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At times I wonder why I can remember some things but not others. 

I remember 1982 at the Stardust. It was NFL football season but we missed 57 days with nine games not played. 

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I remember 1987 when the NFL had to use what they called replacement players in order to finish the season. It was only fitting that the Redskins won the Super Bowl that year when they beat the Cowboys, who played half their regulars. By the way it took years for those replacement players to get their Super Bowl rings. 

Also that year, the Culinary Union was looking to go on strike and all of us in the race and sports book had to learn other jobs in the casino just in case. I can remember going downtown to get a TAM card so I could tend bar. 

We thought those were tough times, but they just can’t compare to what we are going through right now as I just missed two of my favorite times of the year, March Madness and opening day for baseball. 

The one thing about our race and sports community is that we are family.

Usually I would be at a race and sports book here in Las Vegas with friends, discussing games and races. Now with no games, I have spent many hours reading, including getting some laughs reading Yogi Berra quotes. 

Time has not been wasted as I do handicap the ponies everyday as there are tracks still operating without fans. We must note that some tracks, even without fans at the track, have doubled and some more than doubled their handle.  

One track who has had such a great uptick in handle is Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma. As long as tracks stay open for business, bettors will find a way to get down, especially being the only game in town.

Here in Nevada, with all the casinos closed and with no wagering allowed from Nevada to out-of-state off-track facilities, we are lost. Well not totally as we are family.

On a daily basis I contact several wagering buddies of mine and we have a contest to see who has the most payoffs of the day. My one friend, who never reads the Racing Form, has been winning. So we’re managing to keep busy. 

My one complaint is that our books here in Vegas that have race betting apps did not open them up for us to play. If this can be done in other states you would think that the “gaming capital” could have put it in place. Perhaps the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association can cut some deals with the tracks that are running but are not normally on the menu here. 

And while we can’t legally wager, we can still handicap the races on a daily basis, we can still communicate with our race and sports family, we can interact with them and still have fun.

As Sister Sledge sang in 1979, the Pittsburgh Pirates theme song that year, when Willie Stargell and his Bucs won the World Series, “We Are Family,” you and me.

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