by Charles Jay
In the movie “Network,” newscaster Howard Beale was awakened from his sleep by a “shrill, sibilant, faceless voice” that told him he had to bring a message of “truth” to the world.
Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank
Beale explained that he wasn’t Moses, and the voice said, “I’m
not God. What has that got to do with it?”
And when Beale asked “Why me?”, the voice replied, “Because you’re on television, dummy.”
Manny Pacquiao has heard a voice too. But he is cock sure who this one belonged to.
Most of us don’t hear from the Almighty. But Pacquiao is claiming a legitimate brush with Greatness. After all, he’s a pay-per-view star and idol of millions. He’s on television, dummy, and when he says he has heard a voice from above, what business do mere mortals have not believing it?
The “voice” has told him to quit boxing. But for those of you who have already purchased tickets and plan to be in Las Vegas in early June, God apparently has agreed not to get in the way of Pacquiao making another huge payday for his fight Timothy Bradley.
As a result, we can assume the Divine Intervention has arranged for a Divine Rain Check until June 10….at the very earliest.
It’s interesting that we’re hearing this now, when Pacquiao is not only caught up with tax problems that have the potential to land him in jail, but in the midst of questions about allegations from a reporter that he may be harboring a fugitive from justice; one Mohammad “Bong” Akia, who is wanted for his involvement with a stolen vehicle ring.
Most guys wait until they’re actually locked up to find religion in a really heavy way.
Honestly, we don’t mean to be overly cynical. Pacquiao has long been known to have certain religious beliefs. But he is also a politician, in both the virtual and literal sense, and as we discover during every election cycle in the U.S., turning up the volume on the religious end can often be a useful device. It’s certainly been well-honed through the years.
I’m not saying that he doesn’t really “believe.” I think he really believes that he believes. But I also think that he is trying a little too hard to make YOU believe that.
If I didn’t know any better, I would think this is his way to facilitate quieting any further discussion about a prospective fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Come to think of it, I DON’T know any better, in this case. All of the “why can’t the fight be made” talk has a tendency to get in the way of the hype for Pacquiao’s instant fights, so as to reduce the importance or value of them. They’re looked upon by some as stepping stones for something that should have happened already.
Well, maybe – just maybe – Pacquiao is looking to become the undisputed champion of something else entirely.
According to a story in the Manila newspapers, Pacquiao is coming with a “major religious announcement” soon. That’s a bit narcissistic, isn’t it? I mean, I’m sure there are a lot of people who are holding their breath waiting for it, and it is acknowledged here that Pacquiao stops traffic and clears the streets of Manila when he fights and all of that, but even given those parameters, it is terribly self-important to announce that you’re going to have an announcement, especially when the announcement itself is bound to be a bit pretentious.
We have an idea of what it might be. Pacquiao is going to become a messenger for the Word of God because he has been specifically chosen. “When I speak, a lot of people listen,” he says, and that’s okay. maybe he’ll take his message to television, in one of those programs with the phone number for donations on the lower third of the screen at all times, like an infomercial. If the experience we’ve seen with one religious charlatan after another in the United States is any indication, PacMan could probably raise enough money to make up for ten Floyd Mayweather fights, and then some.
We kid, we kid.
But seriously folks, as many individuals in the human rights movement in the Philippines might tell him, he could do a Christian deed, right here on earth, if he dropped his criminal libel suit against the reporter who broke the story about his harboring a fugitive (Edwin Espejo) and campaigned to have the “criminal” part dropped from cases of libel in his country.
Until he can stand up for free speech in that way, he’s simply not believable.
Not that we can completely digest this latest story anyway.
If God doesn’t want him hurting people anymore, and Pacquiao has such a personal ongoing relationship in that respect, then why would he be going through with the Bradley fight? Could it be that God understands both the boxing and the gaming business at the same time, and that He doesn’t want high-rollers, the MGM Grand, or HBO, to be disappointed?
I think the real answer is that people tend to worship at the altar of a lot of different things, and the concept of convenience does indeed creep into consideration. Pacquiao, whose life outside of boxing may be in a bit of turmoil, is probably juggling a few of those things around right now.
You can take our word for it (or rather, our Word); this story, one way or another, ends with a “ka-ching.”
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