Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My nephew (The Wife's sister's son) is over at the house this evening, doing work for school.

With his computer out of service because of the fire, he's using the Dell to research some stuff online.

The topic? Icons. His and his parents'. Comparing them.

And sports was mentioned. His sports icons were Tim Tebow and John Smoltz. His parents' were Nolan Ryan and Andrés Galarraga.

That got me to thinking about sports icons.

Sure, there's Babe Ruth, Muhammed Ali, Jim Thorpe, Michael Jordan, Jim Brown, Gordie Howe, Hank Aaron ... oh, I could go on and on.

But there's one icon that is different.


I watched the 1973 Belmont Stakes on TV, falling for all the hype of the matchup between Secretariat and Sham, who had finished 1-2 in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

The Belmont Stakes wasn't close.

[The YouTube]

The image that I remember is the camera pulling back as far as it could, trying to get Secretariat and another horse ... any horse ... in the frame. But Big Red's lead was so great (winning by 31 lengths) that the cameraman gave up and focused on the only horse in the race. Secretariat wasn't racing Sham, Twice A Prince, My Gallant, or Private Smiles (the only other horses in that race). He was racing himself.

ESPN called the horse one of the top 50 athletes of the 20th century.

I'm not a fan of horse racing. So, my opinion don't mean much. But to me, Secretariat will always be horse racing.

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