Belmont Final Thoughts
(1) Horse racing will now go back to irrelevancy for the next 11 months, which sucks because Big Brown will probably square off against Curlin in the Breeders Cup Classic, which will be one of the better match-ups this decade.
(2) I dont care what people think of Rick Dutrow and his arrogant style, I loved it because it brought attention to racing. Whether you wanted Big Brown to win the Triple Crown or wanted him to lose because of Dutrow, you watched and were interested and Dutrow played a role in that. I wish racing had more personalities like that (without the whole steroids and previous drug use thing) in the sport.
(3) I have said it before and will say it again: the Triple Crown races HAVE to be changed. I dont care about the history of the sport or that other horses have done it. Today’s horses cant win all 3 of these races unless they are spread out more. Horses just are not bred to complete this task. Just think about Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and Smarty Jones. They all had leads in the stretch and crapped out, probably just from being tired. And it looks like the same thing happened to Big Brown. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any of the horses that beat them had run in all 3 Triple Crown races. It’s time for a change. My thinking is run the Derby in May, the Preakness in June, and the Belmont in July.
(4) Horse racing has a long way to go to regain its popularity of the past, but you cant tell me it doesnt have at least potential when 95,000 people pour into a track to watch a race. But right now all it has is potential, and Big Brown losing really hurts the sport.
On to the links:
1. Mark Story’s article (from Saturday) on the departure of John Cohen and the feeling UK will not miss a beat. First things first, the Cats need to know which guys from their heralded recruiting class will actually head to Lexington.
2. Mark Story also wrote a nice article today that ponders 20 questions for local fans to consider going into the long, boring summer.
3. I can’t ever drop anything but I have to dispute one point made about my percieved boringness of soccer, and thats “baseball is just as low scoring and boring”. Here are your scores from the 4 games already played in EURO 2008:
Portugal 2, Turkey 0
Czech Republic 1, Switzerland 0
Germany 2, Poland 0
Croatia 1, Austria 0
For comparison, there were 30 games this weekend on the MLB schedule and EVERY SINGLE ONE had at least 3 runs scored and there was only ONE shoutout. Every soccer game had a shutout. Now, understand me, I have tempered my feelings towards soccer in the last couple weeks because I can respect people with the opinion that the “lead-up” to goals and the strategy makes the game exciting. I don’t agree, but I can respect that. But, people who claim baseball and hockey are just as low scoring are wrong. That being said, EURO 2008 does have the best soccer players in the world (minus Brazialians and Argentinians), so if you have a free 5-10 minutes, look in on the games. I wouldn’t insist sitting there for 90 minutes though.
4. Here’s where we are at for the College World Series: Stanford, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Florida St., Georgia, and Rice are in. Two series left to be decided: LSU-UC Irvine and Arizona St.-Fresno St. If LSU and Fresno St. win then the SEC and Pac-10 will be tied in the “Bryan the Intern scale of success” shown on Friday. Basically, each conference will have participated the same amount in the major events of the major/semi-major sports. And once again, the Big East sucks.
5. The box score from last night’s Boston-LA game is very nice to look at. Is that really a 16 in the assists column for Rajon Rondo? I am really looking forward to the day when Rondo doesnt have Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to pass the ball to because I don’t think his game will drop off. He is an athletic Jason Kidd with a worse jump shot. I don’t care who his teammates are, he will succeed. And become super rich.
6. Rick Reilly finally debuted on ESPN.com last week with a really good article about his dad’s battle with alcoholism and its connection to golf. Basically its an article women would really love but men know Reilly for his more witty articles in Sports Illustrated. I hate the fact that Reilly “reportedly” is doing this for the money, but I am very interested to see how his articles will be without limitation of paper. I am sure I will be linking his articles alot in the future.
7. After watching the Belmont, I figured out that Shaq is going to be the next Charles Barkley and maybe even eclipse Barkley. What makes both these guys great is they laugh at themselves and allow others to laugh at them. The trade to the Suns was still awful though. Maybe Shaq was trying to make us all laugh.