention. To criminalize or otherwise sanction now this, now that, at the whim of a vocal minority is, retail, wearisome folly. Wholesale, it is the road to serfdom."
UFC President Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta stormed Madison Square Garden (MSG) earlier this year with New York assemblyman Dean Murray and MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil to present an independent economic impact study indicating the "Empire State" would generate about $16 million from the UFC alone based on just two pay-per-view (PPV) events per year, split between "The World's Most Famous Arena" and Buffalo's HSBC Arena.
And that doesn't include the jobs and additional income from regional or independent promotions also throwing their hat into the New York fight scene.
Put simply, money talks … and the UFC has the numbers to back it up.
Unfortunately, no one is listening, which has prompted proponents like Mamet to take center stage to help drive the cage-roots movement.
Maybe State Assemblyman Bob Reilly, one of the sport's biggest detractors, is afraid of losing his set of steak knives.
For more on New York's MMA ban click here.