Saturday, May 2, 2020

Triple Crown Showdown | NOVA This Week

Observations from my weekly wanderings, usually in Northern Virginia (NOVA).

I know I won’t get a ton of sympathy from the bookish community, but I miss organized sports. It’s OK, I’m not looking for sympathy; it’s something to write about. We should have had March Madness, and crowned NBA and NHL champions by now. The Boys of Summer should be doing their thing, and TODAY…should be…the most exciting two minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby.

I wouldn’t say I’m starved for sport, there’s always something to read, and classic movies to watch. My wife and I are getting by quite comfortably, and I am thankful to be steadily employed and teleworking – the commute and dress code are fantastic. 

But, there are many who are indeed starving for sport, evidenced by the programming on the main U.S. sport channel today. They are rebroadcasting the 2006 World Hamburger Eating Championship…not this year’s championship mind you, but the 2006 contest, which was apparently epic. Other things on today’s line up: National Stone Skipping Competition (may be fun, but I’m gonna wait for the World vs just National competition); 46thAnnual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship, Putt-Putt Golf, Stupid Robot Fighting; Lawn Mower racing, and more (yes, all real things on the lineup today).

Maybe it’s just me, but that lineup leaves me missing normal sports even more. There are two events today that will get my attention. The Arkansas Derby, one of the major prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Charlatan will be the heavy favorite, and I hate picking the favorite, so I'm betting he proves a charlatan, and I'll go with long shot My Friend’s Beer. 

My other item of interest today: The Triple Crown Showdown - Churchill Downs, Home of the Kentucky Derby, is holding a simulated contest between the 13 Triple Crown winners: Sir Barton in 1919, Gallant Fox 1930, Omaha 1935, War Admiral 1937, Whirlaway 1941, Count Fleet 1943, Assault 1946, Citation 1948, Secretariat 1973, Seattle Slew 1977, Affirmed 1978, American Pharoah 2015, and Justify 2018. I don’t really know HOW they are going to simulate this race. I assume a computer will account for thousands of variables, and historic stats to come up with the simulation and the winner.

I am very nostalgic about horse racing, so this seems like great fun to me. I'm certain it seems as silly as cherry pit spitting others, but it's for a good cause. There is a contest to pick the winner with proceeds going to COVID-19 relief, so I'm in. 

First, let me be clear – my loyalty belongs to Secretariat: the greatest thoroughbred of All-Time. He has my heart and my head as the one that would win this competition if it were real. But for simulation, that I don’t know HOW they are determining the winner, I think he’s too obvious. I wanted to go Affirmed, but I don’t like his #1 post position, so I am picking Seattle Slew. 

Wash your hands, and stop touching your face.


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