Friday, August 25, 2017

The big con

So here's what we know about the Snake River Canyon Jump or Riggs-vs.-King or whatever it is Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are doing tomorrow night:

1. Both men are going to make an obscene amount of money for what everyone agrees is probably a ginormous con.

2. The betting in Vegas is crazy heavy from people who acknowledge what they're betting on is probably a ginormous con.

3. People are lining up for the hundred-buck pay-per-view even though they also acknowledge what they're signing up for is probably a ginormous con.

Everyone I've talked to who's buying this ... whatever it is, admits that it's probably not going to be much of a fight. It's the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of his generation against what amounts to a street fighter. Given Mayweather's supreme defensive skills, there's an excellent chance McGregor doesn't land a punch, or at least more than a handful.

But that's not why people want to see this.

They want to see it because it's a spectacle, and people will always line up to watch a spectacle even if they know in advance it's probably ... well, a ginormous con.

That's why the carny running the shell game will always find takers even if the takers KNOW they're likely to get fleeced.  It's why Jesse Owens once raced a horse, why Muhammad Ali once fought a wrestler, why stock cars came to Indianapolis in the '90s and front-engine Indy roadsters went to Monza, Italy, in the '50s to race Formula One cars.

And, yes, it's also why Billy Jean King played tennis against Bobby Riggs and Evel Knievel tried to jump the Snake River Canyon.

All of that happened because someone, somewhere, said "What if ..." And people came out to watch what resulted, because human beings are naturally curious creatures who can't resist the siren song of those two words.

And so people I know have good sense will drop a C-note to watch Mayweather-McGregor tomorrow night. Because what if McGregor gets in the million-to-one shot that takes Mayweather down?

I mean, it's probably not going to happen (and if it does, it's likely just a setup for the rematch). There's a better chance the Earth will stop turning or the Current Occupant will start acting like a grownup instead of a bratty 5-year-old. But ...

What if?

No comments:

Post a Comment