By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Long ago, or at least feels like a different time, I played team sports: baseball, soccer, and basketball. As a participant, it was easy to find myself knowledgeable and interested in the athletes who competed at the professional ranks, but I was never labeled a sports fanatic.
In fact, I was probably the worst fan of team sports known to mankind. I wasn’t a homer. If I had a favorite player, I didn’t refrain my endorsement of that player, regardless of the team. I’ve been known to be visible around town sporting a Carmello Anthony jersey from when he played for the Denver Nuggets. Call me a cheapskate or tell me to get with the times; my out-of-date attire connects with my desire to witness individual accomplishment. Anecdotally, it seems to me that the star trumps the team, so I figured I’d make the elite of the elite my focus. My realization was: There is an “I” in team, and mixed martial arts entertains the perfect format for such a perception.
MMA, intriguing since its inception, was a sport that wasn’t easy to represent on your sleeve, chest, or head. MMA was a Modern Marvel of Amazement as it began to take flight, but it was hard to share my fixation with others because of the sport’s new car smell and obscurity.
Thankfully, times have changed, and MMA has shifted gears and has the necessary traction to obtain legitimacy as a sport and continues to creep into mainstream. Mixed martial artists are becoming household names by making appearances in movies, commercials, or even the evening news. Apparel is a click away online or hanging in some of our favorite department stores. It’s clear; MMA is here; The athletes show no fear, which makes it easy to cheer.
Social media has not only saturated me with information about MMA, at times to an overwhelming degree, but it has also transitioned a game of individualism to a team-like atmosphere for those who stand on the cage’s outskirts. Each day, there is a collective of people whom, simply put, love MMA.
This team has rallied around fighters, events, foundations, and any niche they could carve out to heighten awareness about a sport that, day by day, continues to grow exponentially. I suppose things in life do occur cyclically, and it’s fascinating to note the camaraderie and cohesion I once felt on the field come flooding back with any discussion I immerse myself in about MMA with any one of my new teammates.
High-fives and pizza parties aside, this is a team I can travel with for life because they are known as TeamMMA4Life. If you find yourself surfing the digital highway, are interested in MMA, double-click on Twitter and join the team.
To join #TeamMMA4Life, contact @TeamMMA4Life