Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

We Can't Afford This Can't-Miss Pay-per-View Bout

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

We Can't Afford This Can't-Miss Pay-per-View Bout

Article excerpt

The Morning File has always figured there were several sound reasons to have lots of friends.

Chief among them is attracting a large crowd to your funeral, ensuring as your final act that you will really impress those still living and leave most of them feeling inferior.

Even better, however, is that if you have enough friends, it's potentially affordable to watch really significant pay-per-view events. The issue arises now because of next Saturday's much-hyped "Fight of the Century" (until the next "Fight of the Century," a year or two from now) in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

If you figure viewing the fight should cost no more than $1 - which seems reasonable, since it might last just a minute or two - then you just need to invite 99 friends over who are also willing to contribute $1 each to cover the fight's pay-per-view cost approaching $100.

It's a good plan, other than the need to somehow come up with about 90 more friends than currently exist in the next week. That's no easy task for someone middle-aged who's only been acquiring new friends at the rate of about one a year, now that so much of the potential-good-friend universe is already spoken for.

If four score or so new friends don't materialize, we're going to feel guilty for not helping support this event, considering all the efforts by Mr. Mayweather, Mr. Pacquiao, HBO, Showtime and others to put it together for us. Mr. Mayweather is expected to be the biggest beneficiary; he might earn as much as $200 million for no more than 36 minutes of work. (And you thought UPMC executives were overpaid.) We won't be able to live with ourselves if we ignore the event and a boxer ends up with barely $199,999,900.

If we'd known prize-fighting could be so lucrative, we might have made a different career choice early in life. Sure, boxing is punishing, and it hurts to get hit - if we recall correctly from high school - but you get over it ... usually. Mr. Mayweather's going to be struck about 200 times if it's a typical fight (somehow boxers' punches connect with air as frequently as a body) so he might receive $1 million per blow. …

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