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Comparing Super Bowls to Racing's Super Bowls- One in the same

I watched most of the Super Bowl last evening, like I am sure a few of you did. The game itself was a bit of a dud until the fireworks started in the fourth quarter, but as usual, as a spectacle, it was fun to watch.

It got me thinking. Are there parallels between the big game and racing? You bet there is.

We Hate Camera Angles

The Networks, for some strange reason, like to put a camera on the goal line in Super Bowls, when they don't use one for regular games. When you've watched eight gazillion football games, this camera angle messes with your brain. My twitter feed was not impressed, while casual fans were wondering what the big deal was.

This is tantamount to goofy camera angles in horse racing. Bettors like the pan shot, because they've been watching races that way since Thomas Edison (I think it was him; he invented everything) created the film projector. It messes with our heads and we get really cranky.

Katy Perry, Music, Lenny Kravitz

The Super Bowl halftime show has grown into a monetary giant. The NFL gets top acts to perform, on stages transformed right before our eyes. There are paper tigers or lions or maybe leopards (hard to tell), dancing sharks, costume changes, lip syncing, and an obligatory song with dancers to end it, that's primarily rap hip hop based. It's quite the spectacle.

In racing, it's kind of the same thing. Big huge draws like the English Beat frequent Hollywood Park Santa Anita. The guy who plays guitar for Bon Jovi and once was married to a Melrose Place actress plays the national anthem. New York, New York is sung by a distant relative of Frank Sinatra (except that one year at the Belmont when they played a song that no one in the demographic ever hear of). I have not even mentioned the fact that if your racetrack is tethered to a casino, you can pop over and watch a really cool Abba cover band for free. Like the Super Bowl, racing loves the music.

In-between Races and Plays Entertainment

Advertising pays the bills, and for the Super Bowl, this advertising is a big part of the event. There are car ads, car ads, car ads, insurance ads, insurance ads, insurance ads and car ads. Most are one minute long and cost more than a bunch of cars that are fully insured. They're the bomb.

Like the NFL, racing's TV channels are filled with ads. Especially on late night. There you can get new fangled brooms for $19.99 (not one broom, but if you call RIGHT NOW, you can get two, plus a handy kit that can turn your broom into a toaster), and other such needed items. While the Super Bowl deals with flashy ads, late night racing TV is more utilitarian. But they are one in the same.

Second Guessing: "Julien Leparoux called the last play"

On the last play of the game, Pete Carroll (or the OC) called a quick slant that was jumped by a first year corner and picked off. This probably cost Seattle the game. If there's one thing you learn quickly about the masses (and talk radio dudes) in football, it's that when a pass play fails inside the two yard line, it's a bad call because you should always run. If you don't run, you're stupid. It doesn't matter that pass plays inside the one work better than run plays, there was clock time to look at, or that they had a perfect match up play. You run.

In horse racing, when a horse loses, it's the driver or jockey's fault. The horse could've been coughing a storm after the race, got run into by another horse, ran over a pop can thrown by a drunk Preakness infielder, or didn't feel like running that day. Somewhere, somehow in that two minute trot race, or 1:50 9 furlong affair, the jockey or driver did something stupid. It's just the way it is.

When In Doubt, Charge a lot of Money

Super Bowl tickets were through the roof. Hotels were outrageously priced. A cardboard filled thingy of nachos cost more than three gallons of petrol. Chris Christie would get stopped at the door at after parties cuz he didn't have enough cash. It's amazing.

At the Derby, it's kind of the same. Takeout hikes, ticket hikes, tents, moving the media area from the stretch to somewhere in Western Lexington, you know the drill.  We live in a time where if something is popular, it must be bled of every penny or someone will get yelled at during shareholder meetings. The NFL and the Derby are joined at the hip.

The Betting

Hey, the track is all about the betting. Just ask this guy.

The NFL is all...... hold it. No gambling at all went on yesterday. The NFL doesn't allow it.

Have a great Monday everyone.

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