Statements or Show? Both bring attention, but what is at the heart of it all? Substance worthy of contemplation, or more vapor that will eventually float away with no impact?
STATEMENT: Demian Maia had two last weekend. His round one submission over former interim champ Carlos Condit emphatically proved he is closer to a shot at the welterweight belt. Just as telling in a far more subtle fashion was how quickly he came to the side of the cage where Condit laid to make sure he was ok and then the class post-bout interview acknowledging what a great competitor he had beaten. These gestures of sportsmanship and the post-bout interview of hope not demand for a title chance exhibited all the best in MMA.
STATEMENT: Condit in a crushing defeat that might’ve been his final go toward another title fight, remained the same well-spoken gentleman he has shown throughout a solid career. There were no excuses or self pity in his post fight interview, only credit to Maia allowing him the moment. He deflected the inevitable retirement question with aplomb, which only makes fans want to see a true sportsman at least one more time.
SHOW: Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback, received attention from the sports page to the front page by refusing to stand for the National Anthem. It created heated debate on the 24 hour news cycle that extended by days. But it isn’t about his right, which he has to do so, or what he really feels for no one can gauge his degree of belief. It is the timing that brings cynicism to the surface. Four years ago Kaepernick was the golden one, who along with Russell Wilson ushered in the new era of NFL QB. That Super Bowl star had no social or political agenda when his voice would’ve resonated with force. Now in what looks like a second straight season of sitting( not by choice) as the backup in San Francisco, his fantasy draft stock sinking, the only notice he merits is this sudden stance, or squat.
SHOW: Tim Tebow is the Kaepernick antithesis. A knee bowing, flag waving hero to many. He can’t help but be liked, and his stint with the Broncos was as improbable as it was magical. And that seems about as long ago as when he was winning a Heisman at Florida. The bottle can’t catch any more lightening, so now after a series of failed NFL tries he is trying out for any Major League Baseball team, boldly holding an open workout. Approaching 30, sports’ version of Peter Pan will eventually grow up to full time TV commentary and motivation speaker gigs, at least that’s the hope before he becomes a worn out equivalent of an aging former Boy Band star who doomed to bad reality shows. Of course there is still the NBA and NHL.
STATEMENT: CM Punk makes his next week at UFC 203 versus Mickey Gall. That he’s struggled through injuries, never waned in his desire to fight in the big time even with a limited background that’s the requisite to make a move to serious MMA, exemplifies the character of this man, Phil Brooks. He brings along his stage name Punk for the loyal WWE following he built, but Brooks knows more than a few things about putting on a show and making a real statement. At 37 with everything to lose by trying this against an opponent he is supposed to beat, shows real character, not a character.
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