Take this absolute masterpiece by Pat Forde, who I found out tonight pronounces his last name "Ford-ey." Of course he does; no great writer would pass up the opportunity to act like a pompous, wannabe-French asshole.
Two minutes of glory, followed by two weeks of adulation.
An instant of horror, followed by weeks of worry.
Then weeks of cautious, growing optimism.
Then sudden, dire concern.
Now a final moment of sorrow.There are only two things Ford-ey could possibly be describing. And since I know he's not talking about every single one of my relationships, he must be writing about the death of a fucking racehorse.
As my compatriot might say, natch.
The whole Barbaro saga has been quite the entertaining ride. Deadspin has done an excellent job of documenting the sheer lunacy present on the message boards for this poor fucking horse, who probably wanted nothing more than an apple and five minutes with Rebecca Lobo before getting sent off to the glue factory.
I've got to know, people: What's the deal? Yeah, I read Seabiscuit, so the concept of a horse becoming a beloved sports "figure" isn't completely foreign to me. But Seabiscuit also raced in a time when, frankly, Americans were a little hard-up for options w/r/t hero worship. My god, people trusted politicians back then! Boys walked through five miles of snow to go to school! Rappers only rhymed about food and friends who eat too much! I honestly thought times had changed to the point where the majority of people were past this kind of equine personification.
(I kid you not: As I write this, some Sportscenter anchor who looks like a 23-year-old child molester is breaking down Barbaro's family tree, while doing the dour face like he's reporting on Frank Robinson's death ... if there were anyone in the room to talk to, I'd be speechless.)
And, just because I can:
That was Barbaro's vivid streak across our consciousness. From a stirring sprint down the stretch in Louisville on the first Saturday in May to a horrible afternoon two weeks later in Baltimore to a somber announcement from a Pennsylvania animal hospital in January, he left his mark on us.
Did he really? If true, this is more depressing than watching The Hours alone at 2 p.m.
And this, the clincher:
Doing something to make the sport safer would burnish Barbaro's legacy, and might lessen the sadness we'll feel when we see his name on the Churchill Downs wall.
My computer may never work again. Because I just puked on my keyboard.