Tuesday, September 19, 2006

LITF Final Thought & A Right Jab/Wake Up Call for the Industry

Today was a late starting day for me. About halfway through the 3rd quarter of last night’s MNF football game between Jacksonville and Pittsburgh I began to feel the first signs of being sick. The hypochondriac that I am, I instantly put my IPA down and went directly for a glass of water.

Invoking the old Bailey family remedy of “sweating it out”, I went home, shut my windows, and bundled myself into bed like I was going to sleep in a blizzard.

After 11 hours of deep, sweaty sleep, a nice shower, a fantastic pasta meal (garlic-laden “ziti con broccolini”) and about 68 oz. of water, I have managed to save myself from several brutal days of fighting off some mysterious early fall illness.

Thusly, I was unable to keep to my normal schedule of early morning writing and research. Needless to say, the 5 o’clock hour is approaching and I am just hitting my literary stride.

I appreciate all of the support regarding my announcement yesterday and am looking forward to this opportunity to represent my fellow bloggers on the grandest of scales. I promise to do my best to make you all proud. I will be sure to keep everyone updated on what’s happening leading up to the last week of October.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the passing of one of my favorite horses of all-time, Lost In the Fog. There have been some nice mentions of LITF over the past 24 hrs. - mainly HERE, HERE and HERE.

I offer my final 2-cents:

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, 

Nothing, that's all that (LITF) left me, yeah, 

But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he (ran a race), 

Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm, 

Good enough for me and ……...”

Last week, my good friend and editor of Jambase.com, Aaron Kayce said:
“Music is the barometer to gauge one's soul. It is the true answer to "How are you?" You want to know how I am? Just plug into my music, it will tell you all you ever need to know.”

For some reason, the words to one of Janis Joplin’s most famous songs (which was actually written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster) came to my head when thinking back on LITF’s legacy.

To my eyes, that horse just looked right. He felt right. And from what I could tell, he seemed to just "get it". Throwing recent conventional wisdom out the window, LITF defied the odds by winning at multiple tracks located in multiple time zones. Track biases and “horses for courses” didn’t mean a thing to this beauty. He basically said, “Put me out there Greg (Gilchrist) and I’ll win, baby!” No Biggie-Tupac, East Coast v. West Coast controversy here. “Suit me up and let er’ rip”, that was LITF’s mojo and that’s what I’ll remember most. Feelin’ good was easy when he ran and feelin’ good was good enough for me.

Pop Culture is no longer just a direct extension of television. It was only a few short years ago that the world was completely smitten and overwhelmed with images, sayings and styles derived exclusively from TV. During that time, TV’s only rivals in the dissemination of pop culture were movies and radio. Sure, Hollywood is influential in how we view and absorb pop culture, but a one-time movie release always has less impact than a powerhouse TV show such as Friends.

Today, the number of pop culture outlets has increased and expanded tenfold. I haven’t had a TV in nearly two months, yet somehow I remain on top of today’s current events, trends, happenings and mishaps. More and more I am finding myself more in tune with pop culture than friends who have cable TV!!

This is why I am so distressed when I hear that the editor of a major industry media outlet goes on record in saying “he does not visit the blogosphere regularly”. That was Bloodhorse Magazine’s Ray Paulick. Mr. Paulick has taken some flack in many of the horse racing blogs recently – mainly because he took the time to visit and address certain issues with the blogging community. Does Steven Crist pay us many visits? How about Mark Simon or Don Clippinger of Thoroughbred Times? I am not quite sure, but I do know that if they are not, then they are making a huge mistake.

Whether these middle-aged white men like it or not, WE ARE THE INDUSTRY. You can pooh-pooh our journalistic sensibilities or our frequency of posting, but these “leaders of the industry” better wake up and realize that WE, the horse racing bloggers are the ones arranging and organizing bus trips to Triple Crown Races. WE are the ones taking birthday parties to our local track – initiating new patrons into the Sport of Kings. WE are the ones introducing our youngest of kin to fillies, mares, jockeys and photo finishes.

I’m sorry, but our blogs ARE a part of horse racing culture and they are here to stay. The industry, from the inside, needs to wakeup and get with it.

I’ll leave this lengthy post with one simple question.
Please read the following two articles and tell me, WHY YOU THINK HORSERACING IS ANY DIFFERNET THAN THESE INDUSTRIES?
Article #1
Article #2

3 comments:

Ray Paulick said...

Ruben.

Love the energy and enthusiasm for racing and the lyrics from the "Pearl" album, one that most of us middle-aged white guys used to jam to (did I just put Pearl and Jam into the same sentence?.

Not crazy about the journalistic accuracy in the quote you attributed to me in the following passage:

"This is why I am so distressed when I hear that the editor of a major industry media outlet goes on record in saying “he does not visit the blogosphere regularly”. That was Bloodhorse Magazine’s Ray Paulick."

I don't think I'm hip enough to use a term like blogosphere, and in my online Talkin' Horses chat at bloodhorse.com I did not say I didn't visit blogs.

What I did say in that chat when asked about web sites and blogs was: "I'm a big fan of Equidaily.com for links to non-traditional racing press. I scan blogs and some forums, which often can be useful for news leads. Frankly, the state of horse racing blogs is pretty sad compared to politics or other sports."

One of the reasons I don't hang on every word of bloggers is that it's time consuming, and time is an important commodity to me. I'm writing this at 10:30. A couple of weeks ago when I cruised many of the TBA blogs I was doing so at midnight. Us middle aged white guys need sleep.

I hope your sloppy paraphrasing of what I said in the Talkin' Horses chat is not indicative of the work you'll be doing as a credentialed member of the media at the Breeders' Cup. We've got enough people like that with tags around their necks at major horse racing events.

I enjoy much of what you say and won't argue the points you made in this post. But don't bend quotes to make your point. (By the way, if I actually said in one of my posts on a blog "he does not visit the blogosphere regularly"--strangely talking about myself in a third person Shaq kind of way--I apologize. I sure don't remember talking about myself like that.)

I hope we can meet at the Breeders' Cup. It takes real dedication for someone in Oregon to stay connected with horse racing.

Handride said...

when trying to make an impact from the outside looking in it's always a good idea to piss off the most important person first. so put a check mark in that box ;) I think Ruben was paraphrasing (and shouldn't use quotes) and Mr paulick is needling you a little bit for fun and getting you ready for the real deal come november. I think you guys will make friends fast and you should consider bunking together, now that would be the best blog of all time.

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