A few weeks ago, Brenocide posted a Violation about Mixed Martial Arts. As an avid sports fan and one who has come to appreciate MMA, I thought desperately of how I could rebuke such an attack on something that at its core should be 100% pure metal. The answer my friends, is that he is absolutely right and I will take it the next step further to say that all sports are not metal.
Competition, the struggle for victory, the pummeling of your opponent: all of these are perfectly fine and metal in their nature, but when taken into a sports context, they lose their metalness right then and there.
Football, hockey, and baseball – which are perhaps the three most common sports that a metalhead would enjoy – should stay as far from a show or the stage as possible. Does it matter if your favorite band wears sports apparel on stage or that they make Facebook posts supporting their favorite team in a playoff series? Absolutely not.
If you need any evidence, think back to high school. Who were the biggest sports fans and participants of organized athletics? Probably not you. You had long hair and ragged clothes and if you had muscles, you used them to pound the shit out of poseurs in the pit and in the hallways. Inevitably, because you had no affinity for seeing your classmates naked or having one of them inject you in your ass, you were not one of them, even if you enjoyed laying a vicious hit on a defenseless wide receiver. Ultimately, you could never have their back because you were never one of them, which is the biggest rule of organized sports. Your brothers were pummeling each other to Kreator, not rubbing their members on one another to G-Unit, cruising the streets in their lifted Jeep Wranglers with their collas popped, searching for mad hotties.
There has been many an athlete attempting to bring metal into sports and musician to bring sports into metal. These are all failures in upholding the values of each and keeping each pure and true. There have been guitar playing Red Sox players who loved playing Metallica songs, Slayer wearing Oakland Raiders jerseys on stage, and countless others. When individuals do this, they make their product suffer. Athletes have more of a following than a metal band, thus infiltrating the metal band with a following of the false who think they are Bruce Lee and wear kimonos.
|These guys don't belong anywhere near my shows.|
Over a decade ago, a metal-loving freestyle motocross rider and his fellow competitor and friend formed a group and clothing line named after a classic metal song, which has now come to epitomize everything that is to be avoided in sports and metal: the Metal Mulisha.
|Sweet bikes and tats, bro.|
These two started as an extreme group of riders who happened to enjoy heavy music and had an affinity for attempting and landing some of the most jaw-dropping tricks in the sport. Obviously, this drew them recognition, so they created an apparel line. Now they host shows and have taken their venture into the MMA arena. Because of their success and appeal to a vastly different market, they break the metal rules. Supporting anything hardcore is not metal, competing in an organized sport is not metal, MMA is not metal; therefore, the Metal Mulisha fails at being both metal and a mulisha, whatever that is.
Some of you are going to inevitably argue, “Slayer wears Raiders jerseys and Slayer is metal, so anything Slayer does is metal.” Trip and bust your skull open on your dresser, dumbass. Using that argument is on the same grounds as telling a girl, “it’s not rape because I love you.” If Slayer auto-tuned Reign in Blood and used a drum machine instead of Dave Lombardo, would you still say that’s metal? Just because a band does something does not mean it happens to be metal. No one is immune from making a violation. Metallica, Pantera, Amon Amarth, Korpiklaani, and Slayer! They have all made violations from dreadlocks to jerseys to making pure suck for two decades.
|Slayer is officially a violation, assholes.|
If you are a metalhead and a sports fan, you have only one path for true metal redemption: live a double life. You cannot bring one into the other. They are separate entities and must remain as such. The sports fan in you can only reveal itself in a sports venue or on the field, course, court, or ice. You must be careful not to reveal your colors in the wrong context, or else you risk being shunned by both communities. I know the difficulties living a double life entails. It may not be easy, but it is the only way to keep sports and metal true. You want Bruce Lee in the pit as much as I do in much the same manner Roger Federer wants to share the court with Johan Hegg.