Interesting Tidbits That Bode Well for Our Beloved Sport
It is the duty of any entity to keep its eyes on what may lie ahead for it. As I take a look at what the future holds for boxing I am excited as I do think that it is a bright one. Interestingly enough as I look around the landscape of sports and society as a whole, there are some things that are going unnoticed that will greatly help boxing now and in the future. Here is what I see:
Sports channels are struggling to fill programming: I was flipping the channels the other day and I saw that one of the sports channels is televising live, double-A baseball. The only reason that happens is because alot of the channels cannot find affordable or available programming. In steps our sport. Considering that only 4-5 channels show boxing events with any regularity, there is plenty of room for some channels to gobble up some lower tier events with burgeoning stars to fill up some air time.
Moms don't watch boxing and neither do doctors: I know this sounds weird but this is actually a huge deal. I would guess that most of us are at least casual NFL fans if not die hard ones and the viewing stats prove that. Therefore most of us are aware of all of the lawsuits involving concussions being brought against the NFL as well as the millions of dollars that the NFL is having to spend on safety programs, advertising, and legal fees to help diffuse all of the pressure coming upon them about concussions. The part that is going unnoticed is that all of the concussion talk is a direct link to decreased participation in football for 5 consecutive years on the youth up to high school level. Why is this happening? It's happening because mom has heard about concussions on TV. She has seen clips of vicious hits on the news and caught wind of all the lawsuits. However, in a sport where sometimes a participant can take hundreds of blows to the head in the course of 40+ minutes, nobody really pushes the issue of concussions or safety.
Less is more: Almost every sport is trying to figure how to get more games into their schedules. The NFL is trying to expand the playoffs and has in the collective bargaining agreement that the owners can propose up to a 22 game schedule. Baseball is thing about expanding the playoffs again and so has the NBA. The MLS, NASCAR, and NHL are all considering adding teams and games to their leagues. Although it may prove to generate more revenue, at some point you begin to have diluted product. With boxing, it is still an event sport. You see the stars at most 4 times a year and anytime you limit a wanted product, you create anxiety, desire, speculation, and more times than not excitement for a usually better product.
Patriotism Matters Greatly: Tony Gonzalez is arguably the best tight end to every play in the NFL. He's Hispanic and nobody cares. Yasiel Puig is dominating MLB right now and the fact that he is Cuban is almost a side note to his athletic ability and prowess. In boxing, entire rivalries are uplifted because of nationalities. Therefore you fill not only find skill as a draw, but a flag as well.