The above diagram is my roundabout way of communicating to you that a) I am a scientist and b) the Kentucky Derby television experience is the worst. Unlike any other sport, most of us lack any compelling reason to care about horse racing for 98% of the year. The two minutes we are expected to care about are book-ended with two hours of soft-focus shots of flowers and a bunch of disposable nonsense about tradition.
As a Louisville native, I can attest that actually attending the Derby is an awesome experience (for further reading, please see the weekend chronicles of my associate, Spencer Hall). But a lot of us only want to watch the Derby because we’re putting money on it. If we’re putting money on it, we’d prefer to see the programming filled up by some egg-headed poindexter in a funny hat offering hard analysis. Instead, NBC pretends that we tune in because we like to get sentimental about something we last cared about for exactly two minutes, exactly 365 days ago.
Caveat: if you have not heard Calvin Borel freak out after a race, you have been deaf your entire life.