Monday, January 29, 2007

Legends in hyperbole

One of the reasons I read is because there is no better method for corresponding the depth of human emotion than writing. Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- can stir a man's soul quite like a well-penned passage.

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.


CSG said...

Barbaro is a national treasure---for some opportunistic glue or dog food maker looking to corner the high-end market.

Diesel said...

Our first non-friend comment is a winner!

I suddenly have the feeling that some of the Barbaro nutcases might descend on this site.

Boy, I hope so.

St said...

Mon dieu! You stole my topic, you coward! Barbaro is Philly territory, and as a former horse owner/shoveler of actual horseshit, and as a childhood Black Stallion completist (can't believe I just admitted that, but while I'm at it, let's put the Hardy Boys down on that list, too), I wanted to bitch about how much I hate horses and Barbaro. If you where here I would slap you with my glove.

This is war.

-- Monsieur St. Germain (pronounced Sahnt-Zherman)

Diesel said...

I don't even know what a Frenchman would look like. I'm not cultured.