Monday, June 1, 2009

Sportsman of the Month - May

Sportsman of the Month - Calvin Borel

I think I jinxed the guy. I go and select him for my June award, and he blows the Belmont on Mine that Bird, a 2-1 favorite. Shucks. I guess I have the same power as that magazine, huh?

Even so, Borel has to receive some big-time props for reigniting popularity into a beautiful sport that lacks star power, since, well, horses can't go on Pardon the Interruption or make it rain on the Vegas strip to enhance or destroy their reputations. And not only did Lil' Calvin win both the Derby and Preakness; he did it on two different horses! Now granted, the latter race was won by Rachel Alexandria, who apparently could have won the Belmont running backwards had she entered. But turning a 51-1 underdog in Kentucky to a 2-1 in New York? Unless Mine that Bird was shot full of amphetamines, that's impressive stuff, and Borel is to be credited for that.

More than anything else, Borel gave us something great to talk about for horse racing. We fretted last year when Eight Belles was euthanized right on the track. Rather than waiting anxiously to hear what he'd say next, we instead cringed every time Big Brown's obnoxious owner Rick Dutrow opened his mouth. We continuously deal with PETA's crap, pleading America to humanize horse racing by taking away the whips and improving their training and basically taking all the fun out of horse racing despite the fact that these animals lead extremely comfortable lives.

But 5-foot-5 Calvin Borel, good ol' Cajun Cal, joined the Mount Rushmore of Inspirational Little People, right there along with Billy Crystal, Muggsy Bogues and Jason "Wee Man" Acuna. To me, anytime you do something that ignites your sport all by yourself, that's worthy of SportsMan of the Month.

Past SOTM winners:
April - Crazylegs runners/walkers
March - Team Japan
February - Rafael Nadal
January - Larry Fitzgerald


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