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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Day of Reflection

While I was trying not to lament the status of my 201K (that is, half of what it used to be), I started reflecting about how I became such a racing fan. Actually fanatic is the right word for it. The Space Gal asks if I'm working on my "horse porn" (can I say that?) when I disappear into my den at night reading up on the racing news of the day or conjuring up a post. My office is littered with racing paraphernalia, pictures, triple crown and breeders' cup ticket stubs and bobble heads. The part I find most amazing is that I picked it up after the age of forty. When I arrived at the Saratoga Resident's apartment in August of 2004, for my first ever visit to the track, I would have never dreamed in four years I would be: 1) blogging about the sport and a member of the TBA; 2) own a collection of more than 25 racing books; 3) attend four triple crown races and one breeders cup; 4) visit over eight different race tracks and; 5) have people actually ask me what I think about a race (that one still boggles my mind). I admit the image I had of those that went to the track or to OTB was not a pleasant one (see my elephant in the room post). One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, and one of the four agreements is "don't make assumptions." Lesson learned. Now I see the sport for much more than that and it truly mesmerizes me. I wrote after this year's Belmont, the anticipation that was in the crowd, with the triple crown on the line, was unlike anything I've ever felt at any sporting event. It's true, it was a total rush, and one I can't wait to experience again. I hope others catch the fever like I did, so the game will grow and prosper. I'm hooked and I hope the ride continues. I'm in awe of some of the other bloggers and their intense and keen knowledge of the game, I can only hope that I can be so knowledgeable someday.

I really don't know how or why a forty-something could find his way into becoming such a racing fanatic. But all I want to do now is spread the word. Improve the image. Make a difference. I fit somewhere between the Baby Boomers and Generation X, although my partners would say I have the edgy skepticism of a Gen X'er and fall closer to that category. I work with a lot of Gen Y'ers, many of which I will hang with on the firm hoops or softball squads and participate in their fantasy football leagues, etc. Interestingly enough a lot of these folks that are part the Millenium generation are always asking me about the ponies and my blog. They are intrigued about it and I've turned them on to the game slowly and offered to take them to the track at Fort Erie, OTB or to the Casino Niagara race book to learn how to handicap. It's a work in progress. It seems to me that this group is always on the go, always connected and an extremely different type of worker than the good old days. They have a much more global sense of the world than I ever had. Work/life balance matters more than their career, so free time to them is extremely important. These are the folks who know how to use the internet and all of its vast functions and they are also the future of our game (sport).

The NTRA Marketing report put together by a task force of bloggers really hit this one on the head and addressed how we can attract this new generation of fans by using their tools to do it. I read the whole report tonight cover to cover and found it to be very in depth. They didn't try to solve all of racing's issues, just the ones that should be addressed first with a flavor towards improving the online content by using the hooks necessary for the audience being targeted. I urge you to read it and reflect. Reflection is a good thing.


Winston...not really said...

Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you are coming home his face might burn up.
-Jack Handy

EquiSpace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Handride said...

oh man, why remove it, i'm sure it was good. Thanks for being a fanatic, w/o us there would be no fans.

EquiSpace said...

Winston: Thanks, your wisdom inspires me.

Handride: It was actually the Space Gal trying to leave a comment and she didn't realize she was signed is as me (at 4am?), so she deleted it...but here is her comment busting my cajones:

"Are we getting sentimental and reflective today because today officially marks the beginning of your birthday month. :)"

Thanks for reading and commenting.

SaratogaSpa said...

You get a birthday month?
Man your lucky.
I'm lucky if anyone remembers my birthday Day


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