I’m not sure what’s more troubling: that the juvenile hall antics sell the show, or that the show has yet to evolve beyond them. With several more seasons contracted, “TUF” risks a greater sin by simply becoming repetitive and stilted. Even the primal humor in “Jackass” grows stale after a few seasons. (You’ve seen one staple gun to the testicles, you’ve seen them all.)
Even more unsettling: to think that the real paradigm shift in this sport’s young history was the conceit of showing fighters one step from hurling feces at each other like monkeys—that this perversion of sportsmanship is what it took for a mass audience to take notice of an otherwise complex and beautiful thing. MMA was apparently beyond anyone’s interest until its participants began peeing on pillows for basic cable.
Was this really the secret saving grace of combat sports? Does our culture really need actual, literal poo to fertilize a sprouting athletic event? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall any footage of Muhammad Ali taking a dump in an opponent’s toilet tank.
There was a time when I was puffed with pride at being a spectator of this sport. Watching “The Ultimate Fighter” is something I prefer to keep to myself.
I have to be honest here. Up until the fighters competing on the show were revealed, I basically had no interest in watching this upcoming season. Surprisingly, at least to me, there were some unexpected guys that will be part of the cast. I’m pretty excited to see what the likes of Andre Winner, Jeff Lawson, Ray Elbe, Kevin Knabjian, Mark Miller, and Jason Dent will be able to do on the show to name a few.
Like Rossen, I’m able to give the show another chance. Despite all of the criticism from a certain section of hardcore fans, the series has created many legitimate stars in the sport. But if another round of Junie-type antics are on tap for this season, I’m not sure if I’m going to stick around for the duration of it.
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