The only thing Zenyatta lost in defeat was the race.
Bill Dwyre's articles about Zenyatta's last race were beautiful to read. In today's mixed-up world of cynics and naysayers, Zenyatta's last race became heartwarming news. The horse and the humans around her gave it a great shot and thrilled many people who would not ordinarily watch a Breeders' Cup race. Thank you, Zenyatta, for showing us how exciting it is to hope.
I heard one member of the 1972 Dolphins uncorked a bottle of champagne after Zenyatta lost Saturday.
Accolades for Zenyatta! She could have stayed retired — undefeated — but she came back for another season of racing and showed the entire country what a grand horse she is.
The turf writers should acknowledge her as horse of the year. As far as I am concerned, she won 19 9/10th races.
Mike Smith: Welcome to the club of Hall of Fame jockeys who unfortunately misjudged the pace in a huge race. Gary Stevens (Point Given, 2001 Kentucky Derby) and Jerry Bailey (Cigar, 1996 Pacific Classic) will commiserate with you.
Zenyatta inarguably was horse of the year in 2009 and should officially be horse of the year in 2010.
Howard P. Cohen
When I was growing up in the 1930s, the greatest horse of all time was Man O'War. He also lost only one race in his 21-race career (to a horse named Upset). Interesting how history repeats itself.
Maybe if Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant both retired this week, so they could use their time more productively to help make babies that might become future great profession athletes, the horse racing brain trust might get some hint why they have a dying sport.
On the grid
The Neo-Donahue Bruins are performing true to form: They are a highly talented, underachieving group attempting to salvage a forgettable campaign by narrowly prevailing at home over a bottom-tier Pac-10 opponent with a last-second field goal, by keeping alive hopes of appearing in any bowl game that will have them and by dreaming of an alumni-placating, coach job-saving, bragging rights-claiming victory over a mediocre USC team in a meaningless matchup. Other than that, I'm pumped.
Instant reaction to T.J.'s one-sentence reference to possible problems between Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel: Neuheisel needs Chow more than Chow needs Neuheisel. Afterthought: They both need Rocky Long more than either needs next year's paychecks.
After seeing TCU beat Utah by 40 points in Salt Lake City, is it to late to rescind the offer of Utah to the Pac-10 and invite TCU instead?
Joe over Jerry
Naming Jerry Rice the greatest NFL player of all time shows how fortune played so heavily on the determination in the minds of the voters involved. Rice got to play with Joe Montana and Steve Young in the prime of their careers. What if his quarterbacks had been Neil O'Donnell and Kordell Stewart? Does anyone think he could make a Montana and Young out of those guys?
Montana was an Super Bowl MVP before Rice even got out of college. He made All Pros out of almost every receiver he played with. He would have won multiple Super Bowls without Rice.
To have Rice ahead of Montana is silly.
How does it feel?
For much of my life I have tried to figure out San Francisco, a spectacular, fantastic, world-class city with one glaring flaw: horrible, just awful, sports fans. Why are Giants fans such jerks? Now we know the answer, for the wretched, kicked-in-the-gut agony we Dodgers fans suffered watching San Francisco win a World Series. And that's just one week. Fifty unthinkable years of that explains a lot about Giants fans.
I empathize, I feel like a Giants fan, so it's true, we all become what we hate. I even wish Willie McCovey would have hit that line drive a few feet higher.
Frank and Jamie McCourt have more houses than decent middle relief pitchers, continue to unjustly raise ticket prices, and have hired a new manager who has no managing experience and is a former Yankee, yet.
Meanwhile, the formidable Tim Wallach will ride shotgun as a coach.
Well, I'm wearing my brand new San Francisco Giants cap and as a former closet Giants fan, I'm out!
Dodger fans, Bring it on!
It sure is great to see that Staples Center has a tenant that is leading the league, is undefeated at home and has a great chance to go all the way. Oh, and by the way, the Lakers play there, too.
Just do it
In response to the "Anointed One's" self-serving Nike ad where he asks, "What do you want me to do?" … well, how about this, King James:
First, fire your PR team! With friends like this you don't need enemies.
Second, sincerely, I repeat, sincerely apologize not for leaving the Cavaliers for a better opportunity, but for the way you left. Admit this "Decision" circus was offensive and manipulative and that you now realize you are not bigger than the game or better than your fans.
Finally? Put a sock in it! Enough yapping. Just shut up, play ball, and lead your team to the NBA Finals.
No thanks to AEG
I typically ignore T.J. Simers' mean-spirited columns, but when I saw he was backing the efforts of AEG and Tim Leiweke to bring an NFL team here, I felt compelled to respond. As a longtime hockey fan, it is disingenuous to gloss over how AEG, mystery man Phil Anschutz and Leiweke have mistreated the Kings and their supporters over the past 16 years. Sure, right now the team is playing great, but this is a function of GM Dean Lombardi being allowed to operate with minimal interference from above. That was never the case before he took over.
The fact that AEG traded Wayne Gretzky — Wayne Gretzky! — as its first order of business after taking over the team tells you all you need to know about their sports acumen. AEG is a real estate company, nothing more and nothing less. They'll be glad to build a stadium downtown just like they were pleased to put Staples Center there. But if you think they are doing this for any reason other than to line their pockets even more, you are even more misguided than Simers.
Bad Baron, man
Baron Davis is the most overpaid and underperforming stiff in the NBA. His training regimen starts during warmups for the first league game. He then claims an injury and goes on sick leave for the balance of the season. This is a blessing for the Clippers because he can't hurt the team on the bench. On the court he is a defensive liability and on offense it's three-point bricks and turnovers. He's a smaller version of Benoit Benjamin.
Attention Clippers: Please don't let Blake Griffin anywhere near Baron Davis.
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