Sports 56 WHBlog Q

May 5, 2008

Tuesday Ramblings(one day early)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I couldn’t wait till tomorrow to respond to Rob Fischer’s crazy statement on horse racing. Fish has apparently been spending some time with Duke Crews and Ramar Smith of the Tennessee basketball team because smoking some good stuff is the only possible explanation for comparing horse racing to dog fighting and cock fighting. According to Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post, 1.5 horses suffer this type of injury for every 1000 racing starts in the United States. You know how many dogs die for every 1000 dog fights? I would say close to 1000! So please don’t try and tell me that these two “sports” are in any way comparable.

There is no doubt that what happened at the Kentucky Derby Saturday was tragic, but there is no need to overreact. Just because one horse dies in the sports biggest race, doesn’t mean the sport needs major changes. Yes, when you look at the total number of horses, nearly 800, that die in a year it looks like a lot, but not when you consider how many races are run and the fact that, unlike any other sport, most injuries lead to death.

Jenkins’ points about the breeding of animals is something that certainly should be looked into. Like every other sport, the quest for bigger, stronger athletes(horses) will always continue, but if breeding methods are creating animals that are more susceptible to injury, then something should be done. Also, if there is definitive proof that synthetic tacks are safer than dirt, then go ahead and make the change, but any changes that are made must be the result of hard evidence that it is better for the horses, and not just a kneejerk reaction to a public outcry after a tragedy on the sports’ biggest stage.

As far as the winner of the race goes, Big Brown ran the exact race I predicted he would. He may not be a “superhorse,” but compared to his competition he is and has a great chance to win the triple crown. He will win the Preakness easily, and then we’ll see if he can do it at the Belmont against some much more rested horses, where so many recent horses have had their triple crown dreams shattered.

Now, back to the Tennessee basketball player Crews and Smith. Good for Bruce Pearl for having the onions to kick them off the team. Granted, Pearl, like all other coaches, probably gave them many chances, but at least he showed he does have a breaking point and was willing to dismiss two contributors to his team. I just wish we didn’t have so many stories about athletes getting in trouble at both the college and pro levels. When will these guys start realizing what they are throwing away and for what? I’m not expecting them all to be saints, but is it too much to ask for them to go to class, stay off drugs, or not get arrested?

Two more NFL players arrested, you know what we call that? A weekend.

Has any beer company had more technological innovations than Coors? They have come up with cooler boxes, color-changing labels and now the vented can. What? Is there really a big problem with beer can ventilation? I’ve had many cans of beer and I don’t ever remember thinking, “Boy I wish this can had some sort of vent so the beer would come out faster.”

One sign that baseball season is officially underway, Ozzie Guillen loses his mind.

Steve Kerr and the rest of the Phoenix Suns management needs to grow a pair and just fire Mike D’Antoni. It’s clear they don’t want him back so just cough up the money and fire him.

The Hornets game one win over San Antonio was impressive. The Spurs may come back and win this series, but it’s time to recognize that this Hornets team is for real. David West=Most underrated player in the NBA.

I’m not a real emotional guy, but watching the Sportscenter story on the softball player, who was carried around the bases by the opposing team after hitting a home run and blowing out her knee, choked me up a little bit. It’s a great story but the whole thing didn’t really set in with me until I saw this video as part of their story.

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