Thursday, May 25, 2006

Barbaro: American Hero
By Blogger

PHILADELPHIA -- Champion thoroughbred Barbaro was in good spirits as he nibbled on apples and fresh hay in his stable at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. Even though he hadn't requested it, doctors have ensured that he is always supplied with a fresh stock of Cristal and Alize. His rear left leg is held together by twenty-three pins, and the doses of anesthetic he must take occasionally force him to stand in a stupor, but Barbaro still finds time to bask in the affection of an adoring public.

"Of course I'm kind of surprised by the reaction," the Kentucky Derby winner said, as a handler poured him another flute of Cris. "I can't read, so my posse's been printing out all the emails I get and reading me the best ones. Apparently, the other guys are pretty jealous of the attention I'm getting. Bernardini sent me an email, and he was all like, '[Screw] you. You're a nobody. I've won just as many legs of the Three-C as you have.' But he's just a hater."

Barbaro gained national attention by winning the first leg of the Triple Crown this year, but his celebrity has skyrocketed since his leg shattered like balsawood during the Preakness Stakes. Spectators fainted and tears fell in a deluge as he kept running, even though the leg was flopping like a worm on a fish hook.

"See, lots of people think I was brave to keep running and try to win the race with a broken leg," Barbaro said, as he modestly swished his tail. "The thing is, I'm a horse. I don't actually think about winning races. I mean, it hurt like hell, but I'm hopped up on steroids and trained to run like a mofo when Edgar kicks my ribs. So I did. I was actually a little surprised he wanted to stop in the middle of the race."

Not everyone is sympathetic to Barbaro's plight. Some question his toughness and the outpouring of emotion for the noble beast. Current Oakland Athletics catcher Jason Kendall launched into a mumbling stream of consciousness rant when asked to comment on this story.

"How dare those [people]... They... They... It's so [completely] unfair... I can't believe that with what I went through... my ankle... It's... You [are a bad person]!" Kendall said before throwing his helmet into his locker and collapsing into Keiko Calero's arms.

Former National Hockey League winger Trent McCleary was personable until the subject of Barbaro and his tragic injury came up. When he heard Barbaro's name, McCleary ordered reporters out of his house with an expletive-laced tirade. His voice could be heard three blocks away, a remarkable achievement, considering the throat injury that forced him into retirement.

Joe Kay, a freshman at Stanford University, expressed similar reservations about lionizing Barbaro.

"Why are all these morons sending him hundreds of thousands of get well wishes?" Kay asked, his right hand dangling at his side. "He's a [darn] horse."

People like Kendall, McCleary, and Kay miss the point and are Bernardini-esque in how they gulp the Haterade, says thoroughbred lover Scott Stapp.

"It's not just that a brilliant horsie was in pain, although that is a big part of why there's been so much emotion. The real reason is that Barbaro is a symbol. He is everything Barry Bonds is not. He's a real patriot who personifies the American Dream, and I, for one, am more than happy to salute him and keep him in my prayers every night. Kids these days need role models, and I couldn't think of one better than Barbaro," said Stapp.

For his part, Barbaro remains cool in the eye of the storm. He is looking forward to the day he will be put out to stud and begin a new life having as much sex as possible.

"Money, cash, 'hos. That's how I roll. Mr. Jackson takes good care of me 'cause he knows the pimps are waiting in line, and if their tricks ain't cutting, they on foot patrol," he said, laughing the way only a hero can.


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