96, Oscars, Health Care—Greed


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.

5 thoughts on “96, Oscars, Health Care—Greed”

  1. I’d normally agree with the “a pox on both their houses” stand, and James Dolan surely is an asshole.

    However, one little tidbit sticks in my craw: why is Disney trying to shanghai millions of dollars out of Cablevision to retransmit a *free over the air* station?

    If a Cablevision customer rips out the box and throws up a digital antenna, they can still get ch 7 and Disney doesn’t get a dime.

    In fact, if I were Cablevision, I’d keep 7 off the air and throw in a $20 antenna with every cable box. Disney would modify that $1 per subscriber per month demand in a big hurry.

  2. As for expanding the tournament, I will agree with it on one condition: regular season champions also get an auto bid. That means Coastal Carolina wouldn’t be getting screwed out of a deserved bid because they lost *one* game.

  3. Hey Jeff,

    Fantastic blog and 100 percent on the mark. I hate the corporate world and how those suit-and-tie pigs think. You, on the other hand are among the best of the best.

    Don’t know if you remember me, but we traded e-mails awhile ago when you advised me on how to advance in our business, one that I love. Since then I’ve been penning for a monthly MMA magazine and have kept busy with various projects. Now I’m working hard towards the next big break.

    Stay cool,


  4. I couldn’t agree more with your opinion regarding NCAA tournament. The 64 (okay, 65) team format works well, and provides enough excitement to satisfy even the most rabid college hoops fan. Sadly, teams do get screwed out of the tournament, and I always feel badly when the deserving teams stay home while someone else catches lightning in a bottle and wins their conference tournament. But expanding the tourney to 96 games seems to be the NCAA’s attempt to water down their own tournament by merging it with the NIT. If the NCAA wants to make a bold move with collegiate sports, how about showing some balls and instituting a football playoff?

  5. Richard:

    I mostly agree with you.

    What I meant was, if the NCAA is bound and determined to expand, auto bids for regular season conference champions is the only way to make the expansion even semi palatable. I’d *prefer* it to stay at 65. That’s my first choice. But if you *must* go to 96, at least including that regular season champ thing won’t make me throw up. If you’re going 96 so you can make room for the 11th place ACC team and the 14th place Big East teams, that *will* make me throw up.

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