A long aimless jog that ends up, like all jogs, back where it started

Summer is good for running.

Winter in New England, not so much.

You will see the hardcore types doing their marathon prep hopping through the January snow in twelve layers of Underarmor, but I am not the hardcore type.

In the winter, I walk on a treadmill.

It’s good for your heart etc etc and is the most mind-numbingly boring activity known to man (which means a lot coming from a chessplayer).

There are exactly three kinds of television show that can sustain me for 45 minutes on a treadmill.

1 – America’s Best Dance Crew.


2 – Gordon Ramsay.

3 – MMA.

Strangely, this blog post on MMA is a top Google result if you search for MMA and economics. Let’s update the analysis in that post: Lesnar – Mir II in Las Vegas, 2009, is estimated to have sold 1.7 MILLION pay-per-view tickets. TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) viewership, thought to be in decline when I posted in 07, looks like it is actually more or less steady. They had a big (2x) spike at the beginning of season ten – thanks, Kimbo. But this season is “back to normal“. What I predicted was that to push MMA’s mainstream appeal and get bigger PPVs, UFC would eventually have to reduce the use of elbows. Elbows make nasty cuts, which stop fights and also make a serious mess. That was (I thought) a sensible prediction which appears to have turned out completely wrong. UFC has grown dramatically and, unless this most recent fiasco slows them down, they’re still on an upward trajectory.

Maybe MMA without elbows is like Gordon Ramsay without f-bombs.

Maybe Gordon Ramsay without f-bombs is like America’s Best Dance Crew without Lil Mama. (“Y’all did y’alls thing and I respect that, y’all represented.”)

Maybe it doesn’t matter because winter is over.

Summer is nearly here.

And I can get off this dang treadmill.


3 thoughts on “A long aimless jog that ends up, like all jogs, back where it started

  1. Intervals are very useful for reducing treadmill boredom. I manually swap between walk and run speeds every few minutes — gives the brain a little something to do.

    Still, it’s much rather to be outside.

  2. Great post. MMA rules. I think it’s my favorite sport (besides football and chess). The similar psychology between MMA and chess is frightening. I love MMA. (Alas, on the treadmill, I love MMA without sound.) The movement in the fights seem to sync well with the gym’s soundtrack. Come to think of it, those dancers seems to sync well with pretty much anything, too.

    If you’re going to walk, then read a magazine article. I’ve gotten to the point where I can read and run at the same time. Until I figure out a way to hold open a paperback, while my two hands are pumping, magazine articles are it.

    Here’s a book recommendation for you, Derek (two actually). Go to Amazon and search for “Sam Sheridan”. He wrote “A Fighter’s Heart” and, his most recent work is “A Fighter’s Mind.” I kind of felt that the first book was better, but the second book is about the mental game of MMA. In the second book he even interviews Josh Waitzkin. Watzkin has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Finally, someone experienced tells us how it’s like chess.

    We should organize a chess/MMA night for an upcoming UFC event.

    Forget chess-boxing. Where is chess-MMA?

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