They say a sucker is born every minute, and like two proud parents, HBO and Showtime gave birth to 1.8 million more Saturday night.
The two cable powerhouses recently released the final numbers for the Lennox Lewis/Mike Tyson heavyweight bout Saturday, and with just under 2 million folks forking out $54.99, the fight grossed a pay-per-view record $103 million.
Not surprisingly, those reaping the rewards couldn't be happier.
"This exceeded even our expectations. This was a night that truly lifted the sport," Mark Taffett, who is senior vice president for HBO Sports, told the Associated Press recently.
In truth, however, the showdown -- which ended with Lewis pummeling Tyson into an eighth-round knockout -- was nothing more than a big letdown for the fans.
But we never seem to learn with boxing do we?
Soon, talk of a rematch will intensify, the public will start to forget just how badly Tyson got beat and we'll do this all over again.
Maybe next time, the fans will finally get a fight that's worth it.
God knows it already has been for the promoters.
n Speaking of big paydays, couldn't you just see this disaster coming?
Four years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed infatuated with going out and signing a big-game pitcher. To fill that perceived need, they quickly inked Kevin Brown to an eye-popping seven-year, $105 million contract.
At the time, those involved in the game -- not to mention even most casual fans -- questioned giving the then 33-year-old pitcher a deal worth roughly $15 million per season. As with all baseball contracts, the deal was guaranteed. That, of course, meant the aging hurler would be paid in full, regardless of his health.
Flash forward to this week, where Brown just underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc that is expected to finish him for the season. It is the sixth time he has made a trip to the disabled list since signing the dubious contract.
But just how pricey has L.A.'s ace been for ownership so far? With 43 wins under his belt since joining the club, each victory is carrying a hefty price tag of roughly $2.4 million.
Talk about feeling blue in Dodgerland.
n As an impending strike in Major League Baseball keeps barreling toward us, there are a few signs that slight progress is being made.
In an almost unheard of move, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo actually met with some of his players just so the two sides could keep the lines of communication open.
Now it seems the owners have officially offered to lower the rate on the payroll tax, which has been a major sticking point with the players' union so far.
So why the sudden change of heart from baseball's suits?
Take a look around at all the shiny, new ballparks -- a large part of which were privately financed -- that have been built or are in the process of being built.
There is simply no way owners can afford to let these stadiums collect dust for a year while the game straightens out its labor agreement.
The owners know it, and so do the players.
And that's why we'll be watching baseball come September.
-- Jim Stamm can be reached at 739-4322, Ext.118 or by e-mail at email@example.com.