What's in a name?
I once worked for a race track - to be unnamed - that opened and hastily closed its meet prematurely, a few weeks later, without ever hanging a sign out front. I could argue that said, lack of signage played a role to such a quick demise.
While I have had a sign post here the past two years at HRN, it's been under a guise that I started, but really hasn't mirrored me for a while. Way back when I first saw Derby Wars, I emailed its co-founder, Mark Midland, offering my services to blog about the games and tournament winners. To my surprise, Mark agreed and connected me with Brian Zipse, managing editor of Horse Racing Nation where the blog would stand.
And for a time I did just what I set out to do - wrote about upcoming tournaments, provided some tournament analysis and interviewed some winners. Unfortunately, I burned out quickly as demands of my life beyond the weekly blog easily outweighed reading past performances and arranging interviews. Fortunately, Zipse let me stay on and blog under the heading I started with, DerbyWars, even though I blogged on a wide range of topics and interests outside the tournament site and at my leisure.
This all means...not much, but a name change is something to celebrate. So I will do so!
Like my colleague Matt Shifman, who tweets and writes under the nom de plume, Andy Scoggin, my horse racing pen is Tony Bada Bing. It has been so since I started my own blog A Leg Up, more than four years ago. I choose the name and still enjoy using it - Tony Bada Bing - as it has a certain cadence, ring and connotation to it.
Why a pen name, you may ask? Besides it sounding better and bringing smiles to people who hear or read it, public education pays my bills. Horse racing is a thoroughly legal enterprise, but to hear that your daughter's principal travels to, writes about and creates videos about the sport might lead some parents to believe my head and my heart are not necessarily in the right place. I equally exist in both places despite what anybody may think, but I have shied against casting a negative perception of myself. Thus, Tony Bada Bing…
A little "bada bing" history. It's first popular culture reference comes from the Godfather. James Caan's Sonny Corelone uses "bada bing" in describing a hit on a rival. Much more recent cultural reference would be the "Bada Bing" - the strip club that served as Tony Sopranos headquarters. While these references come from mafioso theater, for my purposes, it's simply a play on the Urban Dictionary's meaning for bada bing bada boom - viola, it's done. Stop by my blog, Bada Bing Inc., you'll see or read something unlike any other place, no problem.
Recently, my mother-in-law asked how to find my blog at Horse Racing Nation (a new fan) and when I started to explain how to get here, it sounded convoluted even to me, the writer. A few days later, Zipse called to ask if I'd like to change my blog name. Talk about serendipity? So here I am at Bada Bing Inc., a blog more reflective of me.
And so here you are, reading, either for the first time or returning under my new blog heading. For the newbies, what else can you expect? Some wit, some wisdom and some wackiness. Besides intermittent musings, you'll see lots of videos as I have found a new passion in producing, editing and presenting videos showcasing the sport's equine athletes and their human connections. Next up will be pre-race videos of Princess of Slymar in the Alabama Stakes and Palace Malice in the Travers Stakes, so click on back.
Please don't be afraid to provide some feedback, offer suggestions or just enjoy what you see or hear. Bada Bing, Inc. aims to keep you informed - fugedabodit!