Tag Archive for ufc

Digital Content: People WILL Pay

An article from Wired shows how real-time entertainment — Netflix, online pay per views, etc. — now account for the most traffic on the Internet.

Sandvine report graph

In other words, people are willing to pay for the digital media they consume. If Hollywood and the networks will just suck it up and deliver their content the way we’d like to have it, we will happily hand them money.

I’ve cut the cord and now my family and I watch all of our movies and television online via¬†Netflix on our Roku box. I also keep my Xbox Live subscription active because my wife likes to watch tennis on ESPN3. Shows I can’t get via Netflix I purchase on Amazon Instant Video. Total up all of our payments, it’s still less than our old DirecTV bill. I don’t pirate shows and I have no desire to.

However, it’s becoming tempting.

For example, UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter is apparently only available on Spike. I’m happy to give the UFC money by subscribing to their online content, Roku channel, or Amazon, but they don’t give me that option. They have all kinds of extras and post-episode interviews, but that does me no good without seeing the show.

I’d also like to see Game of Thrones, but HBO doesn’t have it up on Amazon or Netflix, either. I thought maybe I’d luck out with the HBOGo app when it hit the iPad, but you have to be an HBO subscriber to access the content, and of course you can’t subscribe to HBO without being on some kind of cable or satellite service.

Content providers: this isn’t the ’80s! You can now become your own content delivery service. If your contracts with cable and satellite providers prohibit you from offering services yourself, it’s time to start breaking (or at least not renewing) those contracts.

I don’t want to pirate your stuff. I want to give you money.

Why does this have to be difficult?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Violence Inherent in the System

I’m getting tired of elitist pricks like this guy shitting on mixed martial arts and its fans because somehow MMA is inferior to or is more primitive or brutal than boxing.

For starters, his article makes it clear that he has little or no understanding of what’s happening within the octagon. If he were a true sports columnist and wanted to objectively cover an emerging sport, he would visit a few gyms and talk to some of the fighters and get an idea of how the various martial arts are used in a fight. He’d get a better feel for the strategy involved and the physical requirements to be a successful fighter.

He might also start to understand some of the fighters involved in the sport. Yes, some of them are big, dumb thugs who don’t know how (or don’t have the ambition) to do anything else, but can any more be said of some of the boxers out there? Some of the fighters are every bit as interested in the sporting aspect of the game, and still others are interested in the martial art side of it, fancying themselves modern day warriors or gladiators.

Then there’s the blood. Yes, it’s messy, but it’s a necessary consequence of the game. The fighters need their fingers free for grappling, thus requiring smaller gloves with less padding. Compound that with the (albeit limited) use of elbows and you get cuts. If you stop a fight for every bit of blood, you’d bring every match to a screeching halt. However, if the cuts are too deep or dangerous, the doctors stop the fight. Is that not limit enough?

I don't care what he says, that's a hell of a knockout.

As for the fans and their bloodlust, are you really going to tell me boxing fans are any different? That the Average Joe plunking down his money for a boxing pay per view or arena seat isn’t hoping one fighter or the other isn’t going to get his brains beaten in? Are you really going to tell me there aren’t as many greedy promoters taking advantage of fighters in boxing as there are in MMA? That there aren’t as many broken and battered fighters ending their careers after one concussion too many?

I have no problem if they want to slam some of the fighters or some aspects of the showmanship. Some of the fighters are going to show poor sportsmanship; that’s just human nature. Tyson didn’t do his sport any more credit than some of the MMA guys have. The smack talk may get more coverage than it deserves, but that’s marketing. The UFC is going after the wrestling audience, and the smack talk is a huge part of the professional wrestling show.

Brock Lesnar and his post-fight comments are a great example of this. The guy’s a former WWE wrestler, and he sounded like it. Unfortunately this is what gets all the media attention, not all the times guys like Anderson Silva will bow to their opponents in a show of respect, or the times where fighters will raise their opponent’s hand after a match or even give them a congratulatory hug.

A columnist or sports reporter doesn’t like certain aspects of the game? Fine. But don’t pick and choose the parts that reinforce your obvious bias. Cover the events for what they are: a sport. If you can still play up baseball as a great American sport after all the athletes who have disgraced it through steroid abuse, there’s no reason not to look into why this new sport is growing in popularity and find out what’s behind the blood and spectacle that draws the rest of us to it.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Thus Endeth the Holiday

It’s a UFC Christmas!
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

The parents on both sides and my brother showed up today, and I’ve gotta say, we had a pretty good day. Ham and lasagna for lunch, a mix of snacks and brownies later in the day, and lots of opening presents, watching the kids play, lounging, and chatting.

Now we’re beat. Everyone’s on their way home, the kids are in bed, and the Wife and I probably won’t last much longer. We’re feeling good after a crummy start to the week, and it’s hard to ask for much more than that.

Made out pretty good, present-wise. My Complete Digital Photography book arrived yesterday, and I received Lightroom 2 last week. My folks and brother picked up Left 4 Dead for the 360 for me (which I’ll be putting through it’s paces tomorrow evening with John and Kraig), as well as The Orange Box (because I’ve been itching to try Portal).

The one I least expected was the full set of Series 1 of the Round 5 MMA UFC action figures, pictured above. I thought it would be cool to have these suckers for my office desk, but expected I’d be buying them myself. Instead the Wife spread the word and the in-laws snagged them. Nice!

Between these guys and the zombie horror slaughter-fest that is Left 4 Dead, I’ll be having a nice and violent post-Christmas. You won’t hear me complaining!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Charge Up the Batteries

I should be writing right now.

Instead I’m talking to you people about motivation while I watch a UFC retrospective show, and I’m lamenting on how Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Prison Break are both on downhill slides due to chronic failures to address any form of reality.

Flawed product or not, at least those writers are working. Maybe the problem is as simple as I’m watching what they’re working on rather than working on something you could be reading, and their work is sapping my creative strength. Instead of creating, I’m re-writing all of the astounding bullshit occurring on-screen and wondering how I can go about getting a series pitch in front of a Fox exec’s eyeballs.

Oh, look, Anderson Silva just put a hurtin’ on Nate Marquardt.

Huh? Oh, yeah. Writing. Damn idiot box.

It used to be I could write in front of the television. In fact, I almost needed to, as the noise made a welcome distraction. An occasional glance at an action sequence or flash of titty while the gears were spinning and the fingers weren’t was almost helpful, not hurtful. Now? Now I get the same slack-jawed, hundred-yard stare the rugrats get when they’re watching Transformers.

Wow, the Philly-Dallas game is close! It’s getting hairy for my fantasy team, The Magnificent Bastards, too.

Damn. I did it again, didn’t I?

So let’s talk about motivation. They say there’s only one motivation that counts: the desire to write. That’s true to an extent, but let’s face it: desire without discipline doesn’t amount to much, and without moolah — or at least results — to justify the discipline, it’s just a hobby.

That’s right, I said justify.

They’re replaying Forrest Griffin vs Shogun Rua! Sweet!

Whoops. I’m back. What’d I say? Oh yeah, justify discipline.

I still enjoy writing. I really do. Yet it’s tough to justify the time spent away from my family, my chores, and my other hobbies when there’s no result from the writing. While a clich√© like “a writer needs to write” sounds really cool, the fact of the matter is it’s a load of pretentious horse shit. The truth is a writer needs to be read. Sure, there are guys out there with trunk novels they wouldn’t submit if their lives depended on it, but they’re the exception. Those are the guys who are happy to just write. The rest of us want to entertain you. The rest of us want the results of said entertainment, be it as simple as money and fame or something more emotional like validation and exhibitionism.

“But Mike,” someone always says, “you’re published! You’ve got stuff out there!”

Yes, but how recent? Restore from Backup took a couple years to sell. Brimstone Turnpike was five years in the waiting. Five. Years. That top secret book deal I mentioned a while back? The publisher is having some difficulties, and more recently has gone incommunicado. That’s happened twice before, and while I’m willing to be patient for this project, history suggests I shouldn’t hold my breath.

No, it’s not all doom and gloom. A conference call last week went very well, and now I’ve got deadlines. My German publisher is also willing to look at more of my work. Justification or not, I best muster some discipline. Basking in their interest and contemplating potential money is nice, but it’s exactly green in hand, is it?

I read how Neal Stephenson’s typewriter forced him to write: if he didn’t keep the keys moving, the plastic ribbon melted, which meant no more writing. That gave me an idea. Well, two ideas, but switching to Vista and having to hurry up and write between crashes and reboots would quickly get annoying. So, one idea:

A taser.

A taser hooked up to my nads, to be exact. Every time my words-per-minute rate falls below a certain threshold, my baby makers get 10,000 volts. And there’d be a perimeter sensor on it, too. I walk too close to the TV?

Bzzzzzaaaaappp!!

That’s motivation!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Ultimate Reality Show

I’ve become addicted to The Ultimate Fighter. I can’t stand most reality shows, but this one’s pretty simple: get a bunch of thugs together in one house, watch them screw with one another, then watch them vent their frustrations in the ring. No getting voted off islands, no silly games for immunity, no ridiculous challenges, just a bunch of punchy dudes in a posh house all ready to pummel their buddies into oblivion.

I can think of worse ways to spend an evening. I mean come on, where else are you going to see the coach of one team shoot another with a net gun?

My own karate training has sparked a new appreciation of UFC and mixed martial arts, but I don’t tune in for every fight. The Ultimate Fighter, meanwhile, now has a season pass on my DVR. Screw Survivor, American Idol, and Big Brother; this isn’t a popularity contest or a contrived competition, it’s 16 guys and 2 coaches beating the piss out of one another. It’s simple, it’s brutal, and it’s just beautiful.

It’s funny, though, having to defend grappling to people who don’t understand it. Yes, sometimes it looks awkward when two guys are twisted together in a certain way, but believe me, it’s far from comfortable. Rather than explaining it, however, I found this simple poster that makes it simple:

Jiu Jitsu

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.