Monday, June 4, 2012

Brennan Not Welcome at Meadowlands

In a rather curious twist to the Pena saga, Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural has told driver George Brennan to not come to the Meadowlands - or after this week Tioga and Vernon - to drive horses. This on the heels of Brennan's pro-Pena comments in the New York Times.

  • “I was very offended by [Brennan's] remarks about the Pena suspension in the Times. It seemed he was saying it is alright to cheat because the object is to win and this is not my philosophy or the impression I want my customers to have. While I agree the rules are confusing and should be uniform, there is no room for Mr. Brennan’s views on this subject.”
I have no staunch feeling either way on this. Gural, as a private operator, can do whatever he wants. I respect that. However, comments in a paper? This feels weird.

One thing I do agree on though, is that participants in our sport should always be professional with public comments to a newspaper like the Times, or on television.  Golfers don't publicly question rules, NASCAR drivers can't do it with infractions, pitchers with suspensions, lineman with penalties, and on and on.  It's the way major sport is structured. If a fan swears at a driver or jock for a bad ride, the driver can yell back, while a player in the NHL or his coach can't. If a driver has a buddy that gets suspended, he can stick up for him all he wants. If an outfielder starts excusing a guy who got caught with steroids it's a different story.

We're not that type of sport though. We don't have set rules, or a commission. Our participants do not have media training. They, like Gural, can do what they want.

Like I said, I have no real feeling on this either way, because it simply feels very odd.  However, I have a sneaky feeling that within a few weeks we'll see George driving in an NYSS at Tioga, or the Meadowlands Pace. That's what my gut tells me.

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