Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Barbaro's Status Is Finally Downgraded To Glue"

Title taken from Fark. Thread here.

So they euthanized a horse.


It was the lead story on ESPN, ESPN.com and on the 'Motion' section of ESPN.com, it was the lead TWO stories. It was ahead of who won the Miss America pageant on JSOnline, ahead of a story about N. Korea's nukes on FoxNews. One of the pieces from ESPN was a retrospective piece done by Jeremy Schaap with the orchestra music in the background.
"Here finally, was a horse that might stand alongside Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed. In the wake of his triumph at Kentucky, Barbaro's story proved irresistible to millions."
Millions? Really? He won ONE GOD DAMN BIG RACE. He was an underdog, for sure, but long-shots win races every once in a while. That doesn't mean the horse becomes a national hero.

We're talking about a HORSE.

The piece continues at Pimlico where Barbaro breaks his leg.
Announcer: "Barbaro is out of it!"
Schaap: "The race continued, but all eyes were on Barbaro."
I'm thinking the hardcore betters that didn't have money on Barbaro didn't much pay attention to him for the rest of the race.

"But now Barbaro is gone. He will live forever in the memory of the millions who were moved first by his greatness, and then by his struggle. He leaves no offspring, but his legacy is clear. In his moment of anguish, Barbaro touched a nation. More than anything else, he was a horse that affirmed our humanity. (emphasis mine)
Millions were moved? By his greatness? Of winning one race? How did THIS horse touch a nation???? ESPN is so full of themselves, they make shit up and push it on the masses.

Now don't get me wrong, I love animals. I find it nice, that the owner was willing to spend ALL that money to try to save the horse, even knowing he'd never race again, and the investment in the horse went down the shitter the millisecond the leg broke. You could argue that the money and resources could have been spent on better things - but that's not the point here. The owner did what he felt was best for the animal, and I like that.

But it's still an animal. A HORSE. Not a person. It wasn't even a super-special horse. It won ONE important race. Yes, a famous race... but a race lots of other horses have won before him, and will win after him. He didn't set a course record. He couldn't juggle, talk like Mr. Ed, do magic tricks, drive a car, read a book, help keep children off drugs, or find a cure for cancer.

He could run really fast, and eat lots of grass. And he would have done that for just a year or two more, and then he would have banged every philly in the stable like a screen door in a hurricane. His offspring would have been sold for WAY over market value, and in all likelihood, 99% of them would never compete for the Triple Crown.

But to say a horse "affirmed our humanity"? Screw you ESPN. It's a HORSE! Dale Breitlow is someone who affirms our humanity. Mr. Breitlow was an associate principal at Wauwatosa West High School, who was shot and killed in the hallway of the school in 1993. Mr. Breitlow was very active in the little league program in Wauwatosa, and one of the biggest supporters of Tosa West HS athletics. But it is actual people that reaffirm our humanity. That's why they call it "humanity". Take Jason McElwain, or the blind and crippled kid on the Louisville marching band. Patrick Hughes has been blind and crippled since birth, and his dad works the graveyard shift at UPS, so he can push Patrick around campus for class, and band practice. Patrick says in an interview,
"God made me blind and unable to walk. BIG DEAL. He gave me the musical gifts I have, and the great opportunity to meet new people."
That's some inspiration. Watch this piece... get some tissue first. I'll wait for you to get back.

That's life. Two legs, even if they don't work.


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