Here is a smattering.......
"How do you play that game?"
"I told you once, I told you a thousand times, it's built for the 10th century and will never change"
"Every time I see a harness trainer in the news it's for drugs, why would the drivers be any different?"
"Why anybody would bet on the fiasco that is harness racing is beyond my comprehension. RIP."
"its horrible how they abuse these animals, should be ashamed of themselves, no wonder the sport is dying and Balmoral was only full of hillbilly inbred drunks sat night."
"For entertainment, do you go to the movies, or attend cock fights?"
Pacing guy noted today, regarding the lack of rules in the sport:
- The driver at the Meadows who has 15 violations for kicking a horse this year.His fine for violation #1 $100.; His fine for violation #15? $100. Clearly a fine of $100 is not a deterrent to this driver who has earned $2,187,880 in purses
But the fact remains - with harness racing run like it is, the perception is the reality. The lack of structure has branded it so, and it's taken many years for this branding to take hold.
One wonders, however, where has the pride gone?
If someone thinks my restaurant food is bad, or my employees are chasing customers away, I try to fix it. I want my restaurant to succeed. My employees take the criticism personally and do something about it.
If my car company is getting slammed for bad workmanship and people are telling others to "buy Japan", pride comes into play. The union, the city, the car plant - everyone - bands together to help the brand. "Imported from Detroit" is one of the best ad campaigns I have ever seen.
Not only do I see a lack of pride in wanting to put out a product the public wants to see, I see apologists for it. And that's even worse.
Some industry employees say "I am tired of hearing about it and I wish everyone would shut up"
Some apologize and deny anything is happening.
Recently when discussing rules with a harness racing power dude, he noted "We get complaints about things like kicking and whipping in the genitals and they look bad, but it's hard to change them".
It's like harness racing has Baghdad Bob as a spokesman saying "the Americans aren't here", as he ducks bombs emblazoned with apple pie logos.
Where is the workmanship, the pride, the wanting to get better? The wanting to put out a product that people can be proud of? The sausage making to make a better sausage? The getting the hands dirty to make people feel optimisitic and passionate about the sport again?
Where are the people who lead, that people can get behind?
I don't understand it and I don't think I ever will.
In the meantime, I will continue to write blog posts about an event in racing, and people will comment and comment and comment to me nothing to do with that event, but about the presentation of it. They'll email. My thoroughbred friends will think I am a hillbilly. Maybe they feel they can comment here and someone will read. Maybe they are jaded like that.
That's fine, I don't particularly care. They can do, and comment, about anything they want to comment on. I have not stifled opinion, or been a blinkered cheerleader for anything here since 2007, and I never will.
But they should all wise up.
The sport is unwilling to fix these things you complain about. It's the way it is. I certainly can't do anything about it, and even if I could, I would be unwilling to. Harness racing made its own bed. The people inside of it are the only ones who can fix it. If you are waiting for them to fix it, you'll be waiting for a long, long time.