Friday, January 30, 2009

Prado given chance government would like.

With no regard to Sole-Survivor Policies, Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will ride the brother of Barbaro, a horse he rode both zenith (a Kentucky Derby win) and nadir (life-ending injuries). Prado is excited to teach Nicanor, Barbaro's three-year-old younger sibling, all about the circle of life.

Michael Matz, who also trained Barbaro, pits the latest progeny of La Ville Rouge and Dynaformer in a battle for his life starting either this weekend or on Feb. 7.

“He’s getting there. Either one of the two,” Matz told the Associated Press. "I’m not sure yet. When we get him back to the track, we’ll see how he is.

"I'm looking forward to milking this one for his semen before turning him into superglue, just like his brother."*

* May not be included in the Associated Press story

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super. Bowl.

I was too young to be conscious of the fact that the Arizona Cardinals left St. Louis. I know now that it happened somewhere in the jumble of tire swings, ThunderCats and Muppets taking Manhattan, but I have no recollection of the events themselves. My first memory as a football fan isn't akin to my first memory as, say, a baseball or hockey fan. It's not of a game I attended, a player I cheered or an Avant-gaudy uniform that's seared into my memory. It's not of the Cardinals leaving; it's of them being gone. I went from blissful ignorance -- and judging by my older brother's deep-seated hatred for the Cardinals, I'm pretty sure I was the lucky one -- to not having a team, and there's never a sense of loss when you can't remember what you had.

My first memory of Kurt Warner, on the other hand, I still own. It was the Rams' third preseason game before the 1999 season and big-ticket free agent quarterback Trent Green had just been carted from the field to a standing ovation. At that point, Green had not thrown a single pass for the Rams, but he was symbolic of an expected rebirth that included Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt. With him out of the way, that rebirth was on life support.

Then, the only thing we knew about Warner was that he couldn't beat out Tony Banks or Steve Bono for playing time in 1998. He was representative of the same-as-always, sorry-sack Rams. When Warner went three-and-out in his first series, I remember joining 65,000 fans in booing him. Vociferously. 

I remember turning to the previously mentioned older brother and saying, "They're fucked. Time for them to start scouting college talent."

One legendary press conference, two MVPs and three Super Bowls later, Kurt Warner continues to make a mockery of my first instinct.

So as I watch the quarterback I once booed lead the team I never knew I lost into the Super Bowl, I struggle to summon the vitriol to hate them in a suitable fashion. I won't be rooting for the Cardinals on Super Sunday, that much is sure. But I won't be too angry if Kurtis can lead the Cardinals to the top of the mount. As a fan, I'm forever in his debt. And as far as the Cardinals, well, good for them. The Cardinals seem to St. Louis a bit like a crazy ex-girlfriend they hear is about to get married. Sure, there's some nostalgia, but it's more of a time-and-place wistfullness, as opposed to a yearning-to-possess-again. They don't want to get back together with her. They're happy she finally got her act together. There's really no jealousy.

But why did she have to get together with an old friend?