Each week, Patrick Swafford will take a deeper look into one of the week’s biggest topics and provide his own unique, and sometimes very abrasive, point of view. As always, any opinions on this or any other story on audiblyoffensive.com can be sent to email@example.com.
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
We’ve heard the word used so many times in the world of sports – choke. We’ve seen it happen more times than most of us want to count, too.
Buckner’s blunder in 86. Tyson KO’d by Douglas. The Yanks in 2004. Florida State’s Wide Right Trilogy.
What is a choke, anyway? Heightened expectations that lead to pure and utter failure? Crumbling when the world’s spotlight shines its brightest on you? Just not bringing your A game to a major event?
If that defines a choke… then meet our newest. Big Brown.
Yes, friends, horses choke, too.
For the weeks leading up to Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the bandwagon became so enormous that it became conventional wisdom. Big Brown stopped being the easy pick and became the sensible one.
Even when a crack formed in his hoof, it was still deemed a non-issue by his trainers and most experts. This race was going to be like watching Chuck Liddell beat the unholy living snot out of a welterweight.
This crowning of a new champion wasn’t hopeful, it was inevitable last weekend. This was going to be history and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do to stop this.
When Casino Drive, the only horse bred to even have a chance against this unstoppable beast, was a late scratch Saturday morning, it just reeked of an ass whipping.
Personally, I’d never seen a Triple Crown. Secretariat won his two months before I was born. This was a first for me.
I was at work… heading to the bathroom and heard the sounds of the nearest television. Of course I was going to hold it and watch. After all, this was history.
There he was, rumbling down the opening stretch, through the first two turns and sitting comfortably in third… just waiting to strike.
Here it comes. Here’s where Brown curbstomps the field.
Instead of charging to the lead, Big Brown fell back in the pack like a NASCAR driver with no sponsor. He was falling back while Da’Tara was making one hell of a run.
He wasn’t just falling. He was choking.
All of this hype, this build up. It all was supposed to lead to the coronation of a new King. All of the stories of Brown seeming to know where the cameras were and almost acting like a rockstar… and he fell to the ass end of the pack faster than Brittney Spears on a three-day drinking bender.
I love jockey Kent Desormeaux’s initial comment, “I had no horse.”
No, really? So you mean that little sashay to dead freaking last wasn’t just some stunt? Come on, Desormeaux! We’re not idiots here.
Yes, I’m saying this was a choke. It wasn’t a fix. It wasn’t some conspiracy like some jack offs on the internet want you to believe. It had nothing to do with the fucking steroids that the trainer had given Brown. It was a question of A game… and Brown did not have it Saturday.
So now, a certain website that prides itself on not jumping on the bandwagon looks like a horses’ ass (pun intended) because that’s exactly what we did. We bought into the hype like a cheaply promoted Vince McMahon pay per view where Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is getting paid $20 million to work a totally scripted fight with a 7-foot-tall athlete.
We bought it hook line and sinker.
We all bought it. We bought into the machine, thinking that this upset could never happen.
Well, it did ladies and gentlemen. We expected ecstasy… we got excrement. We got conned into believing the hype.
P.T. Barnum said it best. There truly is a sucker born every minute.