Sports Fighting for Relevance: Indy 500, Boxing & NHL
It's Memorial Day weekend and the networks are loaded with sporting events. It's sad to watch as the interest in two sports (boxing and the NHL) and one pseudo-sport (Indy car racing) seems to get smaller and smaller every year. These were all much more significant when I was a kid in the 70's than they are today. What's gone wrong?
Boxing seems to be giving way to the Ultimate Fighting Championships; aren't these the same events that John McCain once characterized as "human cock fighting"?! I guess boxing is simply too tame for today's average viewer.
Speaking of fighting, what happened to hockey? It's always been #2 on my list of favorite sports (behind baseball) but it's nowhere to be seen. After the lockout a couple of years ago the league was unable to secure a television deal with a major network. Now the game is lost in the land of Versus...what a joke. You'd think the Stanley Cup Finals would deserve national network attention but no, the first two games are only on the Versus network. This league is going nowhere fast.
Finally, the IndyCar series and its crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500. Simply put, NASCAR is kicking its butt! Even here in Indianapolis there seems to be more interest in the NASCAR series than IndyCar. And while I'm all for equal opportunity in everything, the 3 women in this year's 500 have been blown up into a carnival sideshow. It's just like when Michelle Wie was competing in all those men's golf tournaments. The people that run the 500 are also stuck in the TV blackout days of the 1970's: To this day the race cannot be viewed live in the Indianapolis area. They don't realize that if you're in Indianapolis you're either (a) visiting here to attend the race, (b) a "local" who is attending the race or (c) a "local" who could care less. Those in "a" and "b" will already be there...those in category "c" might check out a few minutes as they're channel surfing, but there's no way they'll watch a tape-delayed version later that night! Can you say "lost advertising opportunity"?