This past Saturday was one of those rare days when the gambling Gods smile on us pathetic little men, and blessed us with a full day of time and cash-wasting athletic endeavors. The ancient Chinese had a word for a day like this, "goontow", or loosely translated, "degenerate gambler's holiday", or as the modern Chinese refer to it, Saturday (zing). The afternoon began with a sleepy Fox baseball lineup, and ended with an even sleepier fight between Filipino hero Manny Pacquiao and an aging overmatched Sugar Shane Moseley. As if that's not enough to quench your thirst for wasting your hard earned scratch, there were also two NBA playoff games to calm your addiction.
However, the crown jewel of gambling, dressed up in funny hats and sappy tradition, took place around 6 pm at the Kentucky Derby, and in attendance were none other than our very own M@d $cientist and brother in blogging, Captain Power (along with a couple other non-blogging cohorts). The Derby combines the prestige of the greatest of sports traditions (the opening leg of the Triple Crown) complete with celebrity spectators, formally dressed dignitaries and a 2 hour lead in of pomp and circumstance from Bob Costas and other NBC blowhards, with the down south trashiness of a wet t-shirt contest held in an Atlantic City Hooters. To put it another way, this is the marriage of hard-core gambling and Mardi Gras type debauchery with sports at its' very finest. And it's over in 2 minutes (insert cliche sexual joke here).
M@d acted as our Brooklyn gambling liason, fielding bets from the home-bound PTU staff. As some of our readers may know, M@d $cientist is a legend of sorts in his hometown, able to organize bets and devour tacos with equal ferocity. Most of us came up empty on our horses (I hate you, Stay Thirsty and Decisive Moment) but Shake Shack hating, Jeter enemy Mr. D had a truly inspirational day at the races (even from 700 miles away). I'll let M@d tell the riveting story of the rest of this magical day:
"The morning started off with some rain as expected. Those in the racing community knew this would make the race even more unpredictable. Mr. D gave me two types of bets to place. One for dry and one for rainy conditions. Upon my arrival, I knew I had to place my bets first, since who knew what kind of condition I would be in after some drinking. I placed Mr.D's rainy day bets and was on my merry way. Hours passed, the sky cleared, and I heard the locals discussing the now "dry field". I stood in front of the betting window, wondering if I should place Mr. D's dry field bets. It was the toughest decision of my life. I finally came to the realization just minutes before the race that the wrath of missing out on Mr. D's winning bet was far greater than saving him a few measly bucks. I placed the winning bet and the rest, as they say, is history."
I don't know if it's the spring time pollen in the air or I just shed a tear.
Below, a couple more pics of the PTU Kentucky Derby Weekend.