Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fans Unite ... Le Tour

In early July we became aware of a new fan based organization of racing enthusiasts called Thorofan. Several days ago I posted a piece that suggested action by fans by way of a betting boycott for one of the big days of racing [Fans Rule] . While I enjoyed a lot of traffic as far as visitors it did not garner a lot of support, at least based on the single reply I received. However, Dana, who responded made me aware of another fan based organization of which I was unaware: HANA. I visited the site and am in agreement with their thoughts.

Something this made me aware of is the difficulty in putting together an organization even when people have similar or overlapping causes. It reminded me of all the horsemen's groups out there that have worked as separate entities when they had ought to be working together because of their similar, if not identical, concerns. Perhaps the THG is making inroads in starting to put the horsemen's groups together under one umbrella that will result in an increased bargaining position. But what of the fans? How many well intended groups of fans are out there that are not aware of each other? There has got to be a way to draw them all together to gain the power numbers demand. Again I reach out to all of you to help make this happen. Dana also sent a link to Self Appointed Fan Committee, an interesting site and just the type of forum where it would be possible to become aware of all the disparate groups and find a way to unite them. We can have a say and should have a say in the sport.

Another aspect Dana and I agree on is the power of a boycott. While her experience is similar to what I have found through the years - people are unwilling to sacrifice anything for better things later - I still believe it is the best way to show the solidarity needed to create change. Fans who won't sacrifice even one day of wagering, to my mind, are not so much fans of racing as fans of gambling. While the two are symbiotic in the industry, they are not the same.

On the HANA site there is a post dealing with the BH article on the precipitous handle decline since the triple crown. I haven't read that post through yet but I have read the article and originally intended for today's post to deal with my thoughts on the article's issues. Maybe tomorrow. In any event thanks to Dana for some food for thought. Check out the sites and let's make things happen!

Le Tour:
This has been one of the most exciting, enjoyable and contentious Tour's I can remember. What an absolute joy! The last two stages (16 &17) in the Alps have been all they should be. They have illustrated the extreme grit, determination and sacrifice of the elite riders. The climbs were absolutely monstrous! CSC's Carlos Sastre pulled a coup yesterday on L' Alpe d'Huez winning by 2:03 and gaining the yellow! However, he only retains a 1:34 advantage over the courageous Cadel Evans who seems to be riding the race alone this year. I don't think that advantage will be enough for Sastre to hold Evans off in Saturday's Time Trial. This year it may come down the Champs-Elysees! AWESOME!

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