JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

96, Oscars, Health Care—Greed

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Sometimes I hate this world. Like today. My wife wants to watch the Academy Awards. She loves the Academy Awards. She had her evening plan—put the kids to bed, order in, watch the Academy Awards.

But we live in New York, and we have Cablevision. So no Channel 7 for us. No Academy Awards.

Who’s the blame? Cablevision blames Disney. Disney blames Cablevision. I blame greed. Bullshit corporate greed. One side demands $X million. The other side demands $XX million. They fight and bicker and spar, and openly blame the other side in a game of fool-the-public-into-thinking-[X COMPANY] is wrong. But the truth is, both sides are usually wrong, because both sides are greedy ass-warts looking to bilk us out of more money.

Hell, look at the NCAA’s recent efforts to increase the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments from 64 to 96 teams. Is it because fans long for more hoops? No. Because the tournament is lacking that certain spark? No. The reason—plain and simple—is greed. More games equals more TV revenue. More TV revenue equals more dough for the NCAA. More dough for the NCAA equals tons of benefits for student-athletes like … uh … eh … absolutely nothing. More dough for the NCAA equals more dough for the NCAA—athletes be damned.

The reality here is simple, and it’s this: There are people like you and I, who live day to day in our happy little worlds. We work hard for our families; hope to eat out every now and then; maybe take a vacation or two. And then there are the corporations. The politicians. The CEOs. Those who pull strings and live and die with profit margins and think only about money; about making more and more and more and more and more.

Health care is the perfect example. Whether one is a Republican, a Democrat or an independent, it’s indisputable that our health care system is severely flawed. We need better coverage and we need more people covered. This is certainly a doable accomplishment. And yet … it’s not. Because, come day’s end, the people calling the shots are more concerned with making money and holding their jobs than they are aiding people in need.

So as you sit on your couch tonight, staring at a blank TV screen, hacking up a lung and wondering whether Bucknell-Hofstra will be a future first-round tournament match-up, realize that it’s not really in our control.

And never will be.

PS: I don’t know who is truly the villain in the Cablevision-Disney dispute. I do know, however, that Cablevision’s James Dolan is one evil SOB. So I tend to believe nothing he says.