Say a big-deal boxing match involving a Bay Area star like Andre Ward, Robert Guerrero or Nonito Donaire, is being shown on live TV. Would you rather attend the fight in person or see it in your living room?
I pose that question in hopes you’ll make a thoughtful and detailed reply on the new discussions application foamcage.com has introduced this month.
I haven’t paid to attend a boxing match since 1969, but I never forget that the expense of attending is a great burden for many of you. In a sense, though, it is also our burden as fans of someone like Ward to produce the frenzied backdrop at his biggest fights in Oakland, or for Guerrero in San Jose. It keeps them coming here.
The other side of that coin is lack of support can keep them FROM coming here. The lack of obvious clamor for a Donaire fight of that magnitude in the Bay Area remains the biggest impediment to superstardom for the Filipino Flash.
But whether you’re taking an arduous journey via public transportation from Manila to Quezon City to see Donaire fight there instead, or whether it’s a quick hop to my secret parking spots at San Jose’s HP Pavilion to see Guerrero, it’s always easier to watch it at home.
My objective is different from yours, probably. My leading attribute as a boxing writer is my professional reporting experience; my ability to be the first person to write a well-crafted 500-word story with good quotes and better insights on any fight I see.
I’ve written good stories in bad conditions in my career, but it’s easier to produce quickly at home, and in my case it’s often more cost-effective to stay home, even though I’m admitted to events free.
I have to say I fared much better covering Donaire’s Anaheim fight from my living room Dec. 4 than I did covering Ward’s Nov. 27 fight in Oakland from the front row of the press section – which is to say behind about four rows of rather large men, who combined with a too-far-to-the-side viewing angle and other impediments, afforded such a lousy view of the fight that I had to see it again on tape at home to write a viable story.
I couldn’t file at Oracle anyway. Several of us scribes never did hook into the Oracle WiFi provided, which is pretty much de rigeur in sports journalism these days even in far more primitive settings. That’s not an issue at home.
On the other hand, if I don’t attend a Ward fight, I don’t see it until three hours later, when Showtime finally airs it for the West Coast. So by the time I write the story, I’m not firstest, much less with the mostest. At least I was there, and a lot of the right people will remember that I was there, even if my income from covering Ward fights seldom matches my expenses.
It’s different if I’m actually contracted to cover a fight, as I was for Ward’s June fight with Allan Green with Green’s hometown paper, the Tulsa World. Futhermore, the Tulsa imprimatur was part of the reason I got whisked from press row to Showtime’s much-better-situated stockade, where I was a press-row judge and also was able to hear Green’s quotes on-air live so that I could meet my tight Tulsa deadline.
Bottom line: Sometimes I’d rather attend the fight. But sometimes I’d rather not. Tell us whether my attitude dovetails with yours.