The Doggy Bag: Readers Write, We Respond

Spoiled Rotten

By Staff Nov 2, 2008
Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at, have decided to defer to our readers. “The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what’s on your mind from time to time.

Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts, and editors will chime in with our answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.

This week, readers weigh-in on a wide range of topics, including the use of “spoilers” on, drunkenness on “The Ultimate Fighter,” and the future of WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber.

Spoiled rotten

Hey, just figured I'd send you a message to let whoever runs [] know that they're a--holes. Thanks for ruining [UFC 89] for me. Don't do anything crazy like announce spoilers. After all, [Spike TV’s delayed broadcast] didn’t air in the USA for another six hours.
-- Brad

Mike Fridley, managing editor: Thanks for the e-mail, Brad. While I'm not the poor lad who “runs”, I hope you don’t mind if I offer my two cents on this touchy subject.

I understand your frustration, but it has long been our policy to deliver the news in an up-to-the-second manner, and that starts with the headline and lead photo. Our staff believes that hiding the news behind “spoiler warnings” and file photos only cheapen the reader’s experience.

Like our colleagues at, who offered no spoiler "warnings" in its links to Sherdog's UFC 89 coverage -- or the recent Olympic Games before they were broadcast, for that matter -- we feel that it is imperative to give the reader the news they visited us for in as much of an upfront format as possible.

I suggest staying off the Internet for a few hours when a delayed showing is your only option. Be certain that we’ll stick it to you every time when you’re trying to avoid mixed martial arts news and results.

Photo Courtesy: Spike TV

Is season eight's cast the
rowdiest TUF crew ever?
TUF = More taste league?

Most of the fighters in the house showed great restraint and maturity. It is too bad that I will not watch the show anymore. I don't have time for drunk, undisciplined and disrespectful fighters. I see enough in the real world. Junie [Browning] and Shane [Nelson] are going to pick a fight with people in the real world and end up with a bullet in the head. I have seen their type all my life and both are losers who feed of the weak. The other fighters have shown their professionalism, but it is not enough to continue to watch. I have kids in the house and would not want them to see such conduct. As a scholarship wrestler in college, none of those bozos would have lasted.
-- Mark Zimmerman

Loretta Hunt, news editor: I certainly understand reservations about letting your children watch what happens in “The Ultimate Fighter” house, but I take what I see on the show with a grain of salt. You have to remember, these athletes -- ages 22 to 31 this season (out of those that listed their ages) -- are placed under extreme circumstances and given stringent rules to follow for their six-week stay at the TUF “resort.”

As many of them have explained, no TV, newspapers, phone calls, visitors, or any other form of contact from the outside world leads to boredom and sometimes frustration. Try living in a house for six weeks with 15 strangers, some of whom you can’t stand because they leave their dirty dishes in the sink, or eat your food, or keep you up late at night while they drink and rough-house to kill the time. Try this when a camera is recording your every move, and oh, your career and livelihood is hanging in the balance.

If there’s anything that’s been rewarded with screen time in past seasons, it’s over-the-top behavior. Screen time equals exposure, which equals more fights, which is the reason these young men go on the show in the first place. And it seems that practically any bad behavior can be forgiven and forgotten over time. Didn’t we just have a UFC headliner who once peed on another fighter’s bed and didn’t tell him?

For every Junie and Shane, we get a Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans -- gentleman who have grown gracefully into their roles as ambassadors for the sport. Who’s to say Junie won’t mature into a fighter that surprises us as well in time?

I take the show for what it is -- a great vehicle for both the sport and the undiscovered talent that keeps MMA going. At the end of the day, it’s just a TV show subject to ratings and an inventive editing team that shows you what it wants you to see like all the rest.

Photo by

Dana White always does
his due diligence.
I love Dana White's speech about "alcohol & grown men." He isolates the fighters in a house without internet, phone, or TV (with the exception of letting them watch UFC events), and then adds a couple of immature bottle rockets susceptible to alcohol (bad drunks), and doesn't expect s--t to happen? The only difference between Junie and Jesse [Taylor] was that Jesse took his idiot show out into the public.
-- Tom Allen

Scott Holmes’ radio host, columnist: First off, I'm appalled at your accusations. You make it sound like Dana and the good folks at Spike TV kept any outside influence from the cast -- dare I say it -- in an attempt to keep the TUF contestants in a combustible situation!

It's almost like you’re implying that the producers would knowingly and wantonly put these boys in a position to make such mistakes. I'm saddened by this Tom. I really am. Surely you heard Mr. White say something to the fighters that was along the lines of, and I'm paraphrasing here: “We want to see how you'll act.”

OK, I'll admit that is a great answer from the foremost politician in MMA. Yes, it would be important to find out what kind of talent you are investing in. NFL and NBA teams spend beaucoup dollars trying to ascertain between a franchise player and a risky gamble. On the heels of Rampage's Alonzo Spellman moment, I don't blame White for wanting to get insight on the kind of talent he's buying in to.

Furthermore, the "six digit, three-year contract" that gets so highly touted is basically a $35,000 a year gig. Basically, you can take the previous paragraph, print it out and laugh at it throughout the holidays.

TUF is akin to going down to the unemployment line and finding the finest ten available. Then, you stop by the rail yards to round out the team. Then, you have the audacity to chew out “Crazy Larry” for throwing a can of beans and urinating on the kiddie slide.

You get what you pay for.

As long as Dana and company keep a linen closet chock full of booze and continue to cast this show with "immature bottle rockets" as you so eloquently put it, we will continue to have these on-air hooch filled histrionics. White, at best, is exploiting humanity when it is at its worst and laughing all the way to the bank. The only time it doesn't behoove the whole TUF staff to cheer this crap on, is when another contestant might have some legal recourse to the situation.

At the very least, it's a distraction from pre-election spam and economy woes. Right, Tom?
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