It was announced yesterday that “I’ll Have Another”, winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness this year, has retired because of tendonitis. That means for the 12th time since 1978 (when “Affirmed” became the last Triple Crown winner) a horse that won the first two legs of the Triple Crown will not complete the Triple Crown sweep. This is certainly bad news for horse racing in general and particularly bad for NBC, the network that broadcasts the Triple Crown races. Viewership of the Belmont Stakes today has got to take at least a 50% hit from what it would have been if “I’ll Have Another” would have been running. It's now 34 years and counting since Horse Racing has had a Triple Crown Winner.
I, for one, will not be attending the Summer Olympics in London this year. For those who will be attending, they will commence in 48 days. Besides exorbitant ticket prices, here are a few prices that have been announced for food and drink (adjusted to U.S. dollars) at the Games. Beer will be $11.22 for a 16 ounce cup, Coca Cola $3.73 for a 12 ounce glass, a bottle of water $2.79 and a serving of fish and chips $11.95. I am sure that these prices will be a bargain when compared to the prices that the hotels and restaurants in the vicinity will be charging. Let’s hope that Russell Brand will not be present to preside at either the Opening or Closing Ceremonies.
I am one of the few that will be watching the Games; I have to admit that I have watched all of them since 1960. I particularly enjoy the Track and Field events, and the Women’s’ Gymnastics. NBC seems to have permanently aligned themselves to broadcasting the Games, and I am sure that they will take a bath with the low ratings that are generated. It must be costing them billions for the broadcasting rights, and I don’t see any chance of them even breaking even though I will do my share to watch all the coverage that I can.
The World Series of Poker has been going on for about a week, with the $10000 buy-in Main Event scheduled to begin in about a month. The main buzz going on this year is for a new $1,000,000 buy-in Event that it appears that will be lucky to draw 30-40 contestants. It has become readily apparent that the buy-in is too high for even the most successful professional poker players, as most of the 22 or so entries thus far are from rich businessmen who play poker for a hobby. I am sure that even the seasoned pros such as Phil Ivey and Dan Negreanu are selling shares of themselves to make the entry fees.
I am hoping for a Oklahoma City/Boston NBA Finals, the old vs. the new, but I believe the Celtics blew their chances to make the Finals by losing Game 6 to Miami. I will be rooting for the Thunder in the Finals. I also hope that the LA Kings wrap up the Stanley Cup tonight; the NJ Devils are too good to let them have a chance to get back in it.