Churchill trying to make good: Churchill Downs moved quickly Saturday to make amends for understaffing and long lines at its first night racing event Friday, announcing $1 beers for happy hour, double the beer outlets on track and triple the concessions staff for next Friday’s racing. I’m not sure if that’s enough to satisfy people who stood in lines for over an hour, or for the many who simply gave up and left. But you can’t argue that night racing appears to be a winning idea here, if the execution is improved, and the track appears to be taking those steps. More on this in my Monday column. [C-J coverage today.]
Bailout? Was glancing at the StoryChat comments with our news story today (I know, a dangerous proposition, and one I don’t usually do, but wanted to see a little public input since I’m writing about it tomorrow). A couple of posters chided Churchill for seeking a “bailout” from the General Assembly. It should be made perfectly clear, Kentucky’s horse racing industry isn’t asking the state for money. It is simply asking for permission to buy its own slots equipment to put in its own facilities, where gambling is taking place already. It won’t cost the state anything except what it costs to regulate — and those costs will be more than made up for by millions in new state revenue.
There is a bailout plan in place, however. It’s been proposed by Senate president David Williams, who is pushing a plan to give the industry millions of general fund money and raising more money through a tax increase. This is a classic bailout. Against the backdrop of a plan that will actually pay for itself, and a massive state budget shortfall, this is a head-scratcher. But then, Kentucky politics usually leaves you scratching your head, which is why I’m more comfortable with Kentucky sports.
Former Memphis player defends program: Antonio Anderson says, “those wins are ours.” He says it would be tough seeing the NCAA vacate the team’s 38 wins, if that were to be the penalty for questions surrounding Derrick Rose. He also talks about John Calipari’s move to Kentucky, likening it to an NBA job. [The Memphis Commercial-Appeal.]
Tiger says, “Jack’s greatest ever.” Today’s required reading from the U.S. Open comes from Tom Boswell of The Washington Post, who is always required reading. When asked who is the greatest golfer ever, Woods gave a one-word answer: “Jack.” When asked how close he is, Woods was just as brief: “He has 18, I have 14.” Boswell explores what that answer says about Tiger. [Boswell’s column.]
Kansas State comes clean: It takes some guts to draw back the curtain on shady practices that occurred during a program’s “golden era,” but that is what they’ve done in Manhattan, Kan., where an audit of financial practices has been released to the public, revealing that stunning success under iconic coach Bill Snyder came with some unsavory financial strings. Jason Whitlock opines. [The Kansas City Star.]
Talking business: UK’s mega-media deal with Host Communications was the first of its kind, but now Georgia has signed a bigger deal with ISP, worth 92.8 million. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.]
For the gamers: EveryDayShouldBeSaturday reviews NCAA 2010, the video game. I think they like it. [EDSBS.]
Worth a listen: Bob Edwards Weekend, an edition of his Sirius/XM Radio show, includes a wonderful look at the life’s work of Vin Scully in its second hour this week. It’s a discussion with Curt Smith, who has written a biography of Scully entitled Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story, and includes some vintage audio of Scully’s work. [Bob Edwards Weekend.]
In the real news: A couple of good stories in today’s New York Times. The first looks at the role Twitter played in reporting recent political upheaval in Iran. [Read it here.] A compelling counter opinion is offered by The Washington Post, in an op-ed piece that argues the real revolution isn’t on Twitter, it’s in the street. [Click here to read it.] The other Times piece is the made-for-the-movies tale of David Rohde, a Times reporter who last week escaped the Taliban after being held hostage for seven months. [His story is told here.]
Parting shot: Best line of the day goes to L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers. In a column answering email, he quotes a reader’s message that begins: “I have always been taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” Simers responds: “So why do I get the feeling you’re going to ignore what you’ve been taught. [L.A. Times.]