A very small portion of my family room is devoted to what some visitors refer to as my shrine to "that horse."
We're talking about Secretariat here, maybe the greatest athlete ever. Go ahead and watch the 1973 Belmont Stakes and tell me it doesn't give you chills. I just watched it and teared up a little. My brother lived in Louisville in 1973 and I went to the Derby that year. Crammed into the infield, I actually saw a small portion of the race. I saw Secretariat make his move. I was in love. Grace, power, speed - you name it. The perfect race horse.
My shrine is pretty detailed, more of a mini-museum. For Christmas one year, my wife got me a framed collage of the finish line photos from all three Triple Crown races. Signed by the jockey Ron Turcotte. Secretariat is the only athlete to appear on the covers of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated in the same week. I have all three.
I have a record album with the call of every race - all 21 of them (16 victories) - and a cassette tape of the same. I have coffee mugs, drink glasses, a poker chip, a paper weight, a money clip, a snow globe and a beer bucket. I have a copy of a Leroy Neiman print and I kick myself 10 times a day for not taking it with me to the 1998 Preakness to get it signed.
I have books about Secretariat. I have three Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses from 1973 (and at least one from every year since).
Yeah, I'm obsessed.
I probably don't need another shrine but I am thinking about putting together a little collection of art and the like on you-know-who. Seeing this Sports Illustrated cover got my mind to racing (is the jinx still a factor - will he lose Friday?).
The poster from the Post, that cover, my ticket stub and a few more items should do nicely. My friend Michael, he of the rib bet, got me a copy of the Post's Nats Park poster and my wife framed it for me. My Son The Braves Fan (but slowly converting), as much as he hated the moment, is looking for a good picture of The Walk-Off That Was (anyone know of one?).
A few more items and I think shrine two will be complete.
*I guess my few faithful readers think the Nats have NO all-stars, given that my previous post was basically ignored. Here I am thinking it wasn't all that bad!
*Yes, I watched Stras II. My wife, who bought a Strasburg T-Shirt last night, made me tape it for her because she had a graduation party to attend. I begged off and I don't care if it makes me a bad person. As others have written, if that's an off day, I'll take it.
*I will see three of the six games on the next homestand and miss both Strasburg starts. I need a new scheduler. I will see two games in Baltimore and miss him (as will everyone else since he isn't pitching there). I will see him July 3 against the Mets. My son and I want to make a lightning trip to Atlanta the previous Monday but work is clogging up that plan for both of us. Should have stayed unemplo *** uh, self-employed.
*Update on the rib bet, since I know everyone is just dying for more. Michael, fair man that he is, offered to buy because, as several commentators noted, the game was technically a sellout. I declined because we agreed on 41,888 as the number and it was below that. So we called it a draw and we'll each buy our own rib. I may opt for pizza instead. Last two ribs I had there were still mooing.