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Professional sports started breaking free from the COVID-19 craziness this past weekend. UFC led the way, followed by a more timid, painfully politically correct NASCAR. Meanwhile, the boys of summer looked to be dropping the ball again, Major League Baseball likely losing bigly in a squeeze play between the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and National Football League. Between the NASCAR messaging and UFC, I’ll likely be watching UFC, not NASCAR, this year.
“It’s . . . TIIIME!”
At 6 p.m. Saturday in Florida, Bruce Buffer announced in his trademarked phrase, “It’s . . . tiiime!” To be clear, the video illustrates the way Bruce Buffer announces each fight but is from an earlier event with a live audience. See the illustration at the top of the page for what the arenas look like now. The event was live on ESPN, part of virtually every cable package. This was actually the third event in a week in that same location. The previous two had been on ESPN Plus, a premium cable channel. Fighters were finally getting paid again. There was no pay-per-view box office, no ticket sales “gate,” but there was a chance for fighters to make a living and the organization to at least cut its losses.
Dana White repeatedly made the point that he could put on the same event in the massive UFC training, nutrition, and treatment center they had recently built in Las Vegas. He did not name the Democrat governor, but the Vegas unions have a lot to answer for to their dues-paying members. White praised the can-do attitude of Florida and of President Trump, who, Dana repeated “has been good to me for 20 years.”*
Dana has repeatedly made clear that governors will not hold UFC hostage, that he will take his business where he can conduct his business. If Nevada fails to clear the UFC to use its own center in Las Vegas, the May 3o event will happen in Arizona, where Gov. Doug Ducey has declared the state will be open for sporting events. Likewise, local leftist rebellion against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott looks to be derailing the scheduled Austin event on June 27. Perhaps that will go to a more friendly Texas city or Abbott will drop the hammer on the capital city crazies.
Due to restrictions regarding public events, UFC Fight Night originally scheduled for June 27th will not continue as planned in Austin. UFC looks forward to returning with an event in the near future.
Meanwhile, Max Holloway, a former champion and one of the biggest personalities in the sport, was highlighted by the UFC for his charity initiative in his native Hawaii:
Former UFC champion Max Holloway has always represented Hawaii with honor, both inside and outside of the Octagon. His passion to contribute to the community and improve the lives of others continued this month as Holloway announced the All 4 Hawaii Challenge on his Instagram account earlier this week.
The challenge allows for individuals to donate to the Maui Food Bank and the Hawaii Foodbank in order to obtain raffle entries for a private training session with Holloway, as well as dinner with “Blessed.”
The challenge concludes on May 31. For more information, see what Holloway had to say about the All 4 Hawaii Challenge:
Tell us about the All 4 Hawaii Challenge?
Holloway: All 4 Hawaii (all4hawaii.org) is based on the All In Challenge. The main difference is the proceeds go directly to food banks in Hawaii.
What is this event’s purpose?
Holloway: It’s really to raise money for the food banks in Hawaii. That’s where the proceeds go and that’s what this is about.
[. . .]
Why did you decide to join this amazing charitable activation?
Holloway: Unemployment in Hawaii is near 40%, and because our economy is based on tourism, it looks like it’s going to be a long road to recovery. We also got a very high cost of living here, so a lot of people are hurting. The reason why I signed up for this is that the proceeds go directly to the food banks, and the food banks really, really need the help right now.
NASCAR got running in South Carolina, another state led by a courageous, common-sense, and constitutionally minded Republican governor. If you are unaware, “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing!” was Darrell Waltrip‘s signature starting call of every race for 19 years. It was such a part of NASCAR that a preacher included it in his invocation at the track one Sunday.
In Jesus’ Name,
They lit the tires up on Sunday, May 17, in a 400-mile race at Darlington Raceway, followed by two midweek races. Sadly, NASCAR was infected with the same corporate leftist line as all other major sports leagues, and touted the “Real Heroes 400:”
The special NASCAR Cup Series race entitlement at Darlington Raceway follows the launch of The Real Heroes Project, a collaborative initiative by 14 sports leagues including NASCAR to recognize and pay tribute to medical professionals serving on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
“As the coronavirus challenges our country in unprecedented ways, the frontline healthcare workers – the nurses, paramedics, emergency physicians and many others – continue to inspire us with their strength and bravery in caring for their fellow Americans,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer. “These men and women are the real heroes and the NASCAR industry is incredibly proud to honor their selflessness and service as we return to racing on Sunday.”
I get that the company wants to get on board with some social awareness cover as they try to get back to business. Praising the medical personnel who still have jobs as heroes is fine. The problem is in the phrasing, which matters.
So now we know that our military, law enforcement, and firefighters are not real heroes, just groups the suits grudgingly mouth support for. And all you non-essential Americans, you are not real heroes. And all the logistics people from farm to processing plant to truck terminal to retail or restaurant wholesale … y’all are just chopped liver in the eyes of the NASCAR suits.**
Medically speaking, it is simply false that COVID-19 has challenged the American medical system in unprecedented ways. Indeed, massive numbers of medical personnel and facilities are facing financial hardship or ruin due to the grossly flawed Fauci formula. A sister who is in the medical field in a Democrat-controlled state confirms that things are indeed getting tough, even for medical personnel. If you are not the Fauci-favored flavor of medical professional, you are likely to have found your governor severely restricting access to your services, treating life-sustaining and time-tested services as “non-essential.” You may even have been effectively ordered out of business in the name of saving beds for the fraudulently projected tidal wave of COVID-19 patients.
On Wednesday, the same drivers and teams were back, sometimes with a spare car, for the standard 500-mile race, the Toyota 500:
On Thursday, many of the same drivers ran in the shorter Xfinity race series on the same track:
Between bits of live sports and lots of replays, a stark National Alliance of Mental Health public service announcement announces that “It’s OK not to be OK,” giving a hotline number for mental health needs because of COVID-19. Thanks for all the warnings and for building this into your medical, scientific “public health recommendation,” Dr. Fauci. Oh, and way to go, “America’s Doctor!”
Meanwhile, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL are all caught between owners and the players’ organizations, plus various governors. Baseball had a path to quick success, getting back on live television early, if they had gone with the established spring training locations for all games. They could have contracted lodging and food service, with everyone involved pulled into a quarantined bubble and tested daily. This is not going to happen for any number of reasons, so their season will be entirely overwhelmed by NBA and NHL playoffs, followed by the NFL season. Apparently the NBA and NHL are both looking at limiting their venues for whatever their modified playoff system ends up looking like this summer. If you are a soccer fan, just flip channels or surf the web until you find the Bundesliga, which is already back on the pitch.
Sadly, we have all of the US sports executives mouthing the Fauci line: no fan attendance until a vaccine or a unicorn arrives, whichever comes first. That will be great for the mental and physical health of all those cut off from service industry jobs around sports venues, and will nicely reinforce healthy thoughts and feelings in all the cable and internet media viewers. Just ask NAMI … oh, and maybe ask them if they got a call at any point to add real public health advice into the White House Task Force.
* On YouTube, at (May 10) “UFC 249: Dana White Post-fight Press Conference,” and (May 16) “UFC Jacksonville: Post-fight Press Conference,” never Ricochet Code of Conduct friendly.
** A truly small business entrepreneur, who had just renovated and reopened a kitchen with a limited, value for money, menu, told me today that he was likely to take the burgers, the heart of his menu, off, replacing them with something like pulled pork for some time. This is because the outrageous, destructive shutdown of our economy has so disrupted the food supply chain that the cheapest ground beef to restaurateurs was going up next week to over four times its usual price. Pork was also going up over three times the recent regular price, but that was from a lower starting point, so it could still be served in portions at a small profit without trying to increase the entree price.
Increasing the price is not an option. It will simply result in customers refusing to buy the items. This is another part of the real damage done by the great COVID-19 political panic.Published in