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TV Talk

April 29, 2002
April 29, 2002

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April 29, 2002

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TV Talk

Horsing around with track announcer Tom Durkin

This is an article from the April 29, 2002 issue Original Layout

On May 4, Tom Durkin, 51, will call the Kentucky Derby on NBC.

SI: If you drank a couple of mint juleps before the Derby, would
viewers know?

Durkin: By past performances I would say yes.

SI: Will you bet on the Derby?

Durkin: Absolutely, but not with both fists. I still have to
hold my binoculars.

SI: Have you ever used binoculars to watch people in the crowd?

Durkin: There are 24 minutes between races. What do you think I
do all day?

SI: Is Charlsie Cantey your colleague's real name?

Durkin: Charlsie is real. It's the Cantey part I'm not sure
about.

SI: Who's the more annoying horse owner: George Steinbrenner or
Rick Pitino?

Durkin: George Steinbrenner. He fired me once. [The Boss canned
Durkin two decades ago while Durkin was calling races at Tampa
Bay Downs, which was owned by Steinbrenner.]

SI: Who's the better Triple Crown winner: Seattle Slew or Frank
Robinson?

Durkin: Slew. He only had one chance. Frank Robinson had his
entire career to do it.

SI: Have you used the phrase "And down the stretch they come" in
your personal life?

Durkin: No.

SI: You once worked as a golf club salesman. Would Big Bertha be
a good name for a horse?

Durkin: It would be better than Pink Putter.

SI: You have homes on Long Island, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.,
and in Florence? You must have some bon vivant lifestyle.

Durkin: It makes up for living in a trailer for four years.

SI: Do you think jockeys wear Jockey underwear?

Durkin: In the same way that boxers wear boxer shorts.

SI: Were you tricked into seeing All the Pretty Horses by the
title?

Durkin: I never saw the movie. It sounded like a chick flick.

SI: Have you ever called a race between a man and a horse?

Durkin: No, but one time at a county fair in Wisconsin I called a
race between a horse and a car.

SI: Could you handle the call of a three-horse race among She
Sells Seashells, Flat Fleet Feet and Shiningcityshoes?

Durkin: Yes, if I had six mint juleps. --R.D.

COLOR PHOTO: STEVEN D. FREEMAN/NBC Tom Durkin