Sunday, June 03, 2007

Johnnie Morton Struggles Going Over the Middle

Mixed Martial Arts has been called many things by many people. Some call it "human cockfighting" while others think it represents the complete evolution of contact sports. ESPN just hopes it's something that can garner better ratings than the WNBA and Arena League football. What MMA probably isn't however, is a second career for former professional athletes after their playing days are over.

Johnnie Morton has known better nights than the one he experienced Saturday at the LA Coliseum. He was the hero in one of the most exciting college football games of the last quarter century, catching the game winning pass from Todd Marinovich with 12 seconds on the clock in a 45-42 USC victory over UCLA. (Was that really 17 years ago? Man, this whole getting old thing sucks.) Never quite a superstar in the NFL, Morton did put up four 1,000 yard efforts in the span of five years, making fantasy football players love him (tho Matt Millen would later deride him for any kind of man-on-man love.) After retiring in 2005, the former first round draft pick decided to give mixed martial arts a try, and well, it didn't exactly go as he had hoped:

Well, at least the first 25 seconds of the 38 he lasted weren't so bad. Reportedly unconscious when medical personnel got to him, he was put in a neck brace and taken out on a stretcher. He also has been suspended indefinitely as he refused to take a urine test after the fight. In this case, refusal shouldn't necessarily mean guilt. He did provide a pre-fight sample which will be tested, and if I just got knocked into dreamland after my first fight, I wouldn't be so eager to get out of my hospital bed so someone could watch me pee either.

Still, the refusal means that he will be denied his $100,000 purse, so there's certainly reason to be suspicious that he's revived a new form of a Marinovich to Morton connection. Although if Morton had been taking any sort of performance enhancers, he should ask for his money back.

HTs: Sherdog
Trojan Wire
Bruins Nation
Conquest Chronicles

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