I'm in a great mood today. I was fortunate to attend Chris Rock's performance at the Lyric Opera House last night (fortunate because I somehow managed to buy the ticket at face value Friday afternoon.) Rock put on a 75-minute performance and he rocked (no pun intended) the entire time. He had the sold-out crowd in stitches on topics such as dogfighting (saying at one point that Don King could learn a thing or two from Michael Vick and drown Evander Holyfield or electrocute Thomas Hearns to prevent them from fighting more), politics (saying that George Bush messed things up so badly that America is now actually considering a woman and a black man for president), relationships, marriage, and much more.
Rock even had the crowd wondering what was up when he left the stage abruptly at about the one-hour mark and returned a few minutes later, mumbling "Oh the children." He never said why he left the stage and he also lost some of the momentum he'd built up before the mysterious exit and return.
(Update: The Sun's Mary McCauley has the scoop on Rock's mid-rant exit.)
I am a huge fan of Rock's comedy stylings. He's one of the best of my generation -- he's extremely insightful, honest (saying last night he's not good in bed), and on point on a number of topics. I didn't find him overly crass or obscene and I can't remember a punchline falling flat.
For those of you wondering if a live Chris Rock show is worth the money, that's an easy one. It is. And, he'll leave you wanting more ...
(Update: I just received an e-mail from David Moskowitz. Who is Moskowitz? Click here for the YouTube video that explains it all. Moskowitz appears to have played a profound role in Rock's childhood, enough to inspire Rock material years later. And, isn't it nice that Rock hasn't forgotten his roots and openly acknowledges Moskowitz? Rock is a big person for doing so and these actions only give me more reason to admire him.)
Tomorrow is primary day here in Maryland as well as in neighboring Virginia and Washington, D.C. If you want your voice heard, voting is the best way to accomplish this. You can cynically ask how your one vote can possibly matter but the reality is this: If you don't vote, you have no input at all.
And, voting isn't the only way for your voice to be heard. If you feel strongly about a particular candidate or policy issue, volunteer for that candidate or educate others on that issue. Or engage your friends and family in political debate. Participating in the process is the most important thing. Not participating renders your opinions irrelevant.
There are many ways to make a difference in the direction our country takes -- voting is one of the most significant.
A thought about MMA's trajectory. While fans and media alike yearn for network TV deals and blue chip sponsorships that will take MMA to the next level in terms of financial backing and mainstream coverage, has anyone considered the negative ramifications of such deals?
Nothing comes for free and the price of popularity and financial success could be a steep one. The sport is perfect the way it is right now. In fact, I used to enjoy the days when it still had that pseudo-underground feel to it (even as late as a couple of years ago).
So, how will MMA be forced to change in order to please the mainstream palate? Will there be rules changes to increase "offensive productivity" (read: to decrease the perceived boredom of the ground game) much like we've seen in football? Will fighters and execs be as forthcoming with the media as they currently are? Will personality and individuality be slowly erased by the almighty dollar? Will Dana White be politely asked to delete the f-bomb from his vocabulary?
We all know the Man has taken notice of MMA. And, that may not necessarily be such a good thing.