Understand that I’m not rooting for stuff to be fixed, but here is what’s funny. I was talking with someone earlier this week – and I thought a lot of about this. He did some work at HBO overseas, he was a very low paid employee – not sure if HBO even paid him but rather the producer Frank Belmont. He sat ring side for about 20 fights and he would go home to his roommate and say “god I saw this and this and this and this” and his roommate would say “I watched the same fight on TV, I didn’t see that” so his roommate would him “what did you see?” and he said “the real fight, the one on ring side” Three judges ring side saw something that a lot of people on TV did not and the other people 5 rows back did not.
I’m not saying those judges saw it right but boxing is a subjective sport…that is judged! We’ve had all sorts of these controversies in the Olympics, judged sports. When you ask people to judge things – reasonable and highly educated people can see something different. You could take two guys from Harvard – Obama speaks, one is Democrat the other Republican, they see two different speeches. What you are denying if you think it’s absolutely fixed is that human beings simply cannot see things differently. I can watch Ellen DeGeneres and think she’s a riot; you can watch her and not think she’s funny yet it’s the same act. Comedy is a great example; guys who I don’t think are funny at all could be absolutely hilarious for you. So to deny that people could watch the same comedian, the same television show and have completely different opinions…why are any of us denying that?
I’d get so much hate mail saying that Tim Tebow was a great quarterback and I would answer “what are you watching?” that’s the same guy that is now saying “that Pacquiao fight was fixed” My friend sat ring side for 20 fights, went home and told somebody what they saw – that one person saw one fight, my friend saw another…yet same fight! I’m not saying that the decision was right but to deny that human beings can see things differently is simply denying humanity. “Well Andrew, there’s rum ours…” there’s always been rumours! They usually start from guys with no access; rumours are people with no access. “The NBA…it’s rigged” really? I mean, if it was fixed then tell me who made money? Vegas got their butt handed to them on that Pacquiao fight, they got crushed! Sports columnist called it “the sports’ worst loss ever” you might say “Bob Arum fixed it” read what Bob said after the fight, he was ripping the judges!! Calling them incompetent saying “I was absolutely stunned when I heard that one judge had put one in for Bradley, I mean it wasn’t a close fight at all. It was an 11-1, 10-2 fight, the press, the fans, everybody had it that way, everybody except these 3 judges that is”
People see what they want to see and everybody had money on Pacquiao. You could host a sports talk radio show and may literally get someone accusing the NBA to be rigged. Now, that’s a secondary issue though because if it was rigged, it’s still not bad for the NBA. Charlie Sheen is a hell of a lot more interesting when he’s got problems at home – let’s be honest about it, part of Boxing’s twisted charm is this fixed thing. Boxing is more interesting when it’s controversial. “Andrew, I’ll never watch Boxing again” you never watched it to begin with!! Only 1% of sports fans consider it their favourite sport. So don’t give me this “I’ll never watch Boxing again” yet 1% of Americans, according to a Harris Interactive poll, say that Boxing is their favourite sport. Do I believe double that – 2% will watch a re-match because of the controversy? Absolutely!! This is great for Boxing. Yet people are saying Boxing is going to die…really? Really? And Robert Downey Jr. won’t get another gig neither will Charlie Sheen. Controversy sells – the Kardashians, the more divorces the better the ratings!! Rush Limbaugh’s ratings go up during controversy. So the idea that Boxing is going to die – firstly of all, it’s been largely dead on broadcast networks for 30 years. It will, in re-match get huge ratings.
Now, on the whole thing on being fixed – never forget this, the NBA, the Olympics, Boxing and Wrestling are allegedly for quite some time, rumoured to being fixed. My blog will get astounding viewership numbers. No one has ever claimed hockey as being fixed? Because nobody watches! The reality is that as long you don’t know who’s going to win before you go to a Boxing match, who cares! Now I’m not advocating on these matches being fixed. What I’m saying is that if I told you two guys from work were going to be out in the parking lot in 10 minutes to fight, a real fist fight – now it could be rigged, but they’ll still have a real fist fight. You’d probably go out of your office and watch but if I told you those two guys are going out to play marbles and it won’t be rigged, you wouldn’t watch. Why? In the end, even though Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Kardashians, Survivor are all written and scripted. If you don’t know the final result, you will tune into see the drama and a big fight has drama.
So the idea that it was rigged and you’ll turn away forever is false on two fronts: A) controversy sells B) even if it was rigged, as long as it’s good television and good drama, we’re always drawn to it. Everything is rigged on television, all the reality shows are scripted yet you still watch don’t you? In fact, I would argue that the more scripted and rigged the show, the higher the ratings! In the end, you don’t know who’s going to win on those reality shows and you don’t really care, you just want to be entertained “entertain me!”