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Just The Sports: He Can't Be Serious

Just The Sports

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

He Can't Be Serious

Phil Taylor has the reputation (and if he doesn't, he deserves it) for being the worst writer for That is saying something when you consider that Peter King and Tom Verducci also write for the site. Still, Taylor is far and away the worst at his job and his incompetence was on full display in his article on Barbaro. Now, I also wrote an article about Barbaro, but mine focused on the fact that Barbaro is just one of many horses who gets injured in horse racing and should not be treated with any sort of special attention. Unless you are looking for that last reason to off yourself, you probably won't read Taylor's article in its entirety, but let's just say he took a different approach to the Barbaro matter.

You are not alone. The rest of us feel it, too -- the need to stop what we're doing and pay attention, at least for a moment, every time we hear Barbaro's name in a news report or see it in a headline.

You're right. Every time I hear Barbaro's name, I hope that it is followed by the words "was put down last night." So, if that is what you meant, then yes, I do feel that need.

There is something about this horse and his fight for life that touches us.

Ummm...not really.

Every update brings either a sense of dread, that the end has arrived, or of relief, that he just might survive after all.

Actually, you have those two emotions reversed.

Why has this horse that was just an image on a screen to most of us tapped into our emotions this way?

One reason is because the media has mercilessly beat the story to death about this one horse. He is not even a big story in the whole scheme of how race horses are treated, but no one in the media wants to point that out. Also, people assume that anything put on television is automatically important than anything that is not put on television, which reinforces the fact humans are emotional, reactionary fools for the most part.

After all, human tragedy takes place every day and most of us simply shake our heads and move on.

Once again, the reason for that it is not on television. If someone found a way to broadcast live scenes of rape, domestic violence, child molestation, war (with bodies being blown apart), and little children wandering all over the sidewalk and getting in my way, then people would care more about those things. Oh, they wouldn't try to change anything of course, but at least the victims would get more greeting cards.

Since none of those acts are televised, people are immune to them because words for all their power are not powerful enough to get people to change.

Barbaro isn't human, so he exhibits none of the human failings that disappoint us in our athletes and coaches.

Very astute observation, Phil.

He never put his hoof in his mouth like Ozzie Guillen, or fell in love with himself like Terrell Owens. He never held out for more money, stiffed us for an autograph, tangled with the authorities or coasted when he should have been playing hard.

He can't put his hoof in his mouth and Ozzie Guillen didn't put his hoof in his mouth because he doesn't have a hoof so that simile failed you. Horses don't know what love is. If he did get more money, how would he spend it? He can't sign an autograph since he can't write. And he can't coast because he has a jockey whipping him whenever he does.

These are all things you should think about before you put together a string of idiotic sentences.

But mostly it is because we know that Barbaro deserved better than this. Competitors who perform so valiantly and so well are supposed to be rewarded, not saddled with life-threatening injury.

There is nothing valiant about running around a circle because someone is making you before your body has time to fully develop.


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