ESPN Wisconsin

Countdown to Kickoff

Wrong version or no version of Flash detected

Lawmakers pick fight with MMA

By DREW OLSON
dolson@espnmilwaukee.com

There is a new version of “Footloose” playing at your local multiplex.

That’s right.

Hollywood took what I simultaneously consider one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen -- and an iconic touchstone of 1980s cheesy excess and music video mass marketing -- and remade it, prompting one British publication to call the original a “cynical and manipulative exercise with little feel for the teen culture it purports to celebrate.” (I’d cite the source, but can’t find it).

What does this trip down memory / sequel lane have to do with sports?

Glad you asked.

Then and now, the plot of “Footloose” centers on government banning teenagers from listening to rock / pop music and expressing themselves through dancing. Unless the thing was set in Amish country, the premise is absurd. Trying to stop kids from experiencing pop music and dancing is like trying to hold back the tide with your fingers. Besides, governments have more important things to do than ban things that people like and are going to experience, anyway.

Or, do they?

Just as the coverage of “Footloose” hit a crescendo, I received an e-mail from my buddy, Kevin, who is a huge MMA (mixed-martial arts) enthusiast and another anonymous tipster who loves the sport.

It seems that some of our elected leaders in Wisconsin -- State Reps. Patricia Strachota and Mark Honadel and Sen. Glenn Grothman -- are pushing Assembly Bill 308, which would authorize any town in Wisconsin to enact and enforce an ordinance prohibiting any person from participating in, operating, maintaining, attending or promoting any form of MMA event. (UPDATE: Folks fighting the bill report that Rep. Honadel, an original sponsor, has removed his name from the bill.)

That’s right -- with unemployment rampant and a $4 billion deficit strangling the budgets for education, health care,  infrastructure and other vital functions of government these nozzles are taking time to worry about banning MMA events and preventing hardworking guys like Duke Roufus, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Olympian Ben Askren and others from pursuing their sport in their home state.

Does this strike anyone else as absurd?

I’m not the biggest MMA fan in the area, but I’ve met Duke, his partner Scott Joffe at Roufusport and several of their fighters over the years. I am awestruck by the blood, sweat and tears they have invested to make Milwaukee a hotbed for one of the hottest sports in the country.

The idea that somebody is trying to restrict them from pursuing their dreams and growing their sport is as absurd as a mythical southern town banning rock and roll and dancing. But, it’s real.  

Here is some background from a story Paul Fladten wrote on the website uscombatsports.com:

“AB-308 stems directly from a past set of ordinances out of the Town of Polk in Washington County. Ordinance 07-02 forced the cancelation of a Wisconsin Fighting Championship event at the Washington County Fairgrounds in November of 2009.

Less than a year later Polk enacted Ordinance 10-11 stating “No person shall operate, maintain, attend, participate in, promote or assist in operating, maintaining, attending participating in or promoting an ultimate or extreme event held within the Town of Polk.”

Now, Representative Strachota has jumped on the bandwagon of Polk Chairman Albert Schulties and hopes of spreading Schulties’ dislike for the sport of mixed martial arts across state lines. According to the 2010 census the Town of Polk’s population stands at 3,937.

Interestingly, all three sponsors of AB-308 were firm supporters of last year’s movement towards the regulation of mixed martial arts. Representative Strachota was upon the Assembly that unanimously voted in favor or regulation, Senator Grothman voted yes on the Senate floor and was on the committee that unanimously agreed to put the bill in front of the entire Senate, and Honadel was a co-sponsor of the bill seeking to create statewide safety standards.

The next step for AB-308 will be a review by the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs.

Opposition to AB-308

Interested parties such as Roufusport owners Scott Joffe and Duke Roufus have begun to oppose the proposed bill. Those challenging AB-308 have stated:

  • AB-308 is a harsh slap in the face to the thousands of men, women and children who participate and compete in mixed martial arts in all 72 counties
  • AB-308 would have a significant, negative economic and job impact on the hundreds of martial arts dojos and MMA training facilities across Wisconsin.
  • The legislature should focus on real issues like jobs and growing our state’s economy – NOT denying athletes the right to compete in one of state’s most popular and safest sports.
  • It’s wrong to waste time and taxpayer money considering ill-advised laws that would move MMA back underground.

If you think that AB-308 is absurd and would like to contact the legislators involved, here is a link with more information. You also can follow the fight on Twitter.

QUICK HITS
News, notes, opinions and nonsense

Game 1 of the World Series is in the book and -- surprise -- people are squawking about the need for instant replay. I think baseball needs replay, but -- as we’ve seen in football -- there are still going to be screwups, bad angles and human error.

If the Wisconsin-Nebraska game was “the game of the year” in the Big Ten, what does that make Wisconsin-Michigan State? Does the fact that the basketball teams hate each other add fuel to the fire?

Dear NBA owners/players. We endured enough false starts during the NFL's labor drama last summer to last us for a couple years. Wake us when you reach a deal. Thank you.

FILM STUDY
Our SportsPage Video of the Day

Given the nominal fine he received on Wednesday, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk will have nominally less money to pursue one of his favorite hobbies. What might that be? Check out this video from the player's association:



AROUND THE HORN
News and notes from other sources

PACKERS
Remember when the Packers lost to Tampa Bay rookie Josh Freeman? They do...

The Packers look into dome improvement

Linebacker Frank Zombo will miss more time

The Packers prepare to face Christian Ponder

Rob Demovsky wonders whether the Favre experience was satisfying for the Vikings

Josh Sitton missed practice on Wednesday

BREWERS

Brewers GM Doug Melvin meets the press and Tom Haudricourt is there...

... And so is Adam McCalvy of Brewers.com

The Brewers say "thank you" to their fans

BADGERS
The State Journal's story on the Toon family seizing the moment

Bret Bielema hasn't forgotten any of the losses in East Lansing

ESPN's "Depth Chart" features the Badgers

Kohout is pumped about a possible start, and Jeff Potrykus has the story

Butryum plans to play Saturday

M.V.T. (Most Valuable Tweets)
Interesting comments from the world of Twitter

The Los Angeles Vikings has a nice ring to it. What do you think, Minneapolis?
--@rainnwilson

who really watches Wendy Williams show like c'mon
--@kingme_DJ1

Sometimes I hate the media more than people who say they hate the media.
--@souhanstrib

Oh my God who was clapping at the end of La Russa's media session. #awful
--@alysonfooter

McCarver is an eight-letter word for dumbass
--@whitlockjason

I assume the infrared camera is being paid for with the money NewsCorp saved on Glenn Beck.
--@joe_sheehan

Well, slap me with a rotting codfish! The damn hotspot gizmo was actually useful. Sorta. Lets buy one for every stadium!
--@czabe

VIEW FROM THE BASEMENT
What the sports blogs are writing

Editor's note: We are always looking for interesting blog items about Wisconsin sports teams. If you have a favorite blog or come across an item we should spotlight, e-mail the address to SportsPage headquarters.

Cheesehead TV's Aaron Nagler says Mike McCarthy is getting his due

Deadspin weighs in on the Bryant Gumbel / David Stern battle

The Big Lead on ESPN's system for rating NBA players, especially those named LeBron

Cracked Sidewalks says MU hoops makes more money than some FBS football programs

Brew Crew Ball takes a look at Paul Molitor's post-season mastery

NUMEROLOGY
7
-- Touchdowns allowed by Wisconsin’s defense

17 -- Touchdowns scored by Badgers tailback Montee Ball

6 -- Consecutive games the Badgers have won by 30 or more points. That’s the longest streak to start a season since at least 1950.

ON TAP

PACKERS -- Next game: at Minnesota, 3:15 p.m. Sunday

BADGERS -- Next game: at Michigan State, 7 p.m. Saturday

TODAY’S ESPNMILWAUKEE LINEUPS



540 ESPN
5 a.m. -- Mike & Mike in the Morning
9 a.m. -- The Herd with Colin Cowherd
11 a.m. -- The D-List
2 p.m. -- Homer
6 p.m. -- World Series Game 2 -- Texas at St. Louis
10 p.m. -- ESPN Radio

ESPNMilwaukee.com
Simulcasting 540 ESPN
10 a.m. -- Green and Gold Today (exclusive)

ESPNDeportes 1510
Broadcasting in Spanish

THIS DATE IN SPORTS HISTORY (OCT. 20)
1910 - 1st appearance of cork centered baseball in World Series
1924 - 1st Negro League World Series: KC Monarchs shuts out Hilldales, 5-0
1934 - All-Star team led by Babe Ruth & Connie Mack sails to Hawaii & Japan
1946 - Frank Seno returns kickoff 105 yd, Chicago Cards vs NY Giants
1947 - Radio rights for the World Series sell for $475,000 for 3 years
1963 - Jim Brown sets NFL single-season rushing record, 8,390 yds
1976 - NY Nets Julius "Dr J" Erving sold to Phila 76ers
1979 - John Tate beats Gerrie Coetze in 15 for Heavyweight boxing title
1981 - 1st NBA game at Meadowlands Arena, NJ Nets lose to NY Knicks 103-99
1982 - St Louis Cards beat Mil Brewers, 4 games to 3 in 79th World Series
1984 - Islander's Mike Bossy's 30th career hat trick-4 goals
1988 - LA Dodgers beat Oakland A's in baseball's 85th World Series 4 games to 1
1988 - Reggie Rogers, Det Lion's # 1 pick, kills 3 by driving intoxicated
1990 - Cincinnati Reds sweep Oakland A's in 86th World Series
1992 - 1st World Series game outside of US - Toronto beats Atlanta
1993 - Highest scoring World Series game Blue Jays 15, Phillies 14 in 4h14m
1996 - Annika Sorenstam wins LPGA Samsung World Championship of Women's Golf
1996 - Braves Andruw Jones is youngest player to homer in World Series
2004 - Boston Red Sox come back from 0-3 to defeat the New York Yankees 4-3 to win baseball's American League
2007 -- Former Packers WR Max McGee dies (born 1932)

OCT. 20 BIRTHDAYS
1896 - Nat Holman, basketball coach (CCNY)
1931 - Mickey Mantle, NY Yankee, home run slugger (1956 Triple Crown)
1932 - Roosevelt Brown, Virginia, NFL hall of fame tackle (NY Giants)
1937 - Juan Marichal, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher (SF Giants)
1952 - Dave Collins, baseball player
1953 - Keith Hernandez, SF Calif, 1st baseman (St Louis Cards, NY Mets)
1958 - Dave Krieg, NFL quarterback (Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Oilers)
1959 - Razor Ramon, [Scott Hall], wrestler (WWF/WCW/NWA/Florida/AWA/KC)
1965 - Mikhail Shtalenkov, Moscow Russia, NHL goalie (Team Russia, Anaheim)
1969 - Herman Moore, NFL wide receiver (Detroit Lions)
1969 - Juan Gonzalez, Vega Baja Puerto Rico, outfielder (Texas Rangers)
1971 - Eddie Jones, NBA guard/forward (LA Lakers)
1972 - Dexter Coakley, linebacker (Dallas Cowboys)
1974 - Jerald Honeycutt, NBA forward (Milwaukee Bucks)
1976 - Reidel Anthony, wide receiver (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
1981 - Willis McGahee, American football player

SPORTS PAGE ARCHIVES
Need a back copy? You can’t wrap fish with it, but we’ve got you covered

Aug. 1, 2011

Aug. 2, 2011
Aug. 3, 2011
Aug. 4, 2011
Aug. 5, 2011

Aug. 8, 2011
Aug. 9, 2011
Aug. 10, 2011

Aug. 11, 2011
Aug. 12, 2011

Aug. 15, 2011
Aug. 16, 2011


Aug. 17, 2011
Aug. 18, 2011

Aug. 19, 2011

Aug. 22, 2011
Aug. 23, 2011
Aug. 24, 2011
Aug. 25, 2011
Aug. 26, 2011

Aug. 29, 2011
Aug. 30, 2011
Aug. 31, 2011
Sept. 1, 2011
Sept. 2, 2011

Sept. 6, 2011
Sept. 7, 2011
Sept. 8, 2011
Sept. 9, 2011

Sept. 12, 2011
Sept. 13, 2011

Sept. 14, 2011
Sept. 15, 2011

Sept. 16, 2011

Sept. 19, 2011
Sept. 20, 2011
Sept. 21, 2011
Sept. 22, 2011
Sept. 23, 2011

Sept. 26, 2011
Sept. 27, 2001
Sept. 28, 2011
Sept. 29, 2011
Sept. 30, 2011

Oct. 3, 2011
Oct. 4, 2011
Oct. 5, 2011
Oct. 6, 2011
Oct. 7, 2011

Oct. 10, 2011
Oct. 11, 2011
Oct. 12, 2011
Oct. 13, 2011
Oct. 14, 2011

Oct. 17, 2011
Oct. 18, 2011
Oct. 19, 2011