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BTW, NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Was Arrested on Corruption Charges Last Week

(“And for my next impression, I give you a fish taking a shit.” via The New York Post.)

While we here at Castle CagePotato have been in full blown crisis mode these past few days, there has actually been a lot going on in the MMA world worth talking about. Go figure, right? Most notably, perhaps, is that NY State Assembly and MMA supervillian, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on corruption charges related to accepting millions of dollars in undisclosed income from an NYC lawfirm. And because I gave you my word that I’d start publishing you Taters if you wrote in, after the jump is one such hot taek on Silver’s arrest, via CP reader Mike Reilly. Enjoy and continue to #RallyforCagePotato!

Sheldon Silver Arrested for Millions in Bribes and Undisclosed Income

By Mike Reilly

Remember our old buddy Sheldon Silver? He’s that NY State Assembly crank who hates MMA the way grandmas hate computers. (“Spawn of the devil!” as my gam-gam always says. All because she doesn’t know how to send a photo as an attachment.)

In a stunning instance of Things We’ve Known for Years, The Daily News reported last week that Silver was arrested by the FBI for, get this, corruption!

For those of you who may not remember (and those who’ve tried hard to forget), the story goes like this: Every year, Dana and the Fertitta bros. try to appeal a state-wide ban on MMA in New York. And every year, a liver-spotted sack named Sheldon Silver tells them to go f*ck themselves, bureaucratically speaking.

As everybody knows, Silver’s disdain for MMA has nothing to do with MMA itself. The almighty Culinary Union has a beef with the Fertittas relating to their refusal to unionize their Station Casinos in New York and has had Silver drop the hammer on every MMA proposal for the past umpteen years, spiting Zuffa (and Bellator, and everybody else) while denying the state of NY a titload of event revenue.

Unfortunately, Silver’s arrest has nothing to do with the Culinary Union, which would have been a perfect “2 birds, 1 stone” scenario for us vindictive MMA fanboys. The 70-year old Silver was just re-elected to an 11th term a few months back, but now, he’s facing five felony charges related to fraud and extortion, each of which could mean up to 20 years in prison (or 10 more years than he has left on this earth). The charges allege that since the year 2000, Silver “used the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks…”

The New York Post has some handy bullet points of the naughty things ol’ Sheldon has done. Among the allegations, Silver “took millions of dollars for legal work he did not do” and “directed state funds to a doctor who referred cases to another law firm that paid Mr. Silver fees.” If you’re a glutton for linguistic punishment, you can read the full complaint here.

So…ding-dong the witch is dead? Maybe.

The Speaker of the Assembly more or less decides which pieces of legislation get voted on. Silver’s been in that chair since 1994. He’s one of the most powerful men in the NY State government, and though Silver has agreed to step down while his arrest plays out, he will have a chance to reclaim his position if he beats the charges. And it just so happens that wealthy men and the justice system are not exactly natural enemies.

Plus, there are no clear frontrunners to take Silver’s place even if he was ousted, so there’s no guarantee that we’ll get someone with, you know, a little common sense. After all, before it was Sheldon Silver cock-blocking MMA, we had this guy Bob Reilly (no relation, btw), who you might recall was as uninformed about MMA as he was vehemently opposed to it.

As a New Yorker, I’ve been wishin’ and a-prayin’ for live MMA for a long time now.  I’m sick of going over to New Jersey to get my fix. (They have these scary orange guys with spiky hair and you get shot at if you say that Bon Jovi is “just OK”). But the absurdity that is the MMA ban in NY has come to feel like something that’s best put out of mind. Maybe I’ve just been burned too many times. Maybe I heard “Fedor coming to the UFC, for realz this time,” once too often. Maybe I’m all out of hope, is what I’m saying.

For all that Dana White has repeatedly said about being done trying with New York, you can bet that he and the boys will be calling a war council soon.

Give ‘em hell, fellas.  Just don’t expect me to hold my breath.

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