(Photo: Getty Images)
I wish that other sports had elements of Mayweather/McGregor in them. Unfiltered. Unedited. Raw. Watching Floyd and Conor scream insults toward each other reminded me of what it would be like if NFL Films showed us the good stuff when they mic up players. These guys don't like each other. Or more likely, they're both doing such a great job of pretending they don't like each other that even if you're not a fan of either sport the two excel in, or even if you detest this Saturday's two main event combatants, you've at least arrived at a point where you're nominally interested in who wins, and if you're like me, you've gone ahead and bought the fight.
I'll admit to having conflicting emotions about Mayweather/McGregor.
I find both men to be buffoons, both having crossed from being cartoon characters to something entirely different, and it's hard not to feel that Mayweather - he of the five convictions of beating women is anything but a detestable human being, but I understand why many find them compelling, and I understand wanting to see them fight.
I want to see them fight.
I want more access to what athletes say to each other's faces when they're competing and I'm not naive to what's being said that we don't hear, yet I think it's a sobering statement about what sells that the things Mayweather and McGregor have said to each other have been used to promote the event.
As a sports fan, most of me finds this to be an absurd athletic event. To use the verbiage many have already applied to this: it's a sucker's bet. As someone who grew up watching boxing with great interest but turned from it as it's drifted aimlessly for the last 25 years, I find Saturday's fight to be an indictment of a sport that - in the collective conscientiousness of this country - is on the verge of being counted out. And as someone who enjoys determining how the result of games impacts what's next, I'm left wondering what will be next for Mayweather, McGregor, and boxing once whatever happens on Saturday happens.
But as a lover of spectacle, as a fan of human trainwrecks, and as someone who goes to YouTube every Monday during the NFL season to see how many fights in the stands from the previous day's game were posted, I'm all in on this event, hoping that even if the match itself isn't competitive (it's not likely to be) or entertaining (which it should be), there's enough stuff to either laugh at, talk about, and maybe even put into some larger, even grander context.
There's elements to Mayweather/McGregor that are exhausting. I stopped being interested in what both guys had to say a long time ago, and the hot takes about this fight and everything that surrounds it have come at such a fast and ferocious pace that I'm neither interested in any more "expert" analysis (which is being offered by more people that have no idea what they're talking about than usual) or the latest thinkpiece about Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, and what our willingness to spend a Saturday night watching them fight says about boxing, MMA, the two fighters, or us. Especially what it says about us.
And I have no real opinion on who will win and if I hadn't made a wager just to make Saturday evening a little more interesting, I really wouldn't care who the winner eventually is.
Two men will walk into the ring on Saturday night. One will be vastly more qualified to be there than the other. Their fight's ultimate result seems easy to predict. Neither guy will emerge at all likable. Boxing will remain on its deathbed. Mixed Martial Arts will remain a popular sport that just doesn't grab my attention the way the others do.
But the spectacle of two dopes who purport to not like each other, each of whom has loud personalities with mouths that match, trying to punch each other while playing by the rules of a sport that one man has never competed in competitively has entertainment potential.
I like being entertained.
There's my Mayweather/McGregor take. Sorry it wasn't hotter.