THE SPORT OF KINGS
I just plain don't understand the popularity of casino gambling, or of the lottery for that matter. If a game is crooked, I don't want to play; and if the game is straight I still don't want to play. Where is the fun of watching the inevitability of statistics slowly leeching your money out of your pocket? From the perspective of an extended time frame, a straight game is utterly predictable. The games have complicated rules that cause the players to make decisions, none of which affect the long term outcome. And losing combinations are usually just one element from a winning combination in order to create the false impression that you were thiiiiiiiiiis close.
Elite level sports really don't hold my interest either. I didn't go to the University of Arkansas (I went to Ole Miss. Don't tell anybody.), and I've got nothing in common with any of the players. I can't even afford to buy season tickets outside the end zone; but I'm supposed to be happy when they win and sad when they lose. Professional sports are even farther removed. It's a mercenary system. They'll move to any town that'll build them a new stadium. How a fan can so quickly embrace the Tennessee Titans is beyond me. Come on, Jethro. They ain't your team. They was trucked in.
There is one kind of gambling that I do enjoy. Thoroughbred racing. Here's why.
All the stuff that's illegal in every other sport is part of the game in horse racing. You can bet on your own horse. You can bet on an opponent's horse. A jockey can place a bet on a race that he's in.
In every other elite sport, it's assumed that every participant is trying his best to win every time he plays. Any other intent would be unethical. Not so in horse racing. You don't have to try to win. You might enter your horse in a race just to work it out at an unfamilar distance.
RTJ--8/15/2002Arkansas Travelogue home page | Matters Literary | Short Rants I | Short Rants II | Short Rants III