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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BuffaLuck, Ranallo & Turf Accountants

No, this isn't a post about the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, but another racing blog that will discuss the new HBO series Luck. I wasn't planning on discussing it other than maybe a random bullet point in a random blog....however...


I received an circuitous email sent by USA Today sportswriter and Buffalo native Erik Brady via one of my partners with the same last name (no relation) discussing the Buffalo connections of the series. Here's what I gleaned from the email:


- David Milch, the show's producer, is Buffalo-born and raised, which explains the obscure name dropping of the one-time Buffalo newspaper Courier-Express during the show. "What are you," asks the horseplayer  in the wheelchair played by Kevin Dunn, “the morning Courier-Express?” 


- Milch's childhood idol was the late Courier-Express columnist Phil Ranallo, who wrote a daily column called "What's New Harry." The column featured horseplayer Honest Harry who would dive into his many forays at the racetrack, along with his wife, Ruby.  Ranallo also happened to win the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Newspaper Writing in 1972.


- The Buffalo News' Art Director Jeff Simon wrote this review on his former classmate Milch's newest HBO series.


Who knew the various connections to Buffalo. What did I think? Well, I'm intrigued by it so far and it's way too early to make any snap judgments about its potential success. I enjoyed the racing scenes and the Pick Six players the most. I liked how they explained to the casual viewer what a "single" in the bet represented and that the scene keyed on the singled horse. The scene was breathtaking as the "bug boy" was boxed in and forced to shoot up the rail to win the key race in the sequence. 


They had to lay out a whole array of characters over the hour long show, so it did take some time to develop. While the racetrack lingo could be considered to be confusing to the non-racing fan viewer, I think in time folks will pick up on what's going on and all in all this could be very good for racing and generating new fans.


While hitting a $2.7M Pick Six doesn't happen everyday, it's similar to the way most of us were hooked on the game. A nice score and adrenaline pumping through the veins when your horse crosses the line first. We've all experienced it. That dance that the guy was doing in the hallway, yep, I know that dance.


I for one, am looking forward to giving it a chance and seeing the main characters played by Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Dennis Farina and how they develop.


On a side note, I was having lunch with my friend Moe (not my Uncle) and he mentioned that his son, a graduate of the Naval Academy, had given him a Winston Churchill book filled with quotes from the famous Englishman. He said he stumbled on the term, turf accountants, in the book and asked if I had ever heard of it. He explained that is the term used in the UK for bookmakers. We'll file that tidbit in the
"you learn something new every day" folder.

1 Comment:

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