Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Go to Preakness

Preakness is this weekend or more accurately this Saturday and for the first time in three years I won't be attending the greatest day Baltimore has to offer. Check here, here, here, and here for more extensive looks into my love for this horse race/event.

Well, as I wrote in a post earlier this year, things are different this time around. The powers that be at Preakness decided to replace their awesomely infamous bring your own booze policy with a ZZ Top concert. See apparently organizers determined that the raucousness of endless port-o-potty races and Bud showers had gotten a little out of hand. Oh wait, those types of shenanigans have been going on for years. So what's the real reason the greatest event ever created has gone to shit? God damn Youtube.:

In the past, when 60,000 people could bring alcohol to this all-day party, impishness was inevitable. But stories of the Preakness infield figured to be sprinkled with hyperbole. Then came YouTube, which has brought the truth to computer screens everywhere. The infield-related online video library is extensive and unsettling.

In addition to the running of the urinals, there are clips of bloody fights and of men yelling for women to remove their shirts. There is video of full beers being smashed on foreheads, as well as people sliding headfirst into coolers.

While these incidents made up a small percentage of the infield experience — there were 6 arrests and 126 ejections last year — YouTube made it hard to look away.

“I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said those videos didn’t have some impact,” said Tom Chuckas, president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Pimlico. “But we believed it was time for a change and to provide entertainment and activities for our guests. And as a sidebar issue about safety, some of the shenanigans had to stop.”

Honestly, our only hope for bringing back the booze is for people not to go. Although organizers admitted infield sales are down about 15 percent, they think they'll make that up in the money made from beer sales. I tend to agree. So the only solution is for people not to show up. Don't go, don't do it. Find yourself another field to get silly drunk in, but just make sure you pour one out for our fallen comrade: the Preakness infield.

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