Thursday, February 01, 2007

Last Word on Barbaro - I Promise [J. Mark English]

It may seem that the country is mourning Barbaro to an extreme. There are human beings that die everyday, some as heroes, that hardly get the recognition that a racing horse has had over the past months and this past week. But an opinion piece from the New York Times, written by Jeff Neuman, sums up why we mourn Barbaro:

He never talked about himself in the third person.

He didn’t trash-talk, taunt or hang on the rim. Down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby, he didn’t turn and point at Bluegrass Cat, and he didn’t somersault over the finish line. After crossing the line, he didn’t pull out a Sharpie and autograph his saddle for his business manager.

He never referred to his handlers as “my supporting cast.”

He never tried to renegotiate his contract. He never turned down an eight-figure offer by saying, “I’ve got a family to feed, man.”

His only tattoo was discreetly hidden.

He did no commercials for cellphone plans, credit cards, fast food chains or time shares.

He never had his agent issue a statement in which he apologized “if anybody took my actions the wrong way.”

He never appeared before a Congressional committee and lied about his steroid use.

He never dated Paris Hilton.

He was never involved in an altercation with a belligerent fan outside a club at 4 in the morning. He was never arrested for drunken driving. He did not own an unregistered handgun.

He never claimed he’d been disrespected. He never left his competitors in the dust and then said, ”I didn’t have my A game.” He did not attribute his victories to the glory of his personal Savior.

Isiah Thomas never tried to trade for him.

He was never a presenter at the ESPYs.

He never claimed he was misquoted in his autobiography. He never confessed to a double murder in the subjunctive tense.

He trained, ate and slept. He ran his races, gave his best effort, accepted plaudits graciously, went back to his stall and prepared to do it again the next time out.

He never fathered multiple offspring out of wedlock. Alas.

Labels: ,