I love horse racing. Actually, to be clear, I love the act of going to the racetrack -- any racetrack -- and sitting in the bleachers (do they call them "bleachers" at a racetrack?) with three or four of my buddies, drinking about twelve beers, eating roughly ten hot dogs, and throwing down exacta boxes on a bunch of really fast animals.
Ah, the "sweet science"...wait, is the sweet science boxing or horse racing? Eh, whatever. I just know my scientific methods of predicting horse racing results are pretty sweet. Basically, they consist of finding horses whose names somehow contain a variation of either my kids' names and/or an `80's hair band. (Needless to say, when DokkenJudy hit at 30/1 at Arlington back in 2004...well, we all went to Sizzler that night, bitches!)
I love the Kentucky Derby. I mean, it would stand to reason that a
boozing and gambling horse-racing aficionado like myself would dig the most important race of the year, right? And by "dig" I mean "welcome the opportunity to drink and gamble on the biggest animal racing stage in the free world." Mint juleps, barbecuing, infield debauchery, fine Southern ladies....yeah, I'm in.
I've had the privilege of attending exactly one Kentucky Derby in person, back in 1991. And I'm happy to say, the 20-year disciplinary probation that the Derby infield police slapped me with expires next year, so Louisville...buckle up, 2011 is gonna be a bumpy one! They call the Derby the "most exciting two minutes in sports." Hey, I understand the need for a marketing tag and/or a catchphrase as well as anyone, but I'll be honest -- I found all ten races on the card that day to be equally exciting. Actually, let me correct myself -- the races where I had a $20 trifecta bet I found to be exactly TWICE as exciting as the ones on which I had $10.
Yeah, the most exciting two minutes for me at a race track is pretty much any race on which I have money. I'm not one of those people who can pull out a racing sheet and look at all the numbers, calculate the wind resistance, gauge the consistency of the mud on the track and then snicker how I "can't believe That'sWhatSheSaid is going off at 8/1. What a bargain!" Hell, I still snicker like I'm in eighth grade when I hear that a horse "broke her maiden."
So if you're looking for actual Kentucky Derby analysis, you won't find it here. For me, the formula is simple -- the only thing making the Derby "the most exciting two minutes in sports" is the ability to wager on it, which technically ties it with every other horse race taking place in an OTB parlor. (And a little note to the Derby infield bouncers -- if you're going to call a horse race "the most exciting two minutes," then you better let me bring vodka onto the infield. Because making me sneak it in in Sprite bottles is demeaning and time-consuming. There, I said it.)
If it appears I'm poking fun at those who see horse racing as a "sport," I am. They know I'm just playing. However, it won't stop me from sharing ten two-minute periods in athletics that I find to be more exciting than the Kentucky Derby.
So let's line up....aaaaannnddd... THEY"RE OFF!!!
1. HOCKEY GOALIE FIGHTS
A good old fashioned hockey brawl, where multiple melees are going on, can be one of the most memorable evenings you'll ever spend. But if you get to see two goalies go at it....well, that's special -- like going to Minute Maid Park and seeing a no hitter or Carlos Lee hit a triple.
2. MALICE AT THE PALACE
Okay, so this is something that techincally happened only once. Sure, maybe I need to broaden this one to be "any two minutes that begin with Ron Artest getting that look in his eye like Mel Gibson after he broke out of the strait jacket in Lethal Weapon 2." Either way, this is way more exciting than a horse race....
3. HORNETS vs BEES
So some of you want to allow non-humans into the "greatest sporting events" argument. I get it. It's cool. So for you animal lovers, I give you "30 Hornets versus 30,000 bees." WAY more compelling than any Kentucky Derby....
First, big ups to JaMarcus Russell for becoming the least-tenured number one overall draft pick to get cut from the team that selected him in NFL history. Also, major props for actually taking two minutes each time to get into his seven-step drop, and thus making himself eligible for this list. As for the excitement, I mean c'mon....is there any event in an NFL game that's more unpredictable than JaMarcus Russell dropping back to pass? The potential occurences range from "interception" to "earthquake." Who else has that kind of versatility? Way to go, JaMarcus! Hope you get picked up by someone. If not, the IFOCE awaits.
I know that back in the day, when I needed to blow off some steam, my go-to move was to drive my VW beetle to an abandoned warehouse and just start busting out some gymnastic moves. Bannisters for parallel bars, rhythmic gymnastic sprints down a hallway, it's all good. Kevin Bacon perfects it here...