AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: Twit To Woo – how angry are you?

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving worked for bookmakers on course since 1989 and punting since before I was really allowed to there’s one thing I’ve learned; you need to be positive.

Positivity is that invisible charge, you don’t know how or why it works but practitioners of it just know it does. It’s a bit like you know that if you turn on your computer it will do its stuff, even if you don’t know how it does it. It doesn’t matter in what sphere of gambling you are in, one thing is certain. You are going to have good runs and bad runs. When they are good, everything comes up you, but when they are bad they are character building, though that’s the last thing you want anyone to console you with when the last leg of your treble runs out when 20 lengths clear. It’s like the Gambling Gods are having a lot of fun at your expense, both emotionally and financially. The secret is, keep consistent but most importantly positive.

jackThe first bookmaker I worked for, Jack Lynn (pictured), (R.I.P) had many sayings, mostly too rude to repeat but one was used the most, was a stoic ‘It’ll turn’ when things were going badly. It always did ‘turn’ too, usually out of the blue, the result that you thought was beaten gets the race in a photo or you are the recipient of some other form of good fortune. It’s turned when you least expect and the purple patch invariably follows. It’s all down to belief, keeping positive and a change of luck.

Which brings me to the tenuous link of the analogy of turning your computer and the main reason for this blog, twitter and all the negativity that festers there.

For all the good stuff that is to be found on twitter there is a whole lot of darkness lurking, especially when it comes to horse racing. The number of people that appear to just log on to spew bile and naysay to anything anyone has the audacity to post is staggering and quite depressing.

The worst of these are those are to my mind are akin to the drunken thug who staggers around in the corner of some backstreet pub. He’s angry for whatever reason and he’s going to smack the next face that doesn’t fit as soon as they speak out of turn. He gets drunker and more frustrated as the night goes that nobody steps out of line. That anger has reached boiling point come closing time, so much so that his remit has changed, he’s going to clobber the next person that passes, regardless and he does, wallop.

boringOur equivalent on twitter appears to just sit there, seething for whatever reason, just waiting for someone, anyone, to post a comment he can instigate a multi-tweet argument with. If they say red, he’ll say blue. If the target of his 140 character ire doesn’t have the foresight to nip things in the bud the tirade can go on for hours. At the end of it nothing is gained apart from our serial argument starter possibly has some sense of satisfaction beating everyone into submission while in reality replace ‘beating’ with ‘boring’.

The others are more selective, people that just like to keep chip chip chipping away at their favourite topic. They won’t let it lie, if boredom sets in they’ll chip, chip, chip again, fishing for a bite of a like or a retweet so they feel justified and have carte blanche to flood your thread with 140 characters after 140 characters for what seems like an eternity. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is, but in racing it’s; The Racing Post, it costs too much, they don’t cover the ‘issues’ and so on. Racecourse Bookmakers all use the exchanges, don’t bet to quarter the odds a place, shorten up favourites at All-Weather meeting etc. ITV, it’s not as great as Channel 4 was, why is this presenter or that presenter even employed, why isn’t so and so not still used, and too much racing. Even that photo of a former high-rolling rails bookie you just posted – he’s just an arber now and so it goes on.

Yes everyone is entitled to an opinion (here’s another) but the majority of people that are giving theirs aren’t actually contributing anything. They don’t make a book on course, or even go racing let alone know the realities of an All-Weather meeting. They don’t make positive suggestions as to how the Racing Post or ITV could improve and so on. They appear to love just putting down the sport they pertain to love without any positive, alternative suggestions or input.

rbThen woe betide anyone whose face doesn’t fit, we’re back to that bloke in the bar again. Not only if your face doesn’t fit but actually starts to become popular and gets some attention. The jealously that exudes and overrides the existing permanent seethe is unbearable to see. The venom, bile and borderline hatred that spewed forth when a certain man in his early 30’s was given the spotlight in the Racing Post. You’d have thought he’d gone into the paper and said that racing and gambling should be abolished along with football and beer, such was the reaction. In reality his crimes were to be enthusiastic, love racing, love betting short ones (to open an account 08000 521 321) and hope to gain more followers than Matt Chapman (how dare he even have that many). Oh and to publicise himself and racing on social media, self-funded.

I dared to speak in favour of the lad in question and was accused of all sorts of things including the inaccurate accusation being a fine purveyor of fellatio. Well the only polite thing a gentleman can do in such situations is follow the account of the false accuser. Before I could tweet that I’d see his 434 followers and raise the Blogger’s (OK we all know who I’m talking about) 9000 I was blocked, surely it’s supposed to be the other way around if blocking is your thing?

Then I got thinking, just imagine of all those people who sit at their computers barely able to control their anger, jealously, bitterness, and self-importance, whatever their issue, were able to harness it and channel it into positivity. Just think of all the fabulous ideas to fix racing’s problems, and of course there are many, that would be generated.

Oh the possibilities. I’m sure Stephen could point the way to some decent self-help reading for those in need……

In the meantime, all those who ‘enjoy’ all the gloom and wish to continue wallowing in a negative vibe, you are the sort of punter Star Sports needs, never likely to be in a purple patch, call 08000 521 321 to open an account.

Simon Nott