NBC’s Race To the Bottom

NBC continues to demonstrate a complete disregard for why people watch horse racing.

The only people who watch horse racing on television are horse fans or bettors.

But NBC refuses to accept that fact.

Every year since NBC stole the rights from ABC to televise the Triple Crown races, they’ve turned the races into a circus.

The producers find any excuse possible to turn a horse race into a feature of ‘human interest’.

What NBC produces is not a horse race, but a circus, complete with clowns, starlets, trained animals, and costumes.

Listen, NBC. I don’t watch horse racing for ‘human interest’. If I want a story of pathos and defeat, I’ll watch a soap opera. I’ll watch Dr. Phil.

NBC’s televising of the Triple Crown races seldom has much to do with horses. The producers make the whole production that of a ‘human interest’ story, complete with weepy music and ‘mood shots’. No matter how far-fetched or unrelated to horse racing, NBC makes the show about some pathetic story of human tragedy, not a horse race.

I don’t want to see a story about some poor kid from Elbonia growing up wanting to race horses, or an elderly (yet still very rich) woman who’s dearest wish is to see her horse win before she dies,  or a group of drinking buddies all pooling their money on a horse with a weird name. I don’t want to see the rich and famous, I don’t give a damn about celebrities.

I don’t want that junk on the three days of the Triple Crown.

NBC, I don’t want to see your gimmick of televising some young, blonde, beautifully racked bimbo with a Macy’s Parade hot air balloon atop her head, who admits to not knowing a thing about horses, but is there to discuss Kentucky Derby fashion.

I don’t want to see the stupid women in the stands in their ginormous hats all singing “My Old Kentucky Home’ as if they really knew the words. In fact, if they REALLY knew the REAL words, the words that describe black people in less than honorable terms, there’d be a riot.

I don’t want a modern rendition of the National Anthem, sung by the hot rapper of the moment or someone who wants to change it to make it ‘hers’.

I don’t want the stories about Baffert’s kid naming the horse or crying because it was beaten. In fact, I wish Baffert would ooze his way back under the rock he crawled out from under. We didn’t like him even in his quarter horse days.

I don’t want to see Bob Costas, a man who is better suited to selling used cars, clearly proving that he’s out of his element talking about horse racing.

I don’t want to see the latest gimmick, that of a football player being the one to yell ‘riders up’.

I don’t want to see Bob Neumier with his off and on again New England accent playing the clown. I don’t give a rip what horse he or Battaglia think is going to win. I notice that they are seldom right.

I don’t want to see the faces of the crowd when the horses are crossing the finish line.

I don’t want to see a losing trainer being asked (while his horse is still running on the track) why his horse lost.  Duh. Because he was outrun.

Last year, someone stuck a microphone in the (losing) favorite’s trainer’s face and asked him if he could tell the audience why his horse was beaten? The trainer said, “No.” and walked off. I cheered.

I want the horses.

I want each horse televised, his performance, his breeding, his trainer talking about how he worked.

NBC, you have the entire rest of the year to televise human interest. You have uncounted hours devoted solely to discussing football players or baseball players stats, you devote time to golf, for god’s sakes, golf, a game for rich white guys conducted at resorts that the average joe can’t even think of affording.

In all these solely human sports, NBC is deadly serious. They don’t televise a  silly bimbo wearing a Triscuit on the side of her head. There’s no teary eyed human interest story. Football is serious, and they treat it as such.

Somehow, though, NBC has decided that horse racing isn’t really a sport, so it smothers the Triple Crown races in cotton candy and silly string.

Why do you have to stick all that schmaltz into a few minutes of horse racing?

ABC used to do it right. The races were produced and televised by horsemen, and it was done right.

I don’t know why or how NBC got hold of the rights to televise the races, but I can tell you this, NBC. I’m sick of it.

Listen, NBC, and tremble.

After this year’s butchering of the televised Kentucky Derby, NBC, I’ve decided that you can’t be trusted to handle something as simple and straightforward as a horse race.

I’ve decided to watch the rest of the races free of NBC’s fawning on the rich and famous, free of the annual freak (fashion) show, free of human interest, no matter how farfetched or unrelated to horse racing it is, free of the clowns, free of everything but what a horse race is about: a HORSE race.

From now on, I’m watching all the races, ALL of them, free of advertising, free of producers who are desperate to keep from televising horses at all costs.

I’ll be watching the races on my tablet.

C ya, suckers.



About subodai213

Retired U.N.C.L.E agent. Living in Laurasia.
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