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Punchdrunk
06-04-2008, 10:31 AM
Doug Krikorian: A prime time disaster
Article Launched: 06/02/2008 11:40:03 PM PDT


Kevin Ferguson, known as Kimbo Slice, right, fought his way to a third-round win over James Thompson on Saturday. (Photo courtesy EliteXC )I know as the years have elapsed, I've become out of touch with what is hip with the young in this age of serial tattooing, popular reality TV shows featuring mindlessly dysfunctional people and a national celebrity obsession with such disoriented creatures of craven chaos as Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

So, in an attempt to bring myself into the modern world, I decided last Saturday night, against all my inner instincts, to watch the first prime time telecast of an MMA event on a mainstream network.

I bow my noggin in shame for such a decision, will do a thousand jumping jacks a day for the next thousand days as penance, will even subject myself to watching every episode next fall of "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars" as further self-punishment.

For those of you who chose to ignore such an appalling farce that should have been staged on some rural dunghill in the dark with the only observers being cattle, sheep, pigs and barnyard owls, congratulations.

You showed a keen discernment notably lacking in me, as well as, according to the Nielsen Ratings, 4.3 million other viewers who saw a bunch of guys - and a couple of gals, too - put on an inartistic show so lacking in drama and skillful performers that frankly I'm surprised that the CBS suits in New York didn't pull the plug on the dreary proceedings halfway through and plug in an old David Letterman Show, or at least a Young and the Restless re-run.
The dumbing down of America reached its pinnacle with this two-hour piece of odorous excrement in which the main attraction in the Elite Xtreme Combat event was some bald, heavily-bearded gentleman of modest self-defense skills named Kevin Ferguson, who gained a cult following in recent years and a resonating nickname - Kimbo Slice - for his street thuggery successes shown on YouTube videos.

He faced off against some guy from England known as James (Colossus) Thompson, who was coming off consecutive knockout losses and who was sporting a left ear that was so cauliflowered that it appeared a tiny balloon was hanging out of its lobe.

I'm an eternal optimist who always has maintained the belief that every generation will survive its own unique crazes and trends and foibles.

But if the beer bar-styled mayhem that unfolded so sloppily is what inspires the passions of the youthful set - and the ratings for KCBS, Channel 2 in these parts were a decent 4.7 - then I'm not sure there is any hope left for America's continued survival.

I mean, Kimbo Slice is a big, strong man who has been a backyard brawler and who doesn't have the faintest knowledge of boxing or wrestling or martial arts. The top practitioners of these disciplines - as well as the mediocre ones - would impale him unmercifully if they were to face him inside that ridiculous caged ring that is part of the MMA persona.

But as bad as Mr. Slice was Saturday night - and, oh, was he awful - his opponent was equally bad even though he thoroughly dominated the first couple of rounds.

P.T. Barnum would have stuck James Thompson in his circus - and not as a fighter.

He'd have been right up there on stage with Barnum's living curiosities that included, among others, bearded ladies and an assortment of folk with physical deformities.

Why, the toughest street-fighter I've ever known, my childhood friend Donnie Srabian of Fowler - he was the chief sparring partner for heavyweight contender Mac Foster during the early 1970s and never had an unsanctioned rumble that lasted more than a few seconds - would have had no trouble knocking either of these bums out.

Another old pal with an undefeated street-fighting resume, Glen Tenove, who played football at Long Beach State and who went on to become quite an amateur boxer, doubtless would have done the same.

I'm sure Somewhere Up There, William S. Paley, founder of CBS, and Edward R. Murrow, its influential newscaster, are aghast at what ignominy the current chairman of the network, Sumner Redstone, has brought to it with a program of unsurpassed repulsiveness.

The announcers were embarrassing shills for the EliteXC-promoted affair, playing it straight, engaging in shameless hyperbole, not once daring to point out the obvious shortcomings and inadequacies of the principals.

You'd have thought listening to the buildup that the middleweight match between Messrs. Joey Villasenor and Phil Baroni was going to turn out like the ones between Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio, who met each other twice during the 1950s in 30 rounds of fiercely savage combat.

Mr. Baroni came out in shades, and strutted up the aisle like he was some sort of frightening dude, but it turned out that the only frightening thing about him was his bloodied face after getting pummeled and then being guillotined by Villasenor in a mere one minute and 11 seconds. Some memorable rumble.

One other match lasted into the third round when it was halted when one guy thumbed the other in the eye and still another lasted only a minute and one second without any intrigue whatsoever. I won't mention the names of the participants in these forgettable charades to spare them, as well as their kinfolk, further embarrassment.

Actually, and this is a graphic commentary of the debris - or shall I say refuge - that polluted my TV Saturday night, the most impressive performance was dispensed by a woman, one Gina Carano, who towered over her undersized opponent, Kaitlin Young, and mauled her into a third-round stoppage.

I'm sure it'll be only a matter time before Ms. Carano is matched against Kimbo Slice, and, please, don't laugh, it well might happen.

Obviously, anything goes in these bizarre times, as I discovered to my horror Saturday night when I watched CBS forfeit its dignity by showing a bunch of male clowns impersonating fighters.

doug.krikorian@presstelegram.com

DscribeDC
06-09-2008, 07:27 AM
An overhyped "sensation" put in with a punching bag designed to hit the ground with a maximum thud? The dickens you say! Good thing I'm a boxing fan!!

diggity
06-09-2008, 09:25 AM
As if hype jobs are foreign to boxing? Cmon.
What I found funniest about the entire thing was Mr Slice barely had the breath to carry a post fight interview. Heart failure appeared imminent.

Antonia Margarita
06-11-2008, 09:35 PM
kimbo slice is the truth
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diggity
06-11-2008, 09:49 PM
:rolleyes: Yep, the truth all right.

PeteLeo
06-12-2008, 01:26 AM
Yeah, and the truth is he sucks. PeteLeo.