Notes From a Dismal Weekend

I Still haven’t recovered from the bitter disappointment of the Belmont, and I doubt I will for a while. A couple of thoughts on that before I move on in this forum, though. First, I am very disappointed by how the media has handled this whole steroids issue. They made such a big deal of Big Brown’s usage of Winstrol while missing a couple of key issues. First, the drug is perfectly legal and can and is regularly prescribed by veterinarians. That means that Dutrow was doing absolutely nothing wrong by using it. Next, they focused heavily on Big Brown and the drug while not pushing other trainers on it. Nick Zito refused to answer steroid questions, which means that Da’ Tara almost certainly won the race on steroids. I have no problem with that because it is legal, but I have a huge problem with the fact that Dutrow was so persecuted over the issue and that it was blown so badly out of proportion. Dutrow has done a lot wrong in the past, but he deserved better during the course of this race. Athletes and those involved in sports have a long history of talking ridiculous trash (some guy name Ali, for example), yet somehow Dutrow was the devil on earth for being cocky, arrogant and incredibly entertaining. Ridiculous.

I believe we’ll see Big Brown again, and I hope I am right. The projected current path – the Jim Dandy, Travers and Breeders’ Cup is exactly what Bernardini used two years ago, and it would be perfect. The performance in the Belmont was terrible, but I don’t think we can lose track of the fact that this is still a freak of a horse. I can’t begin to explain what will happen, but it hasn’t changed my long term view of the horse, or the burning desire I feel to see him and Curlin hook up at the Breeders’ Cup.

Enough horse racing talk. It’s just depressing right now. Other things that caught my eye this weekend:

When I saw that Rafael Nadal was at -314 to win the French Open final over Roger Federer I wasn’t that surprised, though I thought maybe it wasn’t giving Federer quite enough respect. Turns out that it was a price packed full of value. Nadal may never lose at that tournament. The win over Federer was so dominant that it looked like he was toying with a qualifier, not the best player in the world on every surface that isn’t red. Jaw dropping.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s decision to retire was just bizarre. He would have made $20 million to fight De La Hoya, and he could have beat him with his eyes closed. Unlike many, though, I don’t think that boxing is worse off if he stays away. He is a spectacular fighter, but it has been a while since he has shown the desire to prove it. This move could open the door for Kelly Pavlik to unify the welterweight titles and become the star he deserves to be, or for Miguel Cotto or Ricky Hatton to step up. Mayweather is a great showman, but there are hungrier competitors out there now in a very deep welterweight division, and that makes for a better, more interesting sport in the long run. Now, if the rumors are true and Mayweather is about to join the UFC then things get really, really interesting. I kinda doubt it will happen, but I don’t rule anything out when it comes to Money.

Doug Collins will not be coaching the Bulls. It must be a very good day to be a Chicago sports fan.

Ty Lawson is a moron. No better way to impress NBA teams and prove you are worth an investment than getting busted for DWI when you are supposed to be getting ready for the draft. Maybe this will turn teams off of him and he’ll end up back at UNC. That seems like a better place for him this year, anyway – a good shot at a national title seems like more fun than trying to get off the bench in the pros.

Matt Hughes lost at UFC 85. Not only that, but he got badly beaten up. I love the guy, but I really hope that we have seen the last of him – he’s no longer what he once was.

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