Horses, Hoops & Habs

Triple Crown Downer. Calvin Borel got the loser’s interview. He did it with class and candor, of course, but it was disappointing nonetheless.

Nobody thought Super Saver a Triple Crown quality thoroughbred, but those decreasing numbers who love the Sport of Kings were still hoping. They know that it’s going to take something like that to regenerate real interest in horse racing.

I know TV ratings were up. Derby attendance was astounding when one considers the weather. And revelers were back in the Pimlico infield. But it took beer specials to get them there.

With no horse gaining on glory in the upcoming Belmont, interest in horse racing — until next Spring — will start waning at, oh, about 6:45 yesterday afternoon.

They can make all the films they want about Secretariat and Sea Biscuit, horse racing, like boxing, sees its halcyon days in the rear view mirror. It’s certainly sad here at the home of the world’s most famous racetrack. But it’s simply how things have evolved.

Count Me Among the ABLers. And I’m not referring to the American Basketball League of yesteryear. (That brain child of Abe Saperstein lasted less than two full seasons in the early 60s.)

No, I’m talking about the fans, like myself, who approach the NBA playoffs with an attitude based on this desire: Anybody But Lakers.

As marvelous a hoops talent as he is, there’s something about Kobe that just turns me off.

So, as the conference finals get going today, I’m rooting for the Suns because they’ve got my man E5 on the roster and wore those Los Suns jerseys to protest Arizona’s new apartheid law. I’m rooting for Boston because they’re a bunch of old farts being held together by homie Rajon Rondo and the likeable Doc Rivers. And a Magic championship would be okay, because they’re a team on the rise and Stan Van Gundy is such a schlepper.

That’s my heart. What my head says is the LA LA Kobes will win again. Sigh.

How ‘Bout Them Habs? I know you hoopaholics could, for the most part, care less about the Stanley Cup playoffs. But the truth is TV ratings on NBC and Versus are the largest in a decade, and, thanks to the Canadiens improbable run to the conference finals, ratings north of the border are up at least 65% over a year ago.

Let me repeat what I’ve said ad nauseum. They are far and away the most exciting of post season playoffs.

Montreal and Philadelphia are playing for the Eastern Conference title. They are the 8th and 7th seeds. The Habs (That’s Montreal, referring to the French term “les habitants,” the first settlers of New France.) snuck into the playoffs with a losing record and tie in their last regular season game, which gave them the single point they needed to advance to the post season. Philly got in by beating the Rangers in a shootout in the final game of the regular season.

I’m for the Canadiens because they’ve beaten the #1 seed Washington and the defending champ Penguins to get this far. And they’re an Original Six.

The flip side is the West, where the top two seeds, Chicago and San Jose meet. I’m for the Black Hawks because it’s one of the Original Six franchises. Plus they’ve got those great politically incorrect sweaters. (Which is what hockey jerseys are traditionally called.)

Latest Recruiting Update. It’s a slow day for Coach Cal and UK recruiting. It’s 2:49 already on Sunday afternoon afternoon and the Cats haven’t signed any new players all day.

– Seedy K


  1. Wildcat
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    UND as in the University of North Dakota and not the pretenders who need to be booted from the Big East, choked and gave up one the great logos of any team ever, the Fightin’ Sioux because of PC madness. But the logo lives on in their magnificent hockey arena where the donor etched it hundreds of times in concrete, steel, tile and marble. Bless him.

  2. fred
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I seriously doubt we will see another Triple Crown winner..ever. Too much inbreeding, horses not built for those distances, not enough endurance to run two weeks after the Derby and then a mile and half at the Belmont. The sport is about stud fees and syndicates,not champion horses.

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