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Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
11-18-2015, 10:41 PM
Post: #1
Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
His assessment of the situation is somewhat accurate until he starts obsessing over race, as all black writers and media figures seem to do now. Comparing Rousey to Serena Williams, and complaining Serena doesn't get enough attention, is ludicrous. Of course people are going to be more captivated by a pretty blonde prizefighter girl than Serena, who is unattractive, built like a linebacker, and has already received multiple awards and accolades for swinging a racket for a living.

It's frustrating that when a hyped white athlete flops, a black writer can say "it's because she was white". But when a ridiculously over-hyped black athlete flops like the majority of black quarterbacks do in the NFL, no one dares mention race.

The End Of An Error

https://the-cauldron.com/the-end-of-an-e...ac04dc4a98

During her meteoric rise to MMA stardom, Ronda Rousey redefined — and in many ways destroyed — modern notions of stardom, beauty, and brutality. But that doesn’t mean the narrative was a fair or correct one.


He looked and looked but could see nothing, as there was nothing to be seen. — The Emperor’s New Clothes

When Ronda Rousey came crashing to the canvas with the ineffable thud of an unraveled Ponzi scheme, the most startling revelation wasn’t that “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fact that, in sports, we can no longer tell the emperor from the swindlers.

Rousey’s narrative was, from the start, one spun from invisible silk and gold. Even before Holly Holm left her looking clumsy, outclassed, overmatched, and technically unsound, her tale had evolved into the one of the most convoluted, prematurely stamped and certified in recent sports history. If Rousey’s story has any meaningful value, it’s as sports meta-commentary: a lamentable tale of mass complicity by virtue of our own delusions, desires, and disaffection.

The aftermath of the one-sided thrashing yielded more of the same. Of course, Rousey’s plight wasn’t the result of a new “Madden Curse,” nor was her loss comparable in any way to Tyson’s humbling at the hands of Buster Douglas. The comparisons are baseless, only seeking to give an easily digestible shape to our stubborn ignorance. Rousey was on the cover of EA Sports’ video game because they, like the characters in Hans Christian Andersen’s allegorical tale, saw what was never there.

It’s worth considering exactly how we arrived at this spiritually barren place of baseless fight odds, rushed hyperbole, and Orwellian commentary. One can almost forgive ESPN (which now serves the role of bombastic auctioneer rather than objective analyst) and Dana White (who seems little more than a cash-grabbing charlatan in the business of developing cheap, temporary pop-culture icons rather than legitimizing mixed martial arts).

But what about the rest of us, who eagerly climbed aboard the train of Rondamania, and embraced every nonsensical stop along the ride with mindless glee?

Even Deadspin, which prides itself on being above the fray of knee-jerk zeal and illogical sports narratives, hopped on the train with inexplicable vigor. Greg Howard gave weight to the idea that she was “the greatest fighter alive,” pointing to the two minutes and change Rousey has spent in the octagon as a mark in her favor. That number, though, should’ve given as much cause for pause as for praise.

How do we evaluate the skill and success of a participant in a relatively nascent sub-division of a sport when she has barely has to spend time in combat? How do we set odds of any kind — much less the 20-to–1 variety — when a mostly untested woman with Olympic-level judo skills fights another woman vetted as one of the best female boxers in the world? How, in a field with such disparity in skill level between its fighters, can we account for quality control and pretend to any real expertise? On the day of the bout, Howard wrote “to fight successfully takes delusion,” but he easily could have been describing all of those among us — the pundits, promoters, and desperate fans — who were fighting on the lie that was Ronda Rousey’s greatness.

The truth was we had no idea what we were watching, or how to evaluate it. But for many reasons — an eagerness to seem progressive, an addiction to vapid celebrity culture, the headlong rush to avoid being left out of a major story — everyone was afraid to admit that maybe, in Rousey’s case, there was nothing to be seen.

ESPN anointed Rousey “Fighter of the Year” and “Female Athlete of the Year” for a period in which she had spent a total of 30 seconds in the ring with two hopelessly under-qualified opponents in a sport that still significantly lacks history and development of its ranks. The idea of her being a better fighter than Floyd Mayweather, or a more exemplary female athlete than Serena Williams (who was in the midst of a 28–0 run and had won every major title in one of the most popular and competitive women’s sports in the world) was laughable, at best. But the manufacturers of celebrity and the branding agents weren’t about to let reality get in the way of their latest pet project, and the fans were more than happy to buy what was being sold.

It certainly helped that Rousey is a woman. She served as a perfect foil to Mayweather, a boorish and shamelessly brash self-promoter who as of late has made as many headlines for his history of domestic abuse as his pugilistic prowess. Her popularity and media platform received quite the boost as she continually put Money Mayweather in his place. In this way she was executing the will of the mainstream fan, who has a distaste for Floyd having built an empire on being unlikeable.

It probably also helped just a bit that Rousey is white, because she certainly hasn’t projected a particularly humble persona. Her pre-fight and post-fight comments are typically brash and dismissive; she’s never one to pass up an opportunity to take pointed shots at opponents and contrived rivals alike. Nor is she shy about courting celebrity, having appeared in The Expendables, The Fast And The Furious, and Entourage, which was most fitting in that she was riding the coattails of our cultural emptiness to improbable fame.

Without giving at least some regard to race, it’s difficult to fathom Rousey’s rapid ascent in popularity and accolades when contrasted with that of Williams, a notoriously over-scrutinized athlete who, for all of her incredible dominance and ethereal talents, has often received respect and praise from both fans and media that is more cold and begrudging than enthusiastic. Serena’s story is a textbook American Dream narrative, a tale of skill and an irrepressible work ethic transcending impossible odds. Her track record is long and vetted, her achievements unquestionable. Her battle back from a pulmonary embolism is the stuff of legend. Her prominent place in sports history is cemented. Her life is tailor-made for a major motion picture.

On the other hand, when plans were announced for a Rousey biopic, it was puzzling, because there was nothing to be seen. Her MMA resume was thin, the merits of any such comprehensive examination unclear, and just beneath that amorphous veneer lurked hints of an obnoxious, self-involved huckster. Rousey was everything we’ve traditionally been taught to disdain in an athlete: excessively brash, self-serving, nasty, overhyped and unchallenged. Still she moved forward at breakneck speed, spurred by the momentum of our cultural incoherence, our prizing of oddities and flavors of the month over texture and meaningfulness. At a time when three people with absolutely zero political experience are polling strong for an opportunity to be President, perhaps her ascent makes more sense. Maybe our culture has so encouraged reality TV that we’ve reduced all facets of public life to cheap entertainment.

When Rousey was listed above male fighters like TJ Dillashaw in the bantamweight pound-for-pound rankings, it only highlighted the warped conceit of those who mistake pretending a woman can beat the best male fighters in the world for proof of a progressive nature. True progressive thought lies in realizing women’s sports have worth apart from any comparisons to men, not in reinforcing the same old tropes through a fantastic reimagining of subverting them.

So, Rousey was like a funhouse mirror. We projected our dishonesty and confusion onto her and the images returned to us distorted, oversized, in a form that made us feel more comfortable about who we were. To root for Rousey was to root against domestic abuse; to overestimate her athletic value was to prove our lack of sexism. She served the function of the clichéd “black friend,” as in how can I be sexist if I think Ronda Rousey is the best fighter in the world? Meanwhile, we were cheapening genuine appreciation of female athletic excellence by favoring the spectacle over legitimacy and real legacies.

Ultimately, no one knew how to talk about Ronda Rousey. The media talked in crazy and colorful circles, because there was nothing to be seen. Holm was advertised as Rousey’s greatest challenge to date, but when she thoroughly dismantled Rousey, it was pitched as one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Meanwhile, had the Nets’ Brook Lopez made a bunny at the buzzer at Golden State, Rousey’s loss wouldn’t even have been the biggest upset of Saturday night. Pointedly, most of the sports world didn’t respect these female fighters enough to figure out how to evaluate them on their own terms, rather than the terms of their delusion.

In this manner we do a terrible disservice to female athletics under the guise of progressiveness, engaging in a paternalism that is actually regressive and sexist. We send the message that women’s sports are not worth scrutinizing with the same close eye as men’s, that what we seek in our female athletic heroes is a confirmation of our nobility for touting them as awesome. It’s cheap, and it’s counterintuitive.

In an ode to Rousey published in July, Deadspin’s Howard penned the following:

“It’s hard to imagine, but Rousey might one day lose. She might get caught with a lucky shot, and her body and mind may dull as she grows older.”

That was supposed to be part of a celebratory profile, but it ended up as a fitting eulogy. Rousey didn’t lose the way a 20-to–1 favorite loses. There was no lucky shot, no off-night to blame. She was beaten by a better fighter who no one took the time to really investigate, in large part because she didn’t make for sensationalist copy.

Howard’s piece was called “There Will Never Be Another Ronda Rousey.” For the sake of women's sports, let's hope so.

EvilYoshida.com, winning hearts and minds since 2013.
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11-18-2015, 11:13 PM (This post was last modified: 11-18-2015 11:15 PM by Billygoat.)
Post: #2
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
Serena plays tennis. Nobody gives a shit about tennis. She's a beast and disgusting. She's probably roided up. She's like that unfunny giant gorilla on SNL. The two don't compare.
This writer used the whole mma fight as an excuse to whine about his queen Serena.
Nobody also cares about women's basketball either. It's unbecoming of ugly women to do anything at all. They're ugly.
Hot women can do anything they want. That's the way it goes. And we all like watching.

--I Eat Grits--
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11-19-2015, 12:35 AM
Post: #3
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
These people are so indignant when they've been duped, it's always hilarious.

...I mean mainstream journalists, haha.
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11-20-2015, 12:01 AM
Post: #4
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
via reddit............... lmao

[Image: boat%20gif_zpsxuqetu6m.gif?w=480&amp...p;fit=clip]
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11-20-2015, 12:39 AM
Post: #5
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
hilarious. good article

She has been exposed thoroughly and completely.
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11-20-2015, 12:49 PM
Post: #6
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
(11-20-2015 12:01 AM)what Wrote:  via reddit............... lmao

[Image: boat%20gif_zpsxuqetu6m.gif?w=480&amp...p;fit=clip]

gold

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” - Richard Feynman
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11-22-2015, 06:45 PM
Post: #7
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
super gif making skills wow
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11-23-2015, 05:24 AM
Post: #8
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
(11-18-2015 10:41 PM)johan Wrote:  His assessment of the situation is somewhat accurate until he starts obsessing over race, as all black writers and media figures seem to do now. Comparing Rousey to Serena Williams, and complaining Serena doesn't get enough attention, is ludicrous. Of course people are going to be more captivated by a pretty blonde prizefighter girl than Serena, who is unattractive, built like a linebacker, and has already received multiple awards and accolades for swinging a racket for a living.

It's frustrating that when a hyped white athlete flops, a black writer can say "it's because she was white". But when a ridiculously over-hyped black athlete flops like the majority of black quarterbacks do in the NFL, no one dares mention race.

The End Of An Error

https://the-cauldron.com/the-end-of-an-e...ac04dc4a98

During her meteoric rise to MMA stardom, Ronda Rousey redefined — and in many ways destroyed — modern notions of stardom, beauty, and brutality. But that doesn’t mean the narrative was a fair or correct one.


He looked and looked but could see nothing, as there was nothing to be seen. — The Emperor’s New Clothes

When Ronda Rousey came crashing to the canvas with the ineffable thud of an unraveled Ponzi scheme, the most startling revelation wasn’t that “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fact that, in sports, we can no longer tell the emperor from the swindlers.

Rousey’s narrative was, from the start, one spun from invisible silk and gold. Even before Holly Holm left her looking clumsy, outclassed, overmatched, and technically unsound, her tale had evolved into the one of the most convoluted, prematurely stamped and certified in recent sports history. If Rousey’s story has any meaningful value, it’s as sports meta-commentary: a lamentable tale of mass complicity by virtue of our own delusions, desires, and disaffection.

The aftermath of the one-sided thrashing yielded more of the same. Of course, Rousey’s plight wasn’t the result of a new “Madden Curse,” nor was her loss comparable in any way to Tyson’s humbling at the hands of Buster Douglas. The comparisons are baseless, only seeking to give an easily digestible shape to our stubborn ignorance. Rousey was on the cover of EA Sports’ video game because they, like the characters in Hans Christian Andersen’s allegorical tale, saw what was never there.

It’s worth considering exactly how we arrived at this spiritually barren place of baseless fight odds, rushed hyperbole, and Orwellian commentary. One can almost forgive ESPN (which now serves the role of bombastic auctioneer rather than objective analyst) and Dana White (who seems little more than a cash-grabbing charlatan in the business of developing cheap, temporary pop-culture icons rather than legitimizing mixed martial arts).

But what about the rest of us, who eagerly climbed aboard the train of Rondamania, and embraced every nonsensical stop along the ride with mindless glee?

Even Deadspin, which prides itself on being above the fray of knee-jerk zeal and illogical sports narratives, hopped on the train with inexplicable vigor. Greg Howard gave weight to the idea that she was “the greatest fighter alive,” pointing to the two minutes and change Rousey has spent in the octagon as a mark in her favor. That number, though, should’ve given as much cause for pause as for praise.

How do we evaluate the skill and success of a participant in a relatively nascent sub-division of a sport when she has barely has to spend time in combat? How do we set odds of any kind — much less the 20-to–1 variety — when a mostly untested woman with Olympic-level judo skills fights another woman vetted as one of the best female boxers in the world? How, in a field with such disparity in skill level between its fighters, can we account for quality control and pretend to any real expertise? On the day of the bout, Howard wrote “to fight successfully takes delusion,” but he easily could have been describing all of those among us — the pundits, promoters, and desperate fans — who were fighting on the lie that was Ronda Rousey’s greatness.

The truth was we had no idea what we were watching, or how to evaluate it. But for many reasons — an eagerness to seem progressive, an addiction to vapid celebrity culture, the headlong rush to avoid being left out of a major story — everyone was afraid to admit that maybe, in Rousey’s case, there was nothing to be seen.

ESPN anointed Rousey “Fighter of the Year” and “Female Athlete of the Year” for a period in which she had spent a total of 30 seconds in the ring with two hopelessly under-qualified opponents in a sport that still significantly lacks history and development of its ranks. The idea of her being a better fighter than Floyd Mayweather, or a more exemplary female athlete than Serena Williams (who was in the midst of a 28–0 run and had won every major title in one of the most popular and competitive women’s sports in the world) was laughable, at best. But the manufacturers of celebrity and the branding agents weren’t about to let reality get in the way of their latest pet project, and the fans were more than happy to buy what was being sold.

It certainly helped that Rousey is a woman. She served as a perfect foil to Mayweather, a boorish and shamelessly brash self-promoter who as of late has made as many headlines for his history of domestic abuse as his pugilistic prowess. Her popularity and media platform received quite the boost as she continually put Money Mayweather in his place. In this way she was executing the will of the mainstream fan, who has a distaste for Floyd having built an empire on being unlikeable.

It probably also helped just a bit that Rousey is white, because she certainly hasn’t projected a particularly humble persona. Her pre-fight and post-fight comments are typically brash and dismissive; she’s never one to pass up an opportunity to take pointed shots at opponents and contrived rivals alike. Nor is she shy about courting celebrity, having appeared in The Expendables, The Fast And The Furious, and Entourage, which was most fitting in that she was riding the coattails of our cultural emptiness to improbable fame.

Without giving at least some regard to race, it’s difficult to fathom Rousey’s rapid ascent in popularity and accolades when contrasted with that of Williams, a notoriously over-scrutinized athlete who, for all of her incredible dominance and ethereal talents, has often received respect and praise from both fans and media that is more cold and begrudging than enthusiastic. Serena’s story is a textbook American Dream narrative, a tale of skill and an irrepressible work ethic transcending impossible odds. Her track record is long and vetted, her achievements unquestionable. Her battle back from a pulmonary embolism is the stuff of legend. Her prominent place in sports history is cemented. Her life is tailor-made for a major motion picture.

On the other hand, when plans were announced for a Rousey biopic, it was puzzling, because there was nothing to be seen. Her MMA resume was thin, the merits of any such comprehensive examination unclear, and just beneath that amorphous veneer lurked hints of an obnoxious, self-involved huckster. Rousey was everything we’ve traditionally been taught to disdain in an athlete: excessively brash, self-serving, nasty, overhyped and unchallenged. Still she moved forward at breakneck speed, spurred by the momentum of our cultural incoherence, our prizing of oddities and flavors of the month over texture and meaningfulness. At a time when three people with absolutely zero political experience are polling strong for an opportunity to be President, perhaps her ascent makes more sense. Maybe our culture has so encouraged reality TV that we’ve reduced all facets of public life to cheap entertainment.

When Rousey was listed above male fighters like TJ Dillashaw in the bantamweight pound-for-pound rankings, it only highlighted the warped conceit of those who mistake pretending a woman can beat the best male fighters in the world for proof of a progressive nature. True progressive thought lies in realizing women’s sports have worth apart from any comparisons to men, not in reinforcing the same old tropes through a fantastic reimagining of subverting them.

So, Rousey was like a funhouse mirror. We projected our dishonesty and confusion onto her and the images returned to us distorted, oversized, in a form that made us feel more comfortable about who we were. To root for Rousey was to root against domestic abuse; to overestimate her athletic value was to prove our lack of sexism. She served the function of the clichéd “black friend,” as in how can I be sexist if I think Ronda Rousey is the best fighter in the world? Meanwhile, we were cheapening genuine appreciation of female athletic excellence by favoring the spectacle over legitimacy and real legacies.

Ultimately, no one knew how to talk about Ronda Rousey. The media talked in crazy and colorful circles, because there was nothing to be seen. Holm was advertised as Rousey’s greatest challenge to date, but when she thoroughly dismantled Rousey, it was pitched as one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Meanwhile, had the Nets’ Brook Lopez made a bunny at the buzzer at Golden State, Rousey’s loss wouldn’t even have been the biggest upset of Saturday night. Pointedly, most of the sports world didn’t respect these female fighters enough to figure out how to evaluate them on their own terms, rather than the terms of their delusion.

In this manner we do a terrible disservice to female athletics under the guise of progressiveness, engaging in a paternalism that is actually regressive and sexist. We send the message that women’s sports are not worth scrutinizing with the same close eye as men’s, that what we seek in our female athletic heroes is a confirmation of our nobility for touting them as awesome. It’s cheap, and it’s counterintuitive.

In an ode to Rousey published in July, Deadspin’s Howard penned the following:

“It’s hard to imagine, but Rousey might one day lose. She might get caught with a lucky shot, and her body and mind may dull as she grows older.”

That was supposed to be part of a celebratory profile, but it ended up as a fitting eulogy. Rousey didn’t lose the way a 20-to–1 favorite loses. There was no lucky shot, no off-night to blame. She was beaten by a better fighter who no one took the time to really investigate, in large part because she didn’t make for sensationalist copy.

Howard’s piece was called “There Will Never Be Another Ronda Rousey.” For the sake of women's sports, let's hope so.

I agree -- the article is accurate to a point, and then goes overboard with the hyperbole re: Rousey's 'lack of credentials', which is almost the flip side of the UFC's overhyping Rousey.

I would disagree, for example, that Rousey's meteoric rise in the division wasn't impressive. Her credentials and skills, apart from her standup, are very impressive, and all the more so because of how poorly she strikes. She had destroyed all comers up until Holm, some of whom (as with Tate or McMann) brought with them decent credentials for the women's sport. She also brings with her a certain mystique by her physical appearance combined with her brash (unlady-like) actions towards her opponents. This self-promotion, and not her race, are what catapulted her to stardom.

The idea that she was the best fighter on the planet, let alone in women's MMA, was always simply the UFC promoting their product, but to claim that her win column wasn't impressive -- or that she built up out of nothing -- is also a complete stretch of the truth.

Again, her Achilles heel was her stand up. Despite her rather fortuitous KO in her last victory, she was still displaying major holes in this area of her game. It was obvious that if her latest fight remained on its feet, Holm would win soundly. Anyone with basic knowledge of MMA, or even professional fighting, could see that.

Holm is just a bad matchup for Rousey, as well as many fighters in their division. Yet, like Rousey, there are women that will have her number. That's the nature of the sport.
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11-25-2015, 03:12 AM
Post: #9
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
Quote: To root for Rousey was to root against domestic abuse; to overestimate her athletic value was to prove our lack of sexism. She served the function of the clichéd “black friend,” as in how can I be sexist if I think Ronda Rousey is the best fighter in the world? Meanwhile, we were cheapening genuine appreciation of female athletic excellence by favoring the spectacle over legitimacy and real legacies
What an asshat!

Rousey is great, her opponents deserve respect, and she simply lost to another great woman fighter in Holm. This guy is a tool.
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11-25-2015, 04:24 AM
Post: #10
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
welcome to the forum TEEP
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11-25-2015, 09:14 AM
Post: #11
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
(11-23-2015 05:24 AM)BRIC Countries Wrote:  
(11-18-2015 10:41 PM)johan Wrote:  His assessment of the situation is somewhat accurate until he starts obsessing over race, as all black writers and media figures seem to do now. Comparing Rousey to Serena Williams, and complaining Serena doesn't get enough attention, is ludicrous. Of course people are going to be more captivated by a pretty blonde prizefighter girl than Serena, who is unattractive, built like a linebacker, and has already received multiple awards and accolades for swinging a racket for a living.

It's frustrating that when a hyped white athlete flops, a black writer can say "it's because she was white". But when a ridiculously over-hyped black athlete flops like the majority of black quarterbacks do in the NFL, no one dares mention race.

The End Of An Error

https://the-cauldron.com/the-end-of-an-e...ac04dc4a98

During her meteoric rise to MMA stardom, Ronda Rousey redefined — and in many ways destroyed — modern notions of stardom, beauty, and brutality. But that doesn’t mean the narrative was a fair or correct one.


He looked and looked but could see nothing, as there was nothing to be seen. — The Emperor’s New Clothes

When Ronda Rousey came crashing to the canvas with the ineffable thud of an unraveled Ponzi scheme, the most startling revelation wasn’t that “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fact that, in sports, we can no longer tell the emperor from the swindlers.

Rousey’s narrative was, from the start, one spun from invisible silk and gold. Even before Holly Holm left her looking clumsy, outclassed, overmatched, and technically unsound, her tale had evolved into the one of the most convoluted, prematurely stamped and certified in recent sports history. If Rousey’s story has any meaningful value, it’s as sports meta-commentary: a lamentable tale of mass complicity by virtue of our own delusions, desires, and disaffection.

The aftermath of the one-sided thrashing yielded more of the same. Of course, Rousey’s plight wasn’t the result of a new “Madden Curse,” nor was her loss comparable in any way to Tyson’s humbling at the hands of Buster Douglas. The comparisons are baseless, only seeking to give an easily digestible shape to our stubborn ignorance. Rousey was on the cover of EA Sports’ video game because they, like the characters in Hans Christian Andersen’s allegorical tale, saw what was never there.

It’s worth considering exactly how we arrived at this spiritually barren place of baseless fight odds, rushed hyperbole, and Orwellian commentary. One can almost forgive ESPN (which now serves the role of bombastic auctioneer rather than objective analyst) and Dana White (who seems little more than a cash-grabbing charlatan in the business of developing cheap, temporary pop-culture icons rather than legitimizing mixed martial arts).

But what about the rest of us, who eagerly climbed aboard the train of Rondamania, and embraced every nonsensical stop along the ride with mindless glee?

Even Deadspin, which prides itself on being above the fray of knee-jerk zeal and illogical sports narratives, hopped on the train with inexplicable vigor. Greg Howard gave weight to the idea that she was “the greatest fighter alive,” pointing to the two minutes and change Rousey has spent in the octagon as a mark in her favor. That number, though, should’ve given as much cause for pause as for praise.

How do we evaluate the skill and success of a participant in a relatively nascent sub-division of a sport when she has barely has to spend time in combat? How do we set odds of any kind — much less the 20-to–1 variety — when a mostly untested woman with Olympic-level judo skills fights another woman vetted as one of the best female boxers in the world? How, in a field with such disparity in skill level between its fighters, can we account for quality control and pretend to any real expertise? On the day of the bout, Howard wrote “to fight successfully takes delusion,” but he easily could have been describing all of those among us — the pundits, promoters, and desperate fans — who were fighting on the lie that was Ronda Rousey’s greatness.

The truth was we had no idea what we were watching, or how to evaluate it. But for many reasons — an eagerness to seem progressive, an addiction to vapid celebrity culture, the headlong rush to avoid being left out of a major story — everyone was afraid to admit that maybe, in Rousey’s case, there was nothing to be seen.

ESPN anointed Rousey “Fighter of the Year” and “Female Athlete of the Year” for a period in which she had spent a total of 30 seconds in the ring with two hopelessly under-qualified opponents in a sport that still significantly lacks history and development of its ranks. The idea of her being a better fighter than Floyd Mayweather, or a more exemplary female athlete than Serena Williams (who was in the midst of a 28–0 run and had won every major title in one of the most popular and competitive women’s sports in the world) was laughable, at best. But the manufacturers of celebrity and the branding agents weren’t about to let reality get in the way of their latest pet project, and the fans were more than happy to buy what was being sold.

It certainly helped that Rousey is a woman. She served as a perfect foil to Mayweather, a boorish and shamelessly brash self-promoter who as of late has made as many headlines for his history of domestic abuse as his pugilistic prowess. Her popularity and media platform received quite the boost as she continually put Money Mayweather in his place. In this way she was executing the will of the mainstream fan, who has a distaste for Floyd having built an empire on being unlikeable.

It probably also helped just a bit that Rousey is white, because she certainly hasn’t projected a particularly humble persona. Her pre-fight and post-fight comments are typically brash and dismissive; she’s never one to pass up an opportunity to take pointed shots at opponents and contrived rivals alike. Nor is she shy about courting celebrity, having appeared in The Expendables, The Fast And The Furious, and Entourage, which was most fitting in that she was riding the coattails of our cultural emptiness to improbable fame.

Without giving at least some regard to race, it’s difficult to fathom Rousey’s rapid ascent in popularity and accolades when contrasted with that of Williams, a notoriously over-scrutinized athlete who, for all of her incredible dominance and ethereal talents, has often received respect and praise from both fans and media that is more cold and begrudging than enthusiastic. Serena’s story is a textbook American Dream narrative, a tale of skill and an irrepressible work ethic transcending impossible odds. Her track record is long and vetted, her achievements unquestionable. Her battle back from a pulmonary embolism is the stuff of legend. Her prominent place in sports history is cemented. Her life is tailor-made for a major motion picture.

On the other hand, when plans were announced for a Rousey biopic, it was puzzling, because there was nothing to be seen. Her MMA resume was thin, the merits of any such comprehensive examination unclear, and just beneath that amorphous veneer lurked hints of an obnoxious, self-involved huckster. Rousey was everything we’ve traditionally been taught to disdain in an athlete: excessively brash, self-serving, nasty, overhyped and unchallenged. Still she moved forward at breakneck speed, spurred by the momentum of our cultural incoherence, our prizing of oddities and flavors of the month over texture and meaningfulness. At a time when three people with absolutely zero political experience are polling strong for an opportunity to be President, perhaps her ascent makes more sense. Maybe our culture has so encouraged reality TV that we’ve reduced all facets of public life to cheap entertainment.

When Rousey was listed above male fighters like TJ Dillashaw in the bantamweight pound-for-pound rankings, it only highlighted the warped conceit of those who mistake pretending a woman can beat the best male fighters in the world for proof of a progressive nature. True progressive thought lies in realizing women’s sports have worth apart from any comparisons to men, not in reinforcing the same old tropes through a fantastic reimagining of subverting them.

So, Rousey was like a funhouse mirror. We projected our dishonesty and confusion onto her and the images returned to us distorted, oversized, in a form that made us feel more comfortable about who we were. To root for Rousey was to root against domestic abuse; to overestimate her athletic value was to prove our lack of sexism. She served the function of the clichéd “black friend,” as in how can I be sexist if I think Ronda Rousey is the best fighter in the world? Meanwhile, we were cheapening genuine appreciation of female athletic excellence by favoring the spectacle over legitimacy and real legacies.

Ultimately, no one knew how to talk about Ronda Rousey. The media talked in crazy and colorful circles, because there was nothing to be seen. Holm was advertised as Rousey’s greatest challenge to date, but when she thoroughly dismantled Rousey, it was pitched as one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Meanwhile, had the Nets’ Brook Lopez made a bunny at the buzzer at Golden State, Rousey’s loss wouldn’t even have been the biggest upset of Saturday night. Pointedly, most of the sports world didn’t respect these female fighters enough to figure out how to evaluate them on their own terms, rather than the terms of their delusion.

In this manner we do a terrible disservice to female athletics under the guise of progressiveness, engaging in a paternalism that is actually regressive and sexist. We send the message that women’s sports are not worth scrutinizing with the same close eye as men’s, that what we seek in our female athletic heroes is a confirmation of our nobility for touting them as awesome. It’s cheap, and it’s counterintuitive.

In an ode to Rousey published in July, Deadspin’s Howard penned the following:

“It’s hard to imagine, but Rousey might one day lose. She might get caught with a lucky shot, and her body and mind may dull as she grows older.”

That was supposed to be part of a celebratory profile, but it ended up as a fitting eulogy. Rousey didn’t lose the way a 20-to–1 favorite loses. There was no lucky shot, no off-night to blame. She was beaten by a better fighter who no one took the time to really investigate, in large part because she didn’t make for sensationalist copy.

Howard’s piece was called “There Will Never Be Another Ronda Rousey.” For the sake of women's sports, let's hope so.

I agree -- the article is accurate to a point, and then goes overboard with the hyperbole re: Rousey's 'lack of credentials', which is almost the flip side of the UFC's overhyping Rousey.

I would disagree, for example, that Rousey's meteoric rise in the division wasn't impressive. Her credentials and skills, apart from her standup, are very impressive, and all the more so because of how poorly she strikes. She had destroyed all comers up until Holm, some of whom (as with Tate or McMann) brought decent credentials for the women's sport. She also brings a certain appeal from her physical appearance and is great at promoting herself by her brash (unlady-like) actions towards her opponents. This self-promotion, and not her race, are what catapulted her to stardom.

The idea that she was the best fighter on the planet, let alone in women's MMA, was always simply the UFC promoting their product, but to claim that her win column wasn't impressive -- or that she built up out of nothing -- is also a complete stretch of the truth.

Again, her Achilles heel was her stand up. Despite her rather fortuitous KO in her last victory, she was still displaying major holes in this area of her game. It was obvious that if her latest fight remained on its feet, Holm would win soundly. Anyone with basic knowledge of MMA, or even professional fighting, could see that.

Holm is just a bad matchup for Rousey, as well as many fighters in their division. Yet, like Rousey, there are women that will have her number. That's the nature of the sport.

Yup, it's easy right now to bash Ronda, and I've taken some shots at her myself. However to claim that she was never anything special and we knew she would lose is silly. They did that with Fedor too, remember. As soon as he lost, everyone said "he was never that great".

EvilYoshida.com, winning hearts and minds since 2013.
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11-27-2015, 03:28 AM
Post: #12
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
She was on that nickel rocket to stardom baby and then BOOM, right in the kisser.

RONDA ROUSEY!

come for the calo, stay for the yoshida brotha
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11-27-2015, 04:29 AM
Post: #13
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
Fedor was great. Ronda was great at arm barring women 6 times.

--I Eat Grits--
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11-29-2015, 12:28 AM
Post: #14
RE: Sports Illustrated writer hammers Rousey, Dana, UFC
(11-25-2015 04:24 AM)EVILYOSHIDA Wrote:  welcome to the forum TEEP

Thanks, brother. Glad to be here.
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