Thursday, August 19, 2010

WEENIE ALERT

You may have come to look upon Your Plainsman as a stalwart voice of fearless P1 commentary, speaking truth to power -- or, since we're talking about The Ticket's signal, speaking truth to underpower.   However, Y.P. is also a Confessor, and here's the latest:

I don't like Fight Night.

I wrote very briefly about this over a year ago, back when I only had a couple of hits a day.  (And I think both of them were probably me, checking for comments.)   I don't have anything against the sport of boxing.   But I can't shake the feeling that when it comes to Fight Night, the only question is not whether a catastrophe will occur, but when.



When I say catastrophe, I'm not talking about a financial catastrophe, someone getting hurt and suing Cumulus or a host who solicited a bout.  I'm sure the "fighters" all sign releases assuming the risk of injury, and Cumulus must haves insurance.  I also assume that The Ticket has instructed its phalanx of attorneys to file all required paperwork and secure all necessary licenses  from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Combative Sports Division).  

(A quick glance at the FAQ for that department indicates that amateur bouts need to be licensed.  Fighters, have you provided the records of your annual comprehensive medical exam, an ophthalmologist/optometrist eye exam, and negative results for Hepatitis B antigen and Hepatitis C antibody and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody?  If you're over 36, have you turned in your electroencephalography and electrocardiogram results as well as a report of your comprehensive annual physical?  Everything in order with the Department?  Surety bonds posted?  All time limits observed?  All the rest?  Good.)

When I talk about catastrophe befalling The Ticket, I'm not talking about massive personal injury damage awards, or about the State of Texas swooping in and shutting the thing down if The Ticket hasn't squared things with Austin.  I'm talking about the how Fight Night could bring all the fun of The Ticket to a premature conclusion.

I know the fighters have headgear.  And gloves.  And the highly experienced Richard Steele in the ring to keep things orderly.   The rounds are short.  The fights are short.

But you're putting people in that ring with no concept of how to defend themselves, people who may never have taken a punch in their lives.  It only takes one shot to the head or gut or even chest, or one awkward fall to the canvas, one head snapping the wrong way or too far, to cause serious injury, paralysis, or death.

How long have they had Fight Night?  I think it got started sometime after I got to DFW in 2004, but I could be wrong about that.  True it is that there hasn't been any catastrophic injury to date.  I doubt that happy record can be maintained indefinitely. 

Can you imagine, O Confessors, what would happen to The Ticket if a contestant were killed, permanently injured, or paralyzed?  It wouldn't just be the end of Fight Night.  It would be the occasion for all of the Ticket critics to go absolutely wild.  If the regulations for the fight (see the above link to the State of Texas website) had not been observed, there could be criminal prosecution.  Those crazy guys don't seem quite so funny now, do they?  Editorialists would call for a general Ticket cleanup.  Anti-fight people would come out of the walls.  And what about the group "represented" by the seriously injured combatant?



I accept all criticism that I'm being an alarmist about this.  I acknowledge that the risk is small.  Amateurs fight all the time without getting seriously hurt or killed.  But those fights aren't sponsored by an extraordinarily popular and visible -- and controversial -- media property.  It would only take one serious injury to a woman, or to some mismatched contestant, or to anyone else who had no business in a boxing ring, to absolutely rock The mighty Ticket.  No P1 would want to see this happen.

So:  I accept the mantle of Weenie this occasion.  I certainly hope that no one gets hurt, this year or ever.

I'll leave you with one word:

Sponsors.

And one final thought:

Mike Bacsik didn't kill anybody.

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