Day Thirteen – Why Isn’t MMA Legal Here Yet?

13 01 2010

The City of Toronto has another huge shortfall on its hands. Though some are proposing budget cuts, which are almost necessary at this point, others have looked for different streams of revenue. One of the many ideas is to bring in more tourist dollars. The Toronto Unlimited campaign was the Miller era’s best idea to bring people in. Needless to say, it hasn’t really brought in the tourism it has promised.

There has been one idea that has banged at the door trying to get in, but the city and the province have simply ignored it. It’s about time they give in and open the door to MMA in Toronto.

It's only a matter of time before the UFC hits Toronto, but will it be soon enough to take advantage of the hype?

The UFC has been trying to shed the image that, the UFC specifically, had earned a decade prior. MMA is now a fully regulated and relatively safe combat sport that most of the world has opened up to. For some crazy reason, you can take up boxing legally in Ontario, but you can’t mix that with some wrestling. Whether it’s an uneducated fight commission or some boxing die-hards who see MMA as “too brutal”, talks have been stalled.

Toronto has more MMA fans per capita than any other country in the world, according to Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice-president of regulatory and government affairs. It’s ridiculous to think that with these hungry fans within the city of Toronto, they have to go to Quebec to satisfy their MMA appetite. Not to mention fans in New York State, which seems ever closer to opening it’s doors to most populated city in the continent. Premier Dalton McGuinty is even warming up to the idea, but there doesn’t seem to be any talk of it from city hall.

Dana White, President of the UFC, has lobbied for MMA to be legal in Ontario for a while and doesn’t seem to be letting the issue go. Hometown media, such as “Showdown” Joe Ferraro, host of MMA Connected, and Mauro Renalo, commentator for Strikeforce and host of The MMA Show, are right behind Dana in the fight for legalization. The fact that all three sports networks in Ontario fight for the rights to MMA coverage shows that there’s a market for it. A market that is more than willing to bring their money into the city of Toronto.

The money is there for the taking, it’s just a matter of getting over their prejudice over the sport. The days of the human cockfight are long gone. MMA is a sport that isn’t going to disappear, but the opportunity to bring tourists for all over Ontario and New York State just might.

Good thing this year is an election year in Toronto. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one candidate jumps on the bandwagon. Maybe the same candidate who would have liked to see the Toronto Islands become a red-light district? (More on his platform in the future.)

I think it’s only a matter of time before we see GSP, Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture duking it out in the octagon in Toronto. Now it’s just a matter of what building to host it in.

Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice-president of regulatory and government affair




Day Eleven – 3D is a Gimmick!

11 01 2010

Chalk up another issue I have with Avatar. technically, it hasn’t really done anything directly, but it seems like being a successful 3D movie has opened the door for everyone to try their hand at it.

I realize 3D televisions and media players have been in development for years. It only makes sense to make TVs 3D at some point, otherwise the Blu-ray/DVD marked can’t get any of that Avatar cash. Not to mention the countless animated children’s movies, but now they are plans to show the FIFA World Cup in 3D. And that’s just the beginning, as the World Cup will help launch ESPN 3D.

Has everyone forgotten 3D is just a gimmick?

All This Money Wasted on 3D Tech Could Be Used to Upgrade the Broadcasts We're Already Equipped to Receive, Rather Than Another Gimmick

It’s neat. That’s about it. There is no benefit to watching a sport in 3D. You get absolutely no new information when the sport pops out of the screen. A film could use it to draw focus, not only to part of the screen, but the field of vision. A sport doesn’t have this benefit. Everything on-screen at any time is as important as the next thing. That’s the #1 reason people get dizzy at the movies, they don’t know how to focus on what the film-maker wants them to.

3D still hasn’t mastered quick movement. Avatar probably did the best job of avoiding the blur when the camera would pan, but it didn’t correct the issue entirely. I don’t see how a cameraman who can rarely keep the action on screen will be able to move without causing world-wide motion-sickness.

I should worry too much. I doubt I’ll watch the World Cup, but I definitely won’t in 3D considering they won’t reach Canada by then.

That doesn’t mean I’m safe, though. Sony seems to be really excited to jump into 3D gaming. They have a couple demos running at CES already. Why do I need to see my game in 3D? Will having my gun in Call of Duty directly in front of me have any affect on the way I play? I highly doubt it.

3D is a parlour trick. It’s not really 3D. You can’t see around the things popping out from the screen. All 3D does is add a layer of depth that is there anyway, it just makes it “pop”.

To be fair, I enjoy 3D in limited amounts. It’s fun for the odd occasion, but it’s beginning to look like it’s going to attempt a take over. A take-over that will fail. People aren’t that excited about 3D. The group that saw Avatar, much like the ones that saw Titanic, are the same group of people over and over again. I had a friend who saw Titanic eight times in theatres. I saw The Dark Knight three times last year.

Yet, I only bought one copy of The Dark Knight on Blu-ray. The same goes for the Avatar fans. They’ll only buy one TV. Only one copy of the Blu-ray in 3D. Only one pair of goofy glasses to sit in front of their new high-tech TV. Not multiple, like a movie ticket.

People have barely made the transition to HD and now they’re expecting a jump to 3D so soon? My brothers and I had to force the issue with our parents and bought them a flat-screen. They still don’t watch the HD channels, though. They can’t be bothered. Now you want them to put on glasses?

I can’t wait for this to crash and burn so these companies can worry more about providing quality content rather that more gimmicks.