Ramble on the Roof

Torrin Thatcher

In times when people are struggling with money, I have come up with the best solution – going to the track. If everyone were to put a few bucks on the longshot – not Antoine Walker – someone would bring home some solid change. What prompted this idea was what happened this past weekend in Liverpool – something we had only seen once before.
When someone sees 100-1 odds of being victorious, he just sees that as a way to lose his money and finds another animal to bet on. Well, as you can guess, this animal – in this instance a horse named Mon Mome – surpassed the whole field to win by five lengths. It’s only the second time in history a horse with these odds has won, the first being Foinavon in 1967. So, it’s safe to say that if anyone put some money on this horse, he came home with some heavier pockets.
What’s interesting about this race is the distance. The track is four-and-a-half miles with jumps added in. How does that compare to tracks here in the States? Let’s just say that it is quite a bit longer than most. It is actually common for a horse to literally run itself to death in the race. This year, a horse that had likable odds actually pulled up before the last lap, collapsed and died.
Let’s move from something that happened across the pond to something that happened just north of the border.
Remember when Roger Clemens played for the Blue Jays for two seasons under Cito Gaston? The thing I remembered most was how goofy Clemens looked wearing Blue Jay apparel. I won’t bore you with the whole back story about Clemens coming to Toronto, him winning two Cy Youngs, and Gaston getting canned then being rehired 11 years later. What is important is what Gaston had to say: “To me, he’s not a good person” and “He’s an asshole himself, a complete asshole. I’d say that loud, right in his face. It’s all about him, nobody else but him.” Are those not some of the best things ever said about Roger Clemens outside a courtroom? If only there would be more people who spoke their mind about Clemens. I would love to hear more candid comments about athletes because, in my opinion, there is nothing better than ridiculing a guy in public for being a selfish arrogant jerk. God Bless the USA … and Toronto.
To go along these lines, it would be great for someone to tell Plaxico Burress that he isn’t making quite the best case for the “citizen of the year” award. Not only did he actually shoot himself in the leg, but he keeps metaphorically shooting himself in the foot with all his shenanigans. He recently got his fifth traffic violation in the last month in Florida and thought it would be a good idea to excessively speed and repeatedly swear at the officer. He’s had restraining orders filed against him for domestic abuse and has had other suits filed against him at least nine times since being drafted. Apparently, he wasn’t a communications major while at Michigan State.
Speaking of the Spartans, it was sad to see them handled like that in the final game of the college basketball season. I was hoping for more of a fight from Sparty, but I guess the fifth Final Four trip in 11 years doesn’t hurt Tom Izzo that much in the competition that is recruiting. This just means Bo Ryan will continue to get guys that can’t hit shots down the stretch to pull us out of some terrible scoring droughts that we saw all year.
Until next time, enjoy the beginning of baseball season – Chicago comes to town to open Miller Park – and playoffs for hoops and puck are right around the corner.