This, That And The Other Thing …

One of the older sports debate topics is to identify those sports records that will never be broken.  Obviously, all of them could be broken someday, but there are a few that appear to be unassailable as of today:

  • Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak
  • Wilt Chamberlain’s 100- point NBA game
  • Boston Celtics’ eight consecutive NBA Championships
  • Cy Young’s 749 complete games
  • Emmitt Smith’s 18,355 career rushing yards

I am beginning to think there is another one to consider for this list:

  • Secretariat’s time of 1:59 1/5 for the Kentucky Derby.

They ran the Derby last Saturday and folks are almost euphoric about the three-horse photo finish to the race.  Indeed, it was a tight call; the separation between the winner and the horse that finished third was merely a head.  But lost in the euphoria of the photo-finish and the long-shot odds for the winner, Mystik Dan, is the fact that this was a slow race.  Mystik Dan ran the 1 ¼ miles in 2:03 1/5.  Here is an inexact but good approximation of how that relates to Secretariat’s time in the Derby 51 years ago:

  • Race handicappers believe that every fifth of a second in time difference equals one length in distance difference.
  • Using that equivalence, Mystik Dan and the two horses that were right there at the wire with him would have finished 20 lengths behind Secretariat.

Moving on …  As the baseball season settles in, I noticed a report on a new dining option named “The Renegade” offered by the Pirates at PNC Park.  Here is the description:

  • A foot-long hot dog topped with 8 pierogies, pot roast, onions and pickles.

That sounds like dinner for two not a snack to munch on as you watch a game, but with just a bit of searching thanks to Google, one can encounter some other outrageous ballpark offerings:

  • Arizona D-Backs:  They too start with a foot-long hot dog and top it with smoked bacon, ranch beans mustard, mayo and pico de gallo.  This one is called the “XL Sonoran Hot Dog”.
  • Atlanta Braves:  Order up a “Fielder’s Catch” and you will come to appreciate the expression that nothing exceeds like excess.  Take a deep breath and contemplate two lobster tails, three fried oysters on a hard roll topped with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and peach remoulade.  As if that were not enough, it comes with sweet potato fries on the side.
  • Colorado Rockies:  They serve up a 20-ounce piece of beef still on the rib bone.  It comes with bread and a side salad.  They call it the “Dino Rib” and I am trying to figure out how one might eat this while watching a game on the field.  Surely, they don’t expect you to slice that beef with a plastic knife…
  • Detroit Tigers:  They have taken pierogies in a different direction with their “Grilled Cheese Slider”.  This menu item consists of a pierogi on a slider roll with sauerkraut, cheese sauce and a slice of melted Velveeta cheese.
  • NY Mets:  Start with a half-pound burger and top it with lobster salad, lobster/cheese fondue and put all of that on a fennel brioche bun.  The interesting thing here is the name of this concoction; they call it the “Championship Burger” which seems out of place at a Mets’ game, no?

Just scanning those six culinary items makes me want to grab a Rolaid …

Switching gears …  In an interview proximal to the NFL Draft, Roger Goodell said that he thought it would be a good idea to add an 18th game to the regular season and cancel out one of the Exhibition Games that lead up to the season.  The reason that is a “good idea” is that it would increase revenue by adding another week or so of real games to the media packages; in fact, played properly it might add two weeks.

  • Start the season on Labor Day Weekend not the next weekend.
  • Add in a second bye week for each team to ameliorate – not eliminate – wear and tear on players’ bodies
  • Move the Super Bowl back to the third Sunday in February.

Hear me out.  If the NFL does not want to “infringe on Labor Day” for some reason, then that “added week” could be made up by eliminating the two-week gap between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl.  The loser in that decision is the newly minted flag-football game.  Ho hum…

AND by pushing the Super Bowl back a week, the NFL gives its fans something that many of the fans have wanted – – a day off after the Super Bowl to accommodate food and drink excesses at parties on Super Bowl Sunday.  The third Monday in February is already a Federal Holiday and that would give lots of fans what they want – – at no cost to the league.

Finally, since I mentioned baseball food offerings above that could be categorized as “gluttonous”, let me close with this remark by author, Peter De Vries:

“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



6 thoughts on “This, That And The Other Thing …”

  1. I can still remember the vision of watching Secretariat winning the Derby in record time and 5 weeks later crushing the field with a stretch run for the ages in the Belmont. Even though the sports radio talk show concept of naming a Mount Rushmore for sports related categories is ridiculous, I’m picking Secretariat as a member of that group. (with whom?…Carl Lewis, Jim Brown…??)

  2. …a Mount Rushmore for sports related categories….
    I nominate Sports Curmudgeon. But what category?

    When was the last time a Super Bowl was played on the following Sunday after the conference championships? I say it was SB XXXVII on Jan. 26, 2003. As a fan of the losing team, I want that second-week break. It allows the passions to create and simmer in anger.

    1. TenaciousP:

      Perhaps my “category” might be “Keyboard Addict”? Just a thought … 🙂

  3. I agree Cy Young’s complete game total is unassailable, but before any of the others I would rank Johnny Vander Meer’s two consecutive no hitters in 1938. To break it, a pitcher would have to hurl three consecutive no hitters – pretty much an impossible task as well.

    1. martin roeber:

      Welcome aboard!

      Johnny Vader Meer’s record may be the most unassailable of them all. It simply did not occur to me as i was trying to come up with a short list for the rant today. Thanks for the addendum…

  4. Harder than DiMaggio – Owen Wilson’s 36 triples. no one within 10 in almost 100 years, and the parks today don’t have the tremendously deep center or alleys to allow so many.

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