Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Olbermann Blows

When I was in high school/college (can't recall, exactly), I used to look forward to the 11 PM edition of SportsCenter (SC). The hosts were Keith Olbermann & Dan Patrick (O&P), two men who now host their own self-titled programs, in addition to other things. If you don't know who they are then you don't give a shit about this post. Stop reading.

Back then, SC was cutting edge, and O&P were perfect hosts (Craig Kilborn took it to another level, but that's a different story). The show was witty, at times hilarious, informative, and exciting. Years passed, Kilborn, Patrick and Olbermann were major players at ESPN, but then they left. What came next were any number of hosts trying to be another version of those guys. Kenny Mayne, etc. It seemed ESPN was just trying to hire hosts who were carbon copies of the originals, but no one ever really paid attention to who they were/are because the joke was old. Yet ESPN is still telling it. What's funny, is they hated the joke when O&P created it, and now they can't move on from it. The new cast of characters who host SC are never funny, and quite honestly, have made most people I know uninterested in a show they used to never miss (there are more reasons than SC just being a bad show, I get that). It's far from cutting edge.

So now Keith Olbermann has a new show on ESPN, after having taken his act to MSNBC, where I sometimes enjoyed his style. But now that he's back doing sports again, with no restraints, I find him more annoying than any other SC host has ever been! His "act", as I'll call it, has gotten so old and copied by others, that hearing him do it makes me dislike his current version more than anyone else in the history of ESPN! It's weird, I tell ya.

I really don't want to blame him for how I feel because the guy is/was a trailblazer. But to me, his shtick is old, and his show is weak. I feel like I can't be alone in this. I feel like ESPN has to reinvent the idea of how sports is delivered because these days their in-house programming is horrific. The only personality show I can stomach is "PTI", and that's hit or miss.

Anyone?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

It Just So Happens...that College Football...

Is in one of those down years.

It just so happens.

It just so happens that Auburn, in the last couple weeks, has had 2 miracle plays, and lost to a pretty weak LSU team.

It just so happens that Missouri won't really have beaten a great team all season, and was locked up in a close game with Indiana.

It just so happens that Ohio State hasn't really played anyone, but then again, neither has any team.

It just so happens that Oregon, USC and Stanford could probably beat any team in the country on one day, but also lose to any of those same teams the next day.

It just so happens that Florida State's schedule is probably worse than Ohio State's, and that Clemson isn't that good. That Clemson's big win was the FIRST GAME of the year against a Georgia team that will end up unranked. A Georgia team that had 8 new starters on defense, in "Death Valley", and they hung on to win.

At the end of the day, it just so happens that there is no great team in college football this year, so choosing one team over another because of some misguided belief is pretty absurd.

There are two undefeated teams, and that is that.

You can go back and pick apart EVERY SINGLE SCHEDULE of EVERY SINGLE TEAM ranked in the Top 10.

It just so happens that Furman was down 4 to LSU at the half, and winning the game earlier.

It just so happens that Miami was once a Top 10 team because they had a big win over FLORIDA, who lost to GEORGIA...Southern.

SEC! SEC! SEC!

Missouri and Auburn didn't play in bowl games last year.

Again, I don't know if Ohio State is the best team in the country because their defense is average, at best. Their offense is the best in the country. It's unstoppable. And at the end of games teams cannot stop them. It's pure attrition, like Alabama last year.

But I know ONE THING...

The future.

Ohio State will play Florida State for the National Title, in a game they CANNOT WIN.

And by that I mean they probably will win. However, Jameis Winston will have been brought up on rape charges, so Ohio State will end up playing against Florida State's backup QB. So even if we do win, we won't get the credit.

What does this mean?

Well, there's only one answer: Kenny Guiton.

If we beat Florida State with our backup QB then we'll get the credit, kind of. Because we're the only team in the country, who when we lose superstars, which we did, overcomes it, and gets no credit.

So that's the prediction. Ohio State wins the last BCS, but gets no credit for having done so, and will be 37-0 this time next year.

----

Sidenote: While Michigan didn't play great this year, over the last four years their average recruiting ranking is #9.

Clearly not talented.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Healthy Guy Healthcare Tale

I'm a relatively healthy male, who doesn't smoke, doesn't binge drink, and has not gained a pound in over 10 years (6'0", 192lb, for those itnerested). My weight fluctuates 3-5 pounds depending on how much I work out, and that's usually down to 189lb. For the last 3+ years I've eaten a mostly vegetarian diet (6 days a week), and my meat intake is quite limited. I play soccer 2-3 times a week, and when I do I'm running for up to 90 minutes. All in all, I'm in pretty good shape. No previous medical conditions minus one Umbilical Hernia in 2003, which was handled in approx. 10 minutes.

Ok...so I recently started going to see a great doctor here in Oakland named Anthony Jones. We discussed my health. Slightly elevated cholesterol, which upon the second visit was significantly lower. Note: when they tell you not to eat 12 hours before seeing the doctor, don't let your last meal be 4 slices of pizza. That shit shows up.

I also get severe headaches, probably from stress, which usually come on after high level activity. That said, the activity is not the cause, we've deduced.

Like most, I was sent for blood-work on 2 occasions, etc. etc. Nothing serious.

That's the gist of my recent medical history (and some chiropractic issues).

End of the day, I'm a healthy dude.

When I went to the doctor's office they ask for my insurance card. My insurance is some random company which I believe is a smaller company my employer uses, or they actually own it. We'll call it Shitstorm. Neither does any doctor's office I've ever visited. On the card, next to my Insurance Co's name it says, "Claims Handled by Aetna. So you would think Aetna is the contact, right? Most offices do. I sure did.

Guess what? Aetna doesn't handle anything. Shitstorm is the insurance company. Aetna handles the "claims." Right? Makes sense. No it doesn't.

The nurses have been sending my claims to Aetna, which is the website I use to locate available doctors. Yet Aetna is rejecting the claims because they don't have me in their system. My provider is Shitstorm. So they doctor's office calls me and asks about Shitstorm, to which I tell them I have no idea what's going. They eventually tell me they've figured it out, and have sent the claims to Shitstorm. At the time I gave the doctor's office no money.

Then Shitstorm starts sending me all of these letters for doctors visits. The letters repeatedly say, "THIS IS NOT A BILL." Yet on this non-bill there's a fee that I owe for around $100-200. Do I have to pay this? This isn't a bill, right? I call my company's "Coordinated Health/Care" phone number, which is neither Shitstorm or Aetna. They tell me, "It's not a bill."

"Do I owe money?"

"Well, lets call Shitstorm and find out..."

Mind you, these non-bills are coming fast and furious. Literally, I receive minimum 10 letters a week from Shitstorm, and have even received a few from my doctor's office about non-payment. I contact my doctor's office, explain things, and they say they will handle it. They have. Because of course this is what nurses at a doctor's office should have to do ALL FUCKING DAY: contact insurance carriers about claims.

But BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THIS, all along the way, every letter, every phone call, every notice, every non-bill, every single thing sent to me, someone is getting PINGED. And by PINGED I mean, SOMEONE IN MAKING MONEY. Fact. And that's why this is happening. But lets not get bogged down in that for now because that's a different and truly American story...of capitalism always good.

Fast forward past the mound of letters, papers, and other bullshit I've received from Shitstorm, I finally call my company's Coordinated Health/Care helper (been very nice) about this new thing I received, asking for documentation of the doctor I visited (Jones), and for me to fill out his address, etc. I call and ask what this is all about. So the CHC helper calls Shitstorm, and they ask me a bunch of questions about "needing a list of previous doctors seen, or pharmacies which provided any drugs, as well as any gaps in coverage you may have had, or previous care from a separate insurer...going back as far as 3 years, or when the pre-existing condition began..."

"Erica, slow down. I have no pre-existing conditions at all. I have seen this doctor twice. I am healthy. I explained to him what my problems were the first time I went in, which were minimal. I only went in when I did because my company, which I assume you're the insurer of, requested that I do so upon being hired. Doctor Jones and I haven't gone over any problems other than the migraines you mentioned, and there was nothing pre-existing. I only started getting them upon employment." Which is entirely true.

Her response? "Okay. Just give me onnnnnne...sehhhhcond...heeeere...okay. Ummm, okaaaay (type type type)...Okay, what I'll do for you (for me, really?) is I'll just reprocess this, and send it back out, then everything should be okay."

"Okay."

"Yeah, you should be all good now...Any other questions?"

"No thank you."

Then I hang up the phone and notice there are dates on these letters, and a comment "THIS IS THE ONLY LETTER YOU WILL RECEIVE; FAILURE TO RETURN IT WILL RESULT IN NON-PAYMENT OF CLAIMS."

I think to myself, "Holy shit! I've received like 25 letters. How many claims are they not paying? What the fuck?"

I call back. They tell me everything is fine. I have nothing outstanding. After all, those weren't bills...

Then it finally occurred to me. The system itself. It's designed just in this way. It's designed in a legal way. A confusing way. In a way that everyone PINGS someone else for a nickel day after day after day after fucking day, until the patient is fucked. Unless, of course, that patient has hours upon hours to troll through this paperwork, call insurance companies, etc. etc.

Yet it's the legal system in that Shitstorm and other insurers are trying to delay the process over and over, overloading you with paperwork, bills, numbers, non-bills, paragraphs, numbers, official envelopes, shit, shit and more fucken shit. All so they can justify the Pinging along the way, and in the hopes the patient doesn't make that call, or send in that letter. So they can be legally not-responsible for your claim. When all I did was go to see a doctor, at their request, give them my insurance card, which they couldn't figure out (not just them; no one can), do what the doctor told me to do, and came back for a follow up. That's all I did! Bloodwork! Cough! Take 3 deep breaths. Stand on the scale. Roll up your sleeve. STANDARD SHIT.

And here I am going back and forth with 3-4 different people, every day, as the letters just keep piling up, assuring me "it's not a bill."

Yeah, it's not a bill. Put me at ease. Yet the paperwork I need to send back regarding the services I received, that's also not a bill. Until someone doesn't send it back, then it's a fucken bill. Then it's a fucken bill that you not only have to pay, but it's one Shitstorm won't. Because LEGALLY you've probably missed the cut off date. It's in the fine print. And now that bill becomes ENORMOUS. And for what? A standard checkup?

"We sent you a letter. Did you receive it? It wasn't a bill..."

--- At the end of the day, "Obamacare" doesn't fix this. No one is fixing this. Republicans made sure there was no public option, and their donors make sure everyone gets pinged along the way. That's the reality of care in America.

One party is making sure THIS is the system, and the other party, imperfectly, is fighting to do undo it.

Just remember though: Capitalism is more important than your health.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear Idiots, Who Want to Turn Oklahoma Shooting into Reverse Trayvon...

You're being idiots.

In case you missed it, a few teenagers in Oklahoma committed a heinous act of violence against a wholly innocent person. There's nothing to say particularly about the case other than it is just tragic.

That said, it has nothing to do with Trayvon Martin.

That said, it has nothing to do with how "black leaders" respond, or don't respond.

Allow me to explain how off base a lot of white folks are in trying to make the case for "hypocrisy!"

To start with, I haven't been watching MSNBC, CNN, or other outlets, in the hopes some "black leader" will make a case. Maybe it has happened, and maybe it hasn't. I have no idea. It's hardly relevant, or necessary, that any of them do. Why is that? Because the reality is that these men, and others, have on so many occasions spoken out against violence within their own communities. These men, and others, have continued to speak out in churches, at communal gatherings, on television, radio and anywhere you can think of, about the problems of violence, and more to the point, GUN VIOLENCE. OVER and OVER and OVER. Except you're not watching because you don't really care. You care now though because you think it helps make some bullshit case about some bullshit thoughts you've recently had.

So guess what happened after all these black leaders made speeches on these subjects? You guessed it. Nothing.

Guess who's listening? No one.

Oh, so a white Australian gets shot, and now the largely white conservative community wants to hear from the same people they continually label as fraudulent and dishonest? To what end? Do they then become honest people in your eyes, or does it only serve to make you feel better? Does it help you smirk? What's the gain in all of this? Because believe me when I say this, both of these men, be it Jackson or Sharpton, have spoken out on these issues countless times. To want them to do it only now because you believe it helps your case/cause is disgusting, embarrassing, meanspirited, disingenuous, petty...shall I go on? It's certainly not helpful.

However, for a moment, let me indulge you on the Trayvon Martin aspect of all this.

The reality is, regardless of this case in Oklahoma, or "black on black crime" in Chicago, Oakland, Newark, Miami, or elsewhere, none of this erases the fact that minorities felt something when it came to Trayvon. People who live their entire lives feeling different about how they're perceived by others simply because they're not white have every reason to feel an emotion white people will never understand. To suggest for a second they shouldn't, or don't have that right, is narrow-minded, ignorant and absurd. Something happened, and they felt like second class citizens, at best. I get it, you feel bad because you're the ones who make them feel that way. So now you're defensive. I get it. Grow up.

Trayvon Martin's case brought something out of people which is completely different than any other popularized crime in America. It touched on a racial component most other cases haven't. No one in the black community is going to deny there are violent offenders, who do horrible acts. No legitimate black leader would ever suggest such a thing. But for white folks to practically demand, or suggest in a smarmy way that there's hypocrisy is disgusting.

The only response worth discussing in those whole case is that of the Australians, who have asked their citizens to boycott travelling to America because of their horrific culture of gun violence. That's the issue. The WHITE PEOPLE of Australia disagree with CONSERVATIVE WHITES IN AMERICA about gun violence. The people who it directly affected don't care about your petty arguments. They care about guns.

This isn't a case of black on white, or white on black violence. This is a case of America's problematic gun culture, and the ease of access with which guns are obtained. It's also a matter of a poor education system which allows kids like this to exist.

When these same largely white, largely conservative people start getting loud over the issue of gun violence, poor education in the inner cities, and the overall problems associated with poverty, single parentdom, and just having to grow up as a minority, then I'll pay mind to their bullshit needs and demands.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Chiropractic Medicine? I Guess I Believe!

I'm a somewhat cynical person by nature, and for years I've neglected the concept of chiropractic medicine. The last few years I've been seeing one locally here in the Bay Area, and the majority of my physical problems have disappeared. Yet I've still been reluctant to embrace the idea because even though I feel better, there's no actual result I can see with my eyes. Yes, I FEEL better, but in the back of my mind I get this sense, "I'm supposed to feel this way."

Well, the other day I visited a different chiropractor, suggested to me by my the one I normally see since he was not working. I had massive neck/back discomfort; the same comfort I had been having for a couple years before I ever visited one. Within 3 hours of seeing this doctor my pain level went from 10 to 3, the next day a 1, and now a 0. I mean, if we're talking about results from seeing a doctor, I cannot imagine it getting any better.

Worth noting, is the day after I saw my doctor I played in a very physical soccer game wherein I was hit, collided into 4-5 players, and landed on the ground at least twice. Yet there's no residual pain from what I had been dealing with prior to the visit.

Over the last 3 years I've had massive upper back cramping and stiffness, an inability to turn my neck side to side, and a sciatic problem which was so bad I couldn't sit down for more than 10 minutes over a 4 day period. All that has been erased.

So...while I will probably still have my doubts (can't shake them all), I must admit I've become a firm believer in this style of medicine.

If other general practitioners have told me time and time again, "the body will heal itself" and I've seen this happen after a scar, then there's no reason for me to not believe that if the body is set in the right position internally, it won't continue to do that in ways I can't see.

Finally, if what people say is true that "once you go you have to keep going" is true, so what? If that's the cost for having a much healthier life, so be it.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Yes, I'm an Elitist Phish 'Phan', But It Sucks For Me...and Here's Why

Other than sports and President Bush II, I've probably written more forcefully, emotionally, and accurately about Phish than I have any other topic. And with good reason: I love Phish.

Granted, I don't love the music they perform any more, but I still listen to previous concerts quite frequently. However, a lot of people who are still fans of what the band is currently producing send me clips from recent performances all the time. They tell me, "...just listen to this, and I won't..."

So I listen. "To this." And EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The result is the same. It never quite gets there.

No different from last night, when Phish, according to some, played the "best version of Tweezer EVER!" Guess what? They didn't. They didn't come close. What the band did do is play the best music of their careers, but only if you assume their careers started August 13th, 2004.

It was very enjoyable. But without getting into why it's not even close to one of their best performances, I've decided to write what will be my final explanation of how/why Phish performances can be perceived so differently between different people. Obviously, everything in life is open to interpretation, but let me just say that my interpretation is probably right. I know this because I feel it. Most people don't, so they really can't judge. They think they do. They don't.

Lets just start with this:

I've cried during live musical performances, and even cried during performances I've listened to on my couch. Sober. So "being there" isn't really necessary to explain something. Bill Frisell Quartet at the Knitting Factory, 1996, performing "Egg Radio" was the first time I cried. There may have been 20 people in the room for that show, and I was sobbing alone. The second time was Phish, 1997, The Great Went. I placed my hand on my friend's now wife's shoulder and was just balling. I'll never forget that moment. There were other times.

I can get emotional. A lot of us do during experiences of musical ecstasy. But that does not mean we all feel the same way. And that's what brings me to this theory of mine.

Most listeners of music have a 4 oz cup that can be filled, or remain empty. Skipping over the masses for a second, we'll say that serious fans of Phish have 16 oz glasses. It takes 16 oz of musical water to completely satisfy most of their fans. Even 14-15 oz will do.

During the mid-late 90s, the band members were pressing themselves to fill those damn glasses up every show, and they did so almost every time. I used to say, "Every show is a diamond, it's just that some are bigger and shine more brightly." You'd be hard-pressed to find too many nights wherein the band only had 13-14 oz to give. In fact, more often than not, 17 oz was the min, and the max could well exceed 48 oz, if not more. There were nights wherein people were full; and couldn't stand another drop. We all had those nights.

However, it just so happens that I'm not a 16 oz glass. I'm more like like a 24 oz glass, possibly 32 oz. And that's a problem...for me.

Back in the day when I was seeing shows across the Midwest, Northeast, etc, I would notice all of my friends were completely satisfied with the night's performance. Seemingly, at least in my mind, we were all experiencing the same thing, and we loved that. The band was pouring gallons upon gallons for us to drink; all of our glasses were runneth. What I did not know then is all of our glasses were not the same size, and what passed for satisfied was very different between each of us. But how could I know? We all seemed fulfilled?!?

It took Phish becoming a much lesser band for me to realize this. The majority of people I know who like Phish still think the band is performing at a top level, similar to the mid-90s. Why? Because their cups are filled. Because Phish is still able to give them those 16 oz. But for me, my cup is at best half filled, and that's assuming they have a fantastic night. Even if they were to, I'd still probably only be able get my cup filled to 70, maybe 80%. That's not good enough for me because I really love this band, and that 80% just upsets me. It tells me "this is as good as it's going to get", and for me, that's not enough. Because THIS current band is not a band I ever would have fallen in love. A band who's leader can't play Foam to it's fullest. That's not for me.

Because of this, what has happened? Well, I no longer go. And people think I'm being a curmudgeon, or "dick" about it. What's discounted in this point of view is how I FEEL. I'm the one who suffers. On the one hand I have to suffer all of these people sending me songs I "have to hear", which never live up, and the other hand, I no longer get to do the thing I looked forward to doing more than anything else, ever. Seeing this band dominate. I suffer. But no one sees that. They see their own perspective, and how my dislike of something is in someway related to their good times. It shouldn't. Go get your 16 oz, and be happy. I'm doing just fine.

Now granted, I bring some of this upon myself because I've been known to engage, but that's a two way street right there. No need to explain.

Going forward, I completely understand people are having a great time, and I wish I could too. But the truth is, it's deeper for me. It always has been. The highs were obviously higher, and the lows are lower. On the one hand, I'm lucky to have experienced what I did at the level I did; at a level it seems most people did not. Yet on the other hand, I'm unable to enjoy it now because it never comes close to what it once was.

So just because YOUR glasses are filled, and YOUR bellies are warm, doesn't mean mine ever can/will be again. In fact, I know it cannot be. I know the limitations of this band. And it no longer can be. This isn't opinion. Trust me, HE knows too.

In the end, I don't feel that bad for me because I experienced the highest high. Few can say that. But I do feel for the guy who's a Gallon. I know how you feel...somewhat. --- And on a sidenote, for those who directed me to this nonsense. No, I won't be taking my cues from a guy who has been calling bad good for the a decade. He's about a 10 oz cup.

Monday, July 08, 2013

On Anderson Silva

A lot of people have been asking me via text, email and phone, "Dude, Silva? WTF?" The question has taken on various forms, but in the end, the answer is the same: It's hard to say, but it's probably a lot of things.

Lets start with this: I was nervous for him. As some of you may/not know, I know Anderson. For whatever reason we have very good energy, and always have. When he sees me, I get a real hug. He even has taken to shouting "Dabe!" when he sees me. He once grabbed me in a hotel and had me go eat lunch with him, just the two of us. We couldn't really speak, but we ate as friends. So as mentioned, we have a good energy, mostly because of his manager Ed Soares, who is a class dude.

But I was nervous. The people I watched the fight with weren't as nervous. One of them, a martial arts expert, and another a legendary Gracie, seemed relaxed after Chris Weidman's second round takedown attempt was stymied. Yet I grew more nervous. I sensed it.

The irony in all of this is Silva had Weidman EXACTLY where he wanted. He convinced a guy who seemingly had only one way to win, to fight in a style which almost guaranteed he would lose. He got Weidman to stand up with him and trade punches. It was genius. Had Silva taken that moment more seriously, the fight would have ended in 120 seconds. But he didn't. He decided to make a show of it.

He decided to disrespect his opponent. The sport. Martial Arts. His fans. And, most of all, himself. And he knows it.

So there's the question of why did he do it? I can't answer every aspect of the question, but I'll tell you this: Silva has always tried to make a show of things because that's how he has elevated himself. The UFC was never going to promote him like they do other American fighters, and have never helped Silva become a superstar. He has done this on his own.

So the story of "why" is more complicated than you think.

Lets go back to his fight against Forrest Griffin in Philadelphia 3 years ago. At that time the UFC was about to double down on the life of Griffin, who was always a terribly overrated fighter. Griffin had just defeated Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and then Quentin "Rampage" Jackson to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. He was the pride and joy of the company, for the moment. At the tome the UFC hype machine was in overdrive, helping Griffin hawk his book, and then featuring him on the cover of their video game. They would do everything possible to give him title fights he could likely win in order to squeeze the lemon dry, no different from Chuck Liddell. But then something unexpected happened: he lost to Rashad Evans. Ruh roh! What to do now? They didn't see that coming.

Here came the double-down. While the Griffin-Express was moving full-steam ahead, the UFC (Zuffa) needed to find a way to keep it on the track. No other opponent made sense except one: Anderson Silva. The man who had easily disposed of James Irvin in his first foray into the 205lb weight class would be perfect to help the company with it's Griffin investment. It's at this point where we need to backup in order to answer the question of "Dude, Silva? WTF?"

When Silva fought Irwin it was a last minute thing. The sole purpose of the fight was so the UFC could take eyes away from up-start Affliction, who was throwing it's first promotion the same night. The UFC figured if they gave away Silva for free on SpikeTV, no one would pay mind to what Affliction had going on (no one really cared anyway). Coincidentally, two UFC future champs were also on the card that night in the form of Frankie Edgar and Cain Velaaquez. However, it was Silva who was the promotion's main attraction. The greatest fighter ever, for free, in his first fight at 205?!?! Bring the beer! It was a perfect solution. In typical fashion Silva KO'd Irvin with a vicious right hand. The greatness continued, but did he all of a sudden find himself in a Bud Light commercial? On the back of a Harley? On the cover of the video game? Nope. He sure didn't. He would wait around until they found the next opponent for him to dispatch. Truth be told, they always wanted him to lose, but we'll get to that.

Then came Forrest Griffin, who Silva knew was the UFC's poster boy, and who the company hoped would end Silva's reign of dominance. Not only did Silva defeat Griffin, but he embarrassed him. In doing so, he put on a show, doing many of the same things he did this past Saturday which resulted in his first UFC defeat. Yet at the time it was Silva showing everyone he was not only the best, but he also had to be the man who promoted himself. Sure, the UFC would do just enough to help him, but would they go all the way? Not if it didn't suit their own ends. Jon Jones is selling Bud Light. When Jones fights their are entire commercials dedicated to only Jones, and not his opponent. Does all this happen for Silva? Nope. In fact, the recent UFC 162 promotion was basically one for Chris Weidman. Now I understand the need to hype and sell a fight, especially since Weidman isn't well known, but what are you thinking if your Silva? Time to put on another show, maybe? Time to crush the UFC-hype machine again, with ease?

In other words, Silva has always been more of a problem for the UFC than a solution. And Silva knows this. Therefore it has become incumbent upon Silva to sell himself, promote himself, be himself, entertain himself. Nike sought Silva. Burger King sought Silva. Big companies sought Silva. When Bud Light comes looking for Jones, it's Dana White and Jones. It's never Dana White and Anderson Silva. Anderson does for Anderson, AND for the UFC. They don't do for him.

Going forward, it was obvious most of his opponents never stood a chance. There was this argument being made that "Sonnen showed people how to beat Silva." That's hogwash. Silva showed everyone just how useless an opponent Sonnen was. In their first fight Silva so badly wanted to hurt Sonnen that he allowed himself to be pounded on for 5 rounds, just for the chance to stand up again. It wasn't until all was lost that he snapped on a submission, one he hadn't attempted throughout the fight. He could have tried for submissions the entire time, but he chose not to. He wanted to hurt him, and on his back that wasn't going to happen. The second fight was proof of this (also, it's questionable as to how hard Silva trained for first Sonnen fight, if at all).

I never felt Weidman was going to do to Silva what Sonnen did in the first fight. That's not what made me nervous at all. In fact, as mentioned, I became more worried after Weidman couldn't get him down. In that moment Silva figured, "this guy can't hurt me...time to put on a show..." To me, Silva looked bored and silly. Weidman looked determined and fearless. Silva invited him into his trap, Weidman took the bait, but then Weidman sprung one of his own (with Silva's help).

So again, "Dude, Silva? WTF?"

It's not something that can be answered simply by saying, "He was bored...he was disrespectful...he made a mistake..." It's all of those things, and none of them. It's a culmination of many things which have transpired over 7 years that led him to become more showman than fighter. It's his own fault because along the way he has enriched himself in ways probably unimaginable, but he is still responsible for his actions. It's great when he wins, but so disappointing when he doesn't.

With Anderson, every fight is like judging diamonds. They're all beautiful, but sometimes the people want to see the biggest, brightest and most vibrant one. He's held to a standard greater than any other fighter, and he arrived there alone. He took his opponent, and his legacy, on some level, for granted. A price he paid that I'm sure he feels no diamond is worth.

Going forward, what will he do? If I had to guess I think he will fight Weidman again. Yet this time it's completely different. Weidman will have no fear. Weidman will be stronger, and faster. Anderson will be slower and older. However, the biggest problem for Silva is the "KO" problem. This is the first time Silva has been knocked out, and when that happens everything changes. It changed for Liddell. it changed for Randy Couture. It changed for Lyoto Machida. It changed for Georges St-Pierre. Once you get KO'd you are never the same fighter again. St-Pierre is the best example of this as he no longer puts himself in a position to get get KO'd. He gets in and out from a distance, but it also explains why he can't knock guys out: he won't stand in the pocket and trade. He's too smart, and young enough to not have to.

But what about Silva? Will being knocked out change his fearless ways? Will it make him a different fighter? Will it slow him down that extra half second, just enough for a much younger man to hit him first? These are all fair questions.

I believe when Silva returns he will come back a different man. One who no longer shows off, but one who wasn't as dominant as before. I believe he will beat Chris Weidman, but I also believe he could lose. Weidman is a fantastic opponent for Silva

Either way, there's no simple answer as to why it happened; only a collection of many smaller ones.

At the end of the day he's the greatest fighter we've seen, regardless of what we saw Saturday.

And congratulations to Chris Weidman, who took an opportunity when presented with one. But more importantly, fought without the fear I saw in the eyes of every Silva opponent before him. Believe me, they all had that same fear. That same doubt. Weidman didn't. That's why he's the champion.

The writer is author of "BJ Penn: Why I Fight - The Belt is Just an Accessory" and was a writer for UFC Magazine, as well as a Behind the Scens Producer for the UFC.