Horse Racing Is Better Than Football

nfl vs horse racing
It's September, and along with back-to-school sales and the cooler temperatures comes the hulking behemoth of American sports: NFL season.

I do not understand the allure of football - it's slow, the players all look alike in their bulky pads and helmets, and televised games seem little more than a platform for sexist beer and snack food commercials.

Running parallel to the NFL's juggernaut is the fall championship season for horse racing. Our sport's lead up to the Breeders' Cup goes unnoticed except by the niche of passionate fans that frequent HRN. But that is ok, because we all know we are experiencing the superior events.

Horse racing is better than NFL football.

Each race is a 2-minute (or fewer) drama that unfolds before our eyes, with heroes and villains determined from the moment the gate springs open. Will a hot-footed lone speed steal the race with an easy pace? Or will a brave closer swoop down on tiring speedballs in deep stretch to prevail by a nose? The PPs give you the Cliff's notes, but not until they go into the gate is the story written.

One must invest an afternoon (usually a gorgeously sunny fall one with an invigorating chill) in front of the TV to catch the important moments in a football game. And they come few and far between. Just when the action starts to heat up, everything comes to a grinding halt for re-adjustments, time-outs or commercial breaks.

Horse racing is a better game for the players in the seats, too. With each race featuring 6, 8, 10 or even 20 different "teams", there are plenty of rooting interests...and wagering ones. Horse racing offers 365 days of betting opportunities, versus 15 or 16 weeks for the NFL. The game can be more lucrative as well - the split between backers of 2 teams is paltry compared to the returns from a well-considered bet on a horse. When people talk strategy with football games, they totally overlook the strategy involved in picking a horse. Mounds of stats that would make the Moneyball guys sweat are routinely crunched by even the most novice of horseplayers. 

In a time when there is so much fakery, insincerity and phoniness in the world, sports are the last bastion of reality. The games (as far as we know) are unscripted, each play a surprise, each score a piece of history. At heart, sports are relatable because we identify with the highs and lows of the players on the field. But the NFL is unapologetically greedy. How can you relate to a professional athlete who threatens not to play the game because he wants more millions? 

Horse racing is the most real of all professional sports, with athletes who are no slaves to the almighty dollar. The horses run because they like to, they are genuinely competitive and want to win. Trainers work hard to get horses to peak racing condition, and jockeys urge every ounce of heart out of their mounts. If the Cowboys have a bad season, oh well, they can try again next year. For most horses, their first chance at glory is their only one. There are no "defending champs" in the Triple Crown. To witness a great race, like Zenyatta's 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, or Uncle Mo's nail-biter comeback in the King's Bishop, one can't help but feel content. A pure, fleeting moment of brilliance has unfolded - and only the passionate few have experienced it.

-- By Candice Curtis 


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Older Comments about Horse Racing Is Better Than Football...

k, there's always imagination. p6 time 2 in and I'm still alive, lol. Had to scream Sequoia Warrior home.
I don't think I will.
Do describe, cocoa.
Sorrel haired girl doesn't like me for my handicapping skills.
no need mary.. :)
As far as I know, true. I haven't see all of the other guys, though.
Tall or small at least I know I am the best looking here!:0
No segue, you just veer off. Love that. Hasta, deary.
I have you for that, tv :)
a tangent is a line that just touches a curve...Don't see any here, segue might be appropriate. I refer you to and they will help you with that vocabulary so that you can communicate so the recipeint can understand you. Great vocabulary builder
ha ha ha. I love your tangents, tv.
has zip to do with male/female..More akin to the knowledgable/clueless spectrum
Ooh, see? I do like the testoserone fest. I'll just get a foot-long or a big Italian sausage and let you guys pile on each other.
Sorry I would not claim that distinction even IF it were true
Or maybe tv was a pre-war baby? I'm towards the very end of the baby boomers.
the hraness track I worked for always had NFL games going in the teletheater.
The funny part is that tv called me deary and we're from the same generation, just that it was a long generation.
All football players have knicknames. Joe Namath was called "squeaks" due to his knee braces making noise. L C Greenwood (line back for the Steelers) was called "hollywood bags" since he usually took about 5 suticases with him on road trips of two days.....Amazing what you hear in the locker room.
Andre died as a result of acromegaly and never stopped growing as most with that malady have. Usually all diabetids too.
Just getting you to tell me about yourself, tv. lol, I don't do that w/furniture. Good for you about the 7 inches.You just sounded shorter, maybe because she have shrunk a half inch, or because you are seated.

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