By Jared Jones
Good morning, Nation.
Understandably, the unexpected and immensely saddening departure of Ben Goldstein from CagePotato has led to rampant speculation that we might be closing our doors for good. And to be honest, that very well might be the case. Maybe not today, maybe not a couple weeks from now, but suffice it to say, the loss of BG from the site he built from the ground up — a site that has endlessly entertained hundreds of thousands of tens of dozens of us for over 7 years — hit hard here at Castle Cagepotato. A lot is up in the air right now regarding our future, and I wish I had more answers to put your minds at ease (and also mine, because you know, I kind of work here).
But if this really is the end, what a shame it would be. In a media landscape that so often seems content with blind obedience, CagePotato has served as one of the few voices of dissent — and dare I say it, reason — throughout the years. And while it’s true that we may take that dissent a little far at times, we do so only out of a genuine love for the inspiring, depressing, overly-serious, and routinely absurd sport that is mixed martial arts, and the hope that it may one day become the global juggernaut it aims to be. Like any other sport, MMA needs to be kept in check and called on its bullshit in order to truly progress, and the loss of guys like BG seems to indicate that fewer and fewer people are willing to heed that call.
I’ve been a writer at CagePotato for over three years. Before that, I was a commenter — a lone member in CP’s then-bustling community of sarcastic a-holes and bitter trolls. Ben offered me a shot at the
big mid time directly out of college, and I’ve been dealing with a near constant barrage of angry readers and angrier tweeters ever since. I’ve loved every last second of it (even skeletor), so believe me when I say that I have a lot invested in what CP has become, and what it will be moving forward.
But it’s like I said, I don’t have all (or any) of the answers right now. What I do know is that as it stands, myself, Mike Fagan, and Alex Giardini will continue to steer this ghost ship into its uncertain future. We may never be able to replicate what CagePotato was like during the Goldstein Era™, and truthfully, we probably won’t even try to. Ben’s voice was as unique and intuitive as any in the sport, and any attempt to replicate that voice would only draw unflattering comparisons to the genuine article.
What we are going to do, however, is rise from the ashes like the mightiest, most triumphant goddamn Phoenix you’ve ever seen. Like we did when Old Dad left. Like we did when we nearly shut down by the UFC that one time and also that other time. Like we’ve done time and time again. We were quoted by the goddamn New Yorker, goddammit, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to let this place go out without a goddamn fight. This means branching out. Trying new ideas. Crafting unique, hard-hitting, and consistently humorous content. And most importantly, it means collaborating with the true voice of CagePotato: You, the readers.
This is a call to arms, Potato Nation. We need your support, your input now more than ever. Do you have a story pitch, a potential lead, or a half-brained idea in need of development? Contact us. Contact me. I promise, I will do my absolute best to hear out every last one of you. And as long as you’re willing to work for free, hell, I’ll even get you published. You gotta start building that fancy writer’s resume somewhere, right?
The point is, we can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the
4th of July 23rd of January will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world CagePotato Army declared in one voice:
“We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We’re going to live on!
We’re going to survive!”