ChicagoNow Blathering Roundup, and the Importance of Fan Education

Last Thursday I attended the ChicagoNow Blathering in the city's Andersonville neighborhood.  I didn't sample the food (the turn around appeared way too long), or the beer (since I drink infrequently), but noticed that the service seemed to be a bit haphazard.  On the other hand, the place was standing room only.

Nonetheless, I had the pleasure of meeting the community manager, as well as the people behind quality blogs like "As I See It", "My Sports Complex", and "I Hate My Developer."

However, all through the night, as I tried to explain to people what I'm blogging about, I realized the pitfalls.  I'm glad that (1) I write a blog about thoroughbred racing I am not looked at like a ten-eyed space alien and (2) I write a blog that makes nods to gambling I am not looked at like a ten-eyed space alien from the event.  But a lot of questions revolved around things that I found weren't the easiest to answer.  Not because they weren't hard questions.  But more because I was working with an audience that knew so little about the subject.

When you're trying to handicap a sports game (for example, football or NCAA Basketball), you only do with two outcomes: a "YES" outcome where the team wins, or a "NO" outcome where the team loses.  If you're playing point spreads, the same yes/no choies exist.  Ditto for over and under.  The same yes/no proposition exists.

Horse racing is different.  You have many more outcomes other than the two simple ones.  And for the record, at least I wasn't asked at this gathering to explain an exacta backwheel.

(Bonus points if you can answer it.)

Don't be mystified.  It's okay to ask questions, to try to learn things about the game.  For learning about the game, I recommend starting here.

And as for the most popular question, "Have you ever been to the Kentucky Derby", the answer is no.  Maybe we'll get there one day.

Filed under: horse racing, ponderings

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