There is no Joy in Mudville

I did my homework for this blog post. I had some great stats to share with everyone. I’m posting something anyway, but not in the kind of joy I anticipated.

Seconds ago, California Chrome failed to capture the illusive Triple Crown. I don’t like, and never did like, his owner. He’s on TV crying fowl and calling the winners all cowards. What a jerk. Love the horse, hate the owner. California Chrome is an awesome horse, and I’m pretty sure he would be ashamed of his owner too.

This is the longest long shot in the entire sporting world. To even understand it, we have to look at global circumstances for comparisons.

Affirmed was the last triple crown winner in 1978. I don’t think there is a triple crown horse living today.

There is a Super Bowl and a World Series every year. There is a bid for the crown too, but it’s different. Sure, one horse wins the Kentucky Derby every year. To win the Triple Crown that horse, and only that horse, has to win two more prestigious races. After the Preakness, the bid for the Triple Crown is over most years. It’s kind of a rare thing to have a candidate for the Crown in the Belmont Stakes at all. It happened this year.

Here are a few of those global situations for comparison.

Since 1978 the USA has sent troops into harms way half a dozen times.

Paul VI was Pope in 1978, there have been four more since him.

The Summer Olympics have been held 10 times since Affirmed won it all.

The only thing I could find that is more rare was the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.

In fishing we say the ones we don’t catch make the ones we do all the more special. I’m looking at the Triple Crown the same way. I hope I live long enough to see it again.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “There is no Joy in Mudville

  1. Good post. I was hoping that California Chrome would win to end this Triple Crown drought, but c’est la vie. In the 1940s there were four Triple Crown winners, but then there was a long gap from 1949 until 1973, when Secretariat won. Four years later Seattle Slew won and a year after that, Affirmed. So four winners in the 40s, none in the 50s and 60s, three in the 70s, and none since.

    I’m not a big horse racing fan, but like you, I hope that I’ll see another Triple Crown winner before I buy the farm.

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  2. I recall seeing Secretariat win, but not Affirmed. Even though it was a big deal because no horse had done it in twenty-five years, it didn’t seem so grand once it was done.

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    • It’s perspective. It wouldn’t be as special if it happened every year. Only the absolute best ever can pull it off.

      In writer’s terms it’s kind of like actually pulling the sword from the stone.

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  3. I’d love to see it happen as well.

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