Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oprah'd

It was announced this week that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will appear on Oprah.

Expect a hard hitting interview with meme's of everyone does it, and I had no choice, if it even gets to that. Followed by some tears and a warm hug, of course.

We're not the only one.
No one is ever at fault on Oprah. A man shoots his coworker at a McDonald's and the problem will be low paying job stress, combined with high fat foods and the fact that as a child he owned a red ryder carbine action air rifle that he wanted after watching A Christmas Story. 

Oprah provides cover. It's why so many want to go on her show.  She makes for a convenient excuse.

I think she's entered horse racing, too.

I read Steve Crist's article about the tax problem in the US, whereby horseplayers are taxed on winnings, and sometimes losings too. It's pretty crazy. They were made in, and for, a bygone era, and they're still here.

I saw a tweet this week that it would be great to change things, but with government's so cash strapped it's "too difficult" and the problem lies in the "system".

What about the previous 40 or so years? Was it too difficult then too?

Changing this tax, or at the very least updating it to the rate of inflation would allow handles to soar. Instead we hear we need takeout hikes or more food trucks.

We've been Oprah'd.

It's not dissimilar with my favorite racing Oprah moment - takeout decreases by NYRA.

The conversation for years went like this.

"NYRA should lower takeout"

"They can't. The New York Wagering Board runs takeout. The 'system' is stacked against them".

Well, NYRA has to ask the NYSRWB to lower takeout first, to get the ball rolling. Like Tioga Downs did. They applied and they succeeded. It's like complaining you don't have a job when you haven't applied for one.

But that doesn't matter because the NYSRWB doesn't like NYRA and it'll never happen. It's too much to overcome. The system is formidable and you might as well do nothing. The hole is impossible to be dug out of.

Oprah'd.

Bob Quigley, former head of the Meadowlands and now a retired 83 year old, talked about racing in Harness Racing Update this past weekend. Speaking about the Meadowlands he said:

"One thing I like is that these new people seem like they are working hard and trying to do the right things. What I didn’t like about the people running the place right before Jeff is that they seemed most interested in just hanging around to get their state pensions. I would see that a lot of them would go home at 5 o’clock and close up their offices."

I think that's the problem with the "system". We have too many people who leave early who don't want to work hard enough to change things for the better.  They take no for an answer fairly quickly, because the "system" provides them with cover.

For the good people who do work hard and want to overcome these obstacles, well they're fighting two battles: The problem itself and the people who tell them they're nuts to even try to fix it because the system sucks.

Someone smart said "When the deck is stacked against you, reshuffle the deck". I think reshuffling it with some new blood would do the sport wonders. As long as they don't watch Oprah.




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