Today it will be 80 degrees and sunny when the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby was supposed to happen. Thinking about how spectacular today would have been is excruciatingly painful. To combat crippling depression, I devised an exhilarating way to incorporate my two favorite things: football and horses.
Unlike my unwavering devotion to the Kentucky Wildcats, one NFL team has never held my allegiance. The Cleveland Browns got early dibs when they drafted Tim Couch, but I can’t recall ever watching one of their games as a child. When the Bengals rose to relevance in the mid-00s, I let a few ‘Who Dey’s’ rip. Once they embarrassed themselves in the playoffs, all I could do is laugh at their expected incompetence.
After watching more than 15 hours of NFL Draft coverage, enough was enough. It was time to pick a team. The question is, how?
Simply choosing the closest franchise did not work out last time. It’s fun to cheer for the teams that have the most UK players, but players come and go. I needed to settle on one for the foreseeable future. With the help of my radio sidekicks, T.J. Walker and Trevor Kelsey, we devised a way for fate to make the decision for me.
For this sweepstakes I picked ten teams that I could see myself cheering for in the future. Day by day, two were eliminated, first by radio show callers, then via Twitter polls and then by rolling dice. Now only four remain. To add extra juice to tonight’s Arkansas Derby, the four horses with the best odds in the second division of the race have been randomly assigned an NFL team. Whoever is the top finisher will earn my NFL fandom.
- Nadal — Pittsburgh Steelers
- Storm the Court — Kansas City Chiefs
- Wells Bayou — Cleveland Browns
- King Guillermo — Da Bears
I may not have the Kentucky Derby to enjoy but I have invested enough interest to keep me on pins and needles in anticipation of tonight’s races in Hot Springs.
There are two divisions of the Arkansas Derby this evening at Oaklawn Park, beginning at 6:29 p.m. ET. It will not be the same without the Kentucky Derby, but two races are much better than none.
Without a new Kentucky Derby to broadcast, NBC will re-air American Pharoah’s victorious 2015 gallop from 3-6 p.m. During that broadcast all 13 Triple Crown Winners will participate in a virtual race. By placing a wager on the race you are contributing to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts and entering for a chance to win a Kentucky Derby 146 VIP experience.
If virtual horses aren’t your thing, turtles might scratch that racing itch. The last time the Derby was postponed during World War II in 1945, in lieu of a horse race more than 6,000 people gathered for a turtle race. Old Forester will continue that tradition tonight with the Kentucky Turtle Derby. They’re accepting donations while eight turtles race as quickly as they can to exit a small circle. Of course, their names are wonderful.
- Seattle Slow
- Green Mamba
- What the Turtleneck?
- Rocket to Nowhere
- American Tortuga
You can watch all of the action on Old Forester’s YouTube page beginning at 7 p.m.
Derby Action on the Radio
If you thought we only did pregame shows for previous basketball games, you are sadly mistaken. This afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. Matt Jones will spend two hours on the 840 WHAS airwaves with Terry Meiners to talk about the best moments we’re missing on this first Saturday in May. If you aren’t in the area, you can hear all of the hi-jinx on iHeart Radio.
UK Football Loses Two, Adds One
There was a lot of roster movement for the Kentucky football team on the first day of May. Alabama defensive lineman Kahlil Saunders rolled the dice right before Cavon Butler and Day Day Hawkins announced their decision to enter the transfer portal.
There’s a reason why two players entered the portal on the same day. One might worry there’s trouble in the locker room ahead of a mass exodus. In fact, the timing is purely logistical. At least five Wildcats were expected to enter the transfer portal at the conclusion of spring practice to free up spaces on the 85-man roster. May 1 was the last day of finals at UK. Now players can depart on good academic standing as they seek a new home. The crowded defensive line room was the first to take a hit. I expect a few wide receivers or defensive backs to follow in the coming days.
BBN Jam Final Four
We’ve almost reached the end of the road. Who is the best duo over the last 30 years? It’s your time to decide when the Final Four of KSR’s BBN Jam Tournament begins this afternoon.