Media Blackout: Sylvia Refuses Dot-Com Interview
The popularity -- and correlating distractions -- of mixed martial
arts has made securing fighters for interviews slightly more
difficult than a few years ago. They’re pushed and pulled in a lot
of different directions, and a Web site request for comment doesn’t
usually trump sponsorship obligations, family, or sleep.
On the whole, though, combat athletes tend to make themselves more
available and amenable than their MLB, NFL, or PGA equivalents,
most of whom insulate themselves in a Snuggie’s worth of PR and
league foot soldiers.
Shocking then, that Tim Sylvia
turned down an interview from Fighters.com shortly before Friday’s
rebound bout against Jason Riley
in Nebraska. Sylvia, savvy media player he is, apparently asked for
some of the questions beforehand. And he might’ve been right on
board until the interviewer -- identified only as “Chad” --
previewed this home run: “Did you bed [Andrei] Arlovski’s
ex-girlfriend, Patricia Mikula?”
Chad, Chad. Do you think “Stuttering” John
Melendez passed a list of questions over to Ringo Starr’s
publicist before asking what we did with the money his mother gave
him for singing lessons? If you have to go there, go there
The ambush interview can be amusing in the right hands, but in the
end, using a crowbar to peer into an athlete’s personal life is
only going to result in a greater divide between press and
personalities. And if that happens -- if performers begin to look
and sound as clinical as the bores in other sports -- fans are
going to have a harder time relating. That’s a big, big component
of this sport’s success: athletes as accessible, regular people.
Not bubble boys.
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