I used to hate Floyd Mayweather, I mean, hate Floyd Mayweather. I thought he was dodging Manny Pacquiao, he was arrogant and overrated. My "Mayweather Sucks" list could have gone on and on until a few months ago when my opinion abruptly changed.
Generally, part of my daily routine is to watch The Dan Patrick Show before I go to work and listen to him in the car on my way into the office. To me, the man is a sports Buddha. It was a week or two before the Super Bowl this year and a listener called into the show to rip on Tom Brady. As a Patriots fan, I thought this was blasphemy. Tom Terrific is a walking god to me and to all the citizens of the six states that make up New England.
Before I could get irrationally fired up, Mr. Dan Patrick laid some knowledge on me. While I don't know his quote verbatim, the basic point was this: Professional sports is comprised of the top 1% of athletes in their respective sports and every so often, there are athletes that are so good, that they are the top 1% of the 1%. They transcend sports. Think Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady. These transcendent athletes don't come along very often and as a sports fan, you are missing out on something/someone that is truly great if you can't get past the hate and appreciate what you are witnessing.
When I heard Mr. Patrick say this, it completely changed my mind when it came to sports. I can honestly say I don't hate or dislike any athlete anymore. I am a Red Sox fan who like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. I am a Celtics fan who enjoys Kobe Bryant immensely. I like Jon Jones, Josh Koscheck, Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva and every fighter that steps inside the Octagon. Regardless of what an athlete does on or off the field, it doesn't matter to me when I sit down on the couch to turn on a sporting event to be entertained because that's all I want to be: Entertained.
When the Patriots lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl a few years ago, I immediately turned off the TV once the game was over and pouted for a week. This year when the Patriots lost to the Giants again, I watched all the post-game coverage and caught myself thinking "Good for Eli Manning". I had a great time watching the game and didn't really care that the Pats lost. Sure, I wish the Pats won, but them losing didn't cause me to lose my job, have my girlfriend break up with me or make my parents disown me. It was a win-win. I was entertained for three hours and my life was not affected in the least bit.
I can't wait to watch Floyd Mayweather do his thing Saturday night. Whether you love him or hate him, he is one of the greatest boxers ever and is arguably, the greatest boxer of his generation. Floyd recently said he is only going to fight for two more years and I am going to enjoy it while it lasts. Mayweather, most likely, is going to be the last boxer that can guarantee over a million pay per view buys every time he fights. He's going to be the last boxer that makes $40 million plus each time he fights. He's going to be the last boxer to make HBO's 24/7 interesting. He's, probably, going to be the last boxer that makes boxing relevant. So, come Saturday, I am going to enjoy all of this while it lasts because Mayweather is going to be the last transcendent boxer.
So, here's to you Floyd Mayweather, Jr. As long as you keep doing your thing, I am going to keep watching and loving every minute of it.