Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In this SI Classic from 1990, a writer relives the - 10.24.94 - SI Vault

Just saw "Secretariat." Wow. Confirms my opinion that Big Red was one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lovable, sweet, kind clown off the track, he would grab a rake in his mouth and do a dead-on impersonation of someone raking his stall. Once he nabbed Nack's notebook and refused to give it back until his trainer fussed at him and Red dropped it like a scolded child.

But once he stepped on the track, Secretariat instantly became an ethereal combination of power, beauty, heart, art, style, class, bravery and speed. Sheer speed.

At a time of, in fairly rapid succession, the Kennedys and King assassinations, Vietnam, Watergate and polyester, "Secretariat" brought back fond memories of an un-fond time. He was this bright, shining star who, unlike our other human bright shining stars at the time, my idols, didn't drink too much (Mantle), did not overstay his welcome until he became an embarrassment (Mays) did not get hurt and break my heart (Sayers) did not convert to being a surly Islamic convert (Ali) nor did he throw women off balconies for giggles. (Brown)

For a time we got a glimpse at a piece of heaven that was named Secretariat.

To give you an idea how much impact Secretariat had on me: he almost made forget how much Karen Dean broke my heart. Almost.

Damn you, Karen Dean. Damn you and your pouty lips and their feint whiff of strawberry lip gloss, your piercing "I've been a naughty girl" green eyes and your soft, soft flaxen hair.

Got to read this by William Nack:

In this SI Classic from 1990, a writer relives the - 10.24.94 - SI Vault