MIJ SI3 1

What ever will we talk about this week?

Well, there is that World Series thing going on, and I figure that little downpour in Philadelphia on Monday will probably wind up showing just how wide the chasm is these days between baseball and football.

MLB, to its credit, had spaced the World Series out strategically so that it didn’t have to compete for eyeballs with the NFL. By beginning the Series on Friday the first two games would be in Houston, followed by a Sunday travel day – meaning no competition with the NFL. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday would be games 3 through 5, then another travel day (again no direct NFL competition), and an if needed Friday and Saturday game 6 and 7. Perfect!

But Monday’s rain meant a total rescheduling. Now game four went head-to-head with NFL Thursday night football.  If there’s a game seven, it flies right into the might of Sunday night’s NFL Game of the Week.

The last seven-game World Series, between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros in 2019, was played on a Wednesday night. It drew 23-million viewers because it wasn’t up against either college or professional football. This year, if the seventh game were played as originally scheduled on Saturday, the viewing numbers still wouldn’t reach what they did in 2019 because of college football. But a rain-caused move to Sunday means going head-to-head with television’s version of the 500-pound gorilla.

I’m betting baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is clutching every rabbit’s foot he can find to his bosom hoping it ends in six.

Speaking of Manfred, he declared this week that it doesn’t look good for Oakland to garner enough support to make good on the Howard Terminal ballpark fiasco. So, what’s a poor owner to do?

Oakland A’s owner John Fisher, the keeper of this mess, finds himself in a tough spot. He can’t raise ticket prices any more than he already has. As it is, he’s the only one who can afford to buy them. And like everyone else who’s ever stuffed a Colossal Dog down their gullet, he’s lost all interest in this faceless team.

It got so bad this year that the player’s names were held onto the back of their jersey by Velcro.

So please. Go. Leave. Viva Las Vegas. Fall into the Gap. I’m just plain tired of it.

Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shaikin put it far better than I can: “If your stadium search is old enough to have its own Bar Mitzvah, it’s gone on too long.”

When I grow up I want to be an Influencer. Mind you, I have no idea what I might be able to influence you about, but a couple of recent events made me realize that “influencing” could be a very profitable gig.

And, it takes no training. All you need is a camera, a microphone, and several million people following your every word.

This past weekend I announced a Pay-Per-View television show that was a boxing match between an Influencer, and a retired MMA fighter, now 47-years old.

In the sport of boxing, this event could be held in a ballroom

But, when it is promoted by an Influencer/Promoter/Boxer who nobody over 25 years old knows, but every kid who has ever taken a selfie recognizes instantly it becomes a mega-event. It’s also Must See TV.

Jake Paul has had six professional fights – none against a real boxer. His opponents have been retired basketball players, You Tube wannabes, and former MMA fighters trying their hand at boxing.

But, here’s the thing about Jake Paul. He wants to be a champion. He works as hard at being a good fighter as he does at being a good promoter.

His last three fights have all been pay-per-view events on Showtime, held in NBA-sized arenas. The first was in Cleveland, at Rocket Arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play. The paid attendance was 18,000. Of the 18,000 I would say 15,000 had never seen a boxing match. And so it was in Tampa last December, and this past week in Phoenix.

Oh, and one more thing. The pay-per-view buys for the three shows averaged right around 200,000 per show.  At $59.99 per.

Go to Google and put in the word “Jake”. The first name that comes up is Jake Paul. He has 20-million You Tube followers and 35-million more between Instagram and Tik-Tok. He is an Influencer. He is also P.T. Barnum.

We are all in the wrong business.

The 49ers have a bye on their schedule this week, and Kyle Shanahan says it “Comes at the perfect time.” Kyle Shanahan said that last year, too. And the year before that. In fact, every coach says that every year no matter where in the season the bye week comes.

The only time I can recall a coach saying that a bye week wasn’t such a good thing was when Bruce Arians – then the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said, “I don’t like bye weeks. Too many times when a guy gets a day off, he gets tased in South Beach.”

This year though, I think Kyle is spot on. The 49ers are rolling. This gives their current hero Christian McCaffrey yet another week to absorb the offense that he’ll be fronting. Injured players are getting whole again, and all is right in Ninerland.

To that end, I offer you an apropos hunch bet in this weekend’s Breeders Cup horse races. In keeping with the current spirit of our local football heroes, throw a couple of bucks on Life is Good in the Breeder’s Cup Classic Sunday.

If you win – you heard it here first.  If not – sorry!

Barry Tompkins is a 40-year network television sportscaster and a San Francisco native.  Email him at barrytompkins1@gmail.com.

Source link