Saturday, January 07, 2006

I've been watching mixed martial arts broadcasts for something like a year now. The sport is one that's getting increasing coverage on TV as it sheds its early image of being a brutal bloodsport. It would be interesting to know the demographics of the audience for this stuff. For example I couldn't help but wonder what kind of gay audience there is for it. Many matches end up as grappling contests, and sometimes its hard not to draw parellels between the movements of the fighters and a sexual encounter. Are sweaty, muscular men rolling around on the ground, their bodies intertwined, a selling point for a general gay audience, as opposed to those gays who have a strong interest in physical combat and the martial arts? You could similarly speculate along those lines for a female audience as well I suppose.

Another thing I can't help but speculate on is how long it will be, assuming it hasn't happened already, before these broadcasts are implicated in a serious injury or death to a child? Professional wrestling has been claimed to be a factor in such cases a number of times in the past. However a lot of what the typical mixed martial arts match involves either isn't specific to the sport or would be hard for a child to imitate. But it seems inevitable that it will be claimed as a contributing factor in some legal matter sooner or later no matter how little a role it may actually have played.

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