One unlikely Derby champ gives America a new sweetheart
Last month, I blubbered for joy when I saw that video of
You see, what was so wonderful about Fidrych was not just that he had a terrific rookie season as a pitcher in 1976, but that he was a surprise. Like Miss Boyle, he seemed to have come out of nowhere. And that was sweetness and light . . . and, so sadly, that never seems to happen anymore in sports. Does it?
Sorry, sports fans, I call this a triumph of taste. Sports is so pre-packaged, so diagrammed to death by experts and analysts, that it's reduced to all the charm of following the Dow-Jones averages on CNBC.
Hey, let the sunshine back into sports. The humorless defenders of the college cartel have increasingly cut back on inviting smaller conference schools into March Madness. No, instead, let's have a lifeless seventh-place finisher from some big-foot conference. If Susan Boyle were a college basketball team, she'd be a mid-major and never gotten a chance. And hey, wouldn't it be so much more appealing if the aristocrats of the Bowl Championship Series actually let a Utah or a Boise State play for the title instead of the same predictable Texas-Oklahoma-USC-Florida-Ohio State Axis of Tedium every year?
But then . . . but then a trainer in a black
Why, even as I tore up all my losing tickets, I couldn't help but smile ear to ear, because this was about the happiest surprise in sports since, well, since Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was bringing joy to us all 33 years ago. And, of course, the little bay gelding's name is Mine That Bird. What a hunch bet I missed, but how nice that another bird made sports happier for us all again. At last . . . .