Field Theory by Hadyn Green

20

Pow! Vroom! Ka-Ching!

Pow:
I'm not a boxing fan, but the prospect of a David Tua versus Shane Cameron fight has me intrigued. However, I still have even money on it not happening.

Tua's camp is wary of this fight, mainly (I assume), because should Tua lose that will effectively be the end of his career. But of course he also wants to fight because he needs the money, though he'll never admit either of those reasons.

I'm also surprised at the TAB. They have Cameron as the $2.50 underdog. I'm also shocked because, if you believe Mark Stafford (and I have no reason not to), it seemed that they set the odds by wandering about the TAB offices and asking people what they reckoned.

Billed as the "Fight of the Century" (::cough::) the punch-up will most likely be on pay-per-view TV meaning that we might just see pubs full of people cheering at boxing. And that's something I've never seen but am really looking forward to, it seems so deliciously manly don't you think?

Vroom:
Who knew the Swiss could drive so well or that the Lebanese could drive so badly? Kiwi driver Chris van der Drift (talk about nomative determinism) was rightfully disappointed, but fifth in the sprint race is nothing to sniff at.

I really like the A1 GP set-up. I love the evenness of the cars and I love how it is pretty much a World Cup of motorsport. Well done Taupo. I was also quite happy that the coverage had less of this and more of this. Hamilton V8 organisers take note.

Ka-Ching:
In recent years we've become a little complacent with the idea of sportspeople earning incredibly large salaries by chasing a little ball around a field. Well with this new "credit crunch" ™ we are seeing players having to tighten their purse strings as well. Here's the evidence of the new frugality:

  • Prince Fielder, a slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers, just signed a new contract for a mere USD$18M for two years (Fielder will be paid $7.5 million for 2009, including a $1 million bonus, and $10.5 million in 2010)
  • Aston Villa offered a paltry £3.5M for Emile Hesky while Wigan spent only £4.5M on Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega
  • And Kaka turned down a mere £100M to join Manchester City. City then offered David Villa £70M and Didier Drogba £180,000 per week.

Clearly I was being sarcastic. My honest initial reaction was "100 fucking million pounds! Nobody is worth that!"

Even teams are going for huge sums of money. The Chicago Cubs just sold for USD$900M (compared to the $450M paid for the Atlanta Braves in 2007 or the $180M paid for the Oakland Athletics in 2005). The Al-Kharafi family, of Kuwait, are planning a bid to buy Liverpool for £500M (though admittedly this is £100M less than the asking price).

But thing that gets me about this type of money is that the people offering it expect to get the money back through their purchases. Kaka was worth £100M to Manchester City because they figured (somehow) that he would be able to earn the club £100M or more in his time there.

Of course the credit crunch has shown up in some areas, mainly those involving corporate excess.

Playboy and Sports Illustrated announced in recent weeks that they would not be holding their annual Super Bowl parties. A celebrity golf tournament and party that was to be hosted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers players Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks was canceled because of a lack of sponsors, according to local media reports in Tampa. A few talent agencies also scrapped their party plans…

Visitors to the Tampa area this week are projected to spend upward of $150 million, a sizable sum but about 20 percent less than they would have spent under a healthier economy, according to a report by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Visitors will have shorter stays and will spend less in the hospitality industry and related businesses, the report said. The host committee has lowered its private fundraising goal from $8 million to $7 million.

I'll write more on the Superbowl later in the week.

Also the lack of sponsorship is meaning fewer sports may be viewed here. ESPN didn't option the rights for the FA Cup final and hence it might not be shown live here. Sky may still pursue the rights but don't guarantee it. Personally I'd like to see a group of like-minded football fans get together and put in an offer for the rights and then donate it to TVNZ or TV3 for free-to-air coverage and a share of the ad revenue.

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