First off, I need to apologize to regular readers of The Aspiring Horseplayer. I know my blogging has been sporadic over the last few weeks – that daily (or in all honesty semi-daily) rush of content, analysis, opinion, and general randomness has been missing.
I assure you all that there are reasons. And no, I won’t bore you with my oft-used “but my wife is pregnant” or “I work long hours” routine. No, this time it’s an actual legitimate excuse and something I’ve been meaning to share with you all for quite some time.
Not sure if anyone noticed, but the NTRA put out a press release today that actually mentioned me and a few other TBA bloggers by name.
That’s right, I’m part of a group that is headed out to Las Vegas next month in an effort to help the NTRA better understand how to attract the next generation of fans to our sport.
Obviously I owe a lot of thanks to those of you who stop over and here read my musings with regularity. I’m still amazed and convinced that that hit counter at the bottom right of the blog is wrong. Has there really been 70,000 visitors in the last year? I remember thinking just a few months ago that the only people who would ever find me here were folks that knew me or that I gave the address out to.
My how fast times can change.
Now I’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime for a horse racing fan. The chance to speak out and know that “they” are listening. So far the group’s going well. The Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance (TBA) is well represented. We’ve got our fearless leader, handride, and the always well-written Dana of Green but Game. Those guys (I should say ”guy and gal”) will be joining me in Vegas for the conference. And of course we’ve got other members in our larger “task force” group as well. I debated whether or not to list them here and will add to this post if desired, but felt that they might wish to keep private their involvement at this point in time.
With all of this in mind, I’d like to call upon you guys, the readers, to once again sound-off with any and all ideas you may have to help bring thoroughbred horse racing back to it’s rightful place of prominence. I’m not at liberty to discuss details of what we’re working on so far (so as not to create any false assumptions or promises), but I’ll tell you that two of the major things I”m pushing for are handride’s standings initiative and a little idea I like to call “Take Back Saturday” – which in summary is a model of how the NFL turned Sunday into “football Sunday”, a day of the week that they absolutely owned, and what we can do as a sport to copy that success by focusing on our marquee Saturday racing action.
So let slip the dogs of war, fellas! Let’s hear ‘em. I know a lot of you have shared some experiences and feelings in the past, and I pledge to do my best to represent as much of what you say as I possibly can. If this experiment goes well, I have the feeling it just may usher in a new era of two-way communication between the NTRA and it’s fans. What else can I say? The phrase “opportunity of a lifetime” doesn’t even really do it justice, does it?