Making memes and and being marked as a member of MMA media is no laughing matter—at least for some. More often than not, the toxic formula rarely escaped from its vacuum-sealed packaging while covering Northern California and the Central Valley at my self-generated news source: norcalmixedmartialarts.com. The instances my casual style of interacting with the sport, outside of any “professional” duties, ruffled feathers were, in my opinion, funnier than any meme I could ever slap together in an app.
Get Ready for a Luke Rockhold Special
A story I regularly recycle is when someone once said, “Luke Rockhold wants to head kick you.”
I was setting up my equipment at a cage side table for the latest installment of The Titans Cage (TTC) when this particular individual, a commentator of the all-amateur promotion, waddled over. Every conversation with this guy was a carbon copy of the last: there was always some scheme he had about bolstering my brand by assisting him with some project that was destined to skyrocket him toward a delusional dream; any miraculous thoughts were followed up with a couple critiques about my role as a media personality; and the one-sided conversation would conclude with a long-winded recount of how he was, to some degree, responsible for MMA’s development.
Well, on this memorable day in Sacramento, I was informed of Rockhold’s game plan, which proceeded an unfortunate update for all those who were following norcalmixedmartialarts.com and its social media for coverage of the event: I’d no longer be permitted to live stream TTC’s shows on NorCal MMA’s Facebook page (link here).
A meme I posted, according to this passive-aggressive know-it-all, leading in to UFC 221 found its way into Rockhold’s hands, even though I never tag anyone in my antics—follow along, or not, is my mindset.
I have never met Luke Rockhold, but I believe a safe assumption is: a former world champion, model, and every possible opposite of a middle-aged fellow who has barely thrown a punch in his life wouldn’t feel the need to uncork a shin to my skull as retribution.
A Meming No-No
The bold line between memes and media becomes even more distinct when meming those you’re highlighting as media—though even this is a stretch of my own personal beliefs. In reality, the reason one may not want to posterize mishaps as a humorous graphic in the ‘work place’ is the subjectivity of comedy; some punchlines are certain to not land. If a joke misses the mark, others within the close-knit industry of combat may feel that they’ll also be targeted, thereby burning potential bridges.
I never made it a standard practice to meme the competitors on the regional circuit, but the one time I did sparked a bit of outrage, yet I still contend: it was the photographer’s fault for capturing such a memable moment.
No Memes Here
For those who stand under a spotlight, before their closest supporters in a venue the size of a barn or millions tuned in to prizefighters with the highest profile, and beat the sense out of one another for fist-fulls of dollars, I am in awe when criticisms about insensitivity are cast my way. Other members of the media, reflected in their pear-shaped physiques, revealed their soft sides, griped about a meme’s place in MMA’s space, viewing it as a blight on a sport so serious that it’s actually categorized as: sports entertainment.
In fact, once upon a time, I contributed my NorCal MMA podcasts to a website, but, as I was told by the domain’s head-honcho, the memes on my personal account were contradictory to the hard-hitting journalism their online publication was trying to convey, such as a pieces about the latest Instagram post or interview sound bite that was sure to bait readers for clicks.
@DaveMMAdden: Where Memes Are Welcome
Hence, I shifted to my own platform, cutting the cord as another contributor to a never-ending echo known as the daily news cycle. Now, anyone following along is aware of exactly what will be on the menu: a flood of silly memes, a vantage shared without a filter, and a story or two from adventures of a hobby that grew a life of its own.