|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, June 20, 2003
North Korea has nuclear warheads
Gee. Surprise, surprise. I guess now the current administration has to put their money where their mouth is and do something about this. I believe I had read originally that one of our fears about disarming North Korea centered around giving China unchecked supremacy in the SE Asian area. You know, checks and balances are on one end of the spectrum, and the taunts of the North Korean government towards our nation are on the other end. But the overriding factor here is probably that our government would look largely hypocritical if we don't attack the North Koreans to pre-empt anything they likely will try.
But, then again, the media's propaganda is painting the North Korean government as having an itchy trigger finger. Maybe that's as overblown as the "threat" we were lead to believe the Iraqis provided.
For my online friends from MaddenMania that have wandered over for a quick read, hello. You know, not to get sappy or anything, but the first time I ever used the Internet for any sort of conversational/community aspects was in those forums. And with all the "transition" I've been going through over the past eighteen months, there was a period of time where the MM group were the only people who I talked to regularly, and those threads really helped keep my mind off of the rest of the crap I was dealing with. So, thanks guys.
For fun, go to www.blogger.com and click on some of their randomly generated, recently published blogs. Good stuff there. And no, this isn't some sort of automated advertisement from the blogger people.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
So in the last five times I've gone to the track to gamble, I've walked out of there a winner four times. And the fifth I only lost $.60.
So what's my system? I don't know that I'd call it a system, but lately I've been looking for horses that are going to be closers in the race. Look, we're talking about the lower regions of the thoroughbred community here, a virtual Division III college basketball compared to the NBA game of Breeders' Cup stakes races. Anything can happen in these races. But it doesn't always. I try to find the pace in the race, the horses that are going to be (hopefully) running at the front in the beginning of the race. Then, I look for horses that are making up lengths from the middle to the end of the race, as consistently as possible. Taking other factors into account, such as consistency of distance, speed ratings, and lengths behind at the end. Now, it doesn't make sense to bet on a horse that goes from 27 to 17 lengths back, but it might if that horse were dropping from a $10k to a $4k claimer. I guess, in a nutshell, what I like to see in a race is this:
"Pace" Horses - horses that run 1st-3rd through the early part of the race, and finish at least one spot and three plus lengths behind their mid-race position. Looking for a fading horse.
Non Factor Horses - junk horses that have no business winning the race
My Pick(s) - horses that are running against similar or better competition, finishing 4th through 6th or so, but making up major lengths, closing strong in most races run recently. Hopefully, I see these horses at 8-1 or higher.
It's seemed to have worked out well for me recently. Obviously, you lose on these horses probably more than you win, but hitting one makes all the difference.
I've got two brilliant ideas for reality TV shows.
The first one would be a fascinating study in self-esteem, popularity, and as how outward appearances change, so does the way one behaves. Basically, the story would be this: Pick five girls from five different high schools across the country. Big schools. The girls they pick need to be from the lower to lower-middle of the pack as far as popularity is concerned, and they need to be the types of girls that a summer can change from plain to beautiful. Then, you send these girls to boot camp. All summer long. At boot camp, they get minor cosmetic surgery (eyes, nose, lipo), whole new wardrobes, diet and fitness plans, and something resembling charm school, although it's focused on how to operate in the "popular" circles in school. Then, you send these girls after their summer back to school, and see if they take their rightful places among the school's elite crowd, and see how beauty and clothes changes the perception their true friends have about them.
Yes, it's just like "She's All That," but it would be a great show. You give these girls cameras to record video journals for two months before and two months after their transformation. And definitely follow them to school the first day, and to after school events for a brief period. I promise it'd be fascinating.
The other idea isn't fully formed yet, but it'd be one of those college cult following shows that combines the best of "Road Rules," "Survivor," and "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush." It's an endurance game/challenge that I'll call "The Bus." This show is genius because it is more of a perpetual show than something with an ultimate outcome. Here's how it works. You get a Greyhound-style bus. You fill it half full with a men's team, half full with a women's team. The bus goes from campus to campus doing crazy endurance type games (like a "Road Rules," or even that crazy Japanese show on TNN) in direct competition with a team from the college. Trick is this: At the end of each challenge, the top scorers in the game, regardless of whether or not they were on the bus to begin with, get on the bus with just the clothes on their back, and go to the next school and the next challenge. For every time you stay on the bus as opposed to being replaced by a kid from the college, you earn more money. So if you win a challenge and get on the bus for the first time, you just win the chance to compete for both money, and the right to stay on the bus. After you win your second spot on the bus, it's $1,000. Then your third spot is worth $2k, then $4k, and so on. But this is an endurance challenge, remember. The kids get no showers, little sleep, nothing but PB&J (crappy meals in general), and basically are to remain on the bus in their seat until it's time for the challenge.
The challenge for this one is to create interesting characters when you have the potential of a constantly changing group of kids on the bus. Plus, those who have been on the bus, enduring, for the longest period of time, are going to look really shabby without showers and nothing but the clothes on their back. But the positives here are that you focus on that college crowd, and can schedule events pretty much anywhere with guaranteed participation, and that you don't have to have huge prizes for these kids, kids will do anything for the cameras. Also, keeping these kids on the bus guarantees drama. 24 hours a day of stinky kids with dirty clothes and a lack of sleep is great potential for some classic arguments.
I think both ideas are just gold.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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