Breeders' Cup and barbecue

November, 4, 2010
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Wednesday, 9:20 p.m. PT -- Another Santa Anita Breeders' Cup would have been so convenient, racetrack conditions aside. But I'd fly overnight via Charlotte to be a part of this. I would take a four-stop, Southwest Airlines-seating Zone 5 flight just to be in on this. It's the Breeders' Cup, damn it! It means so much that I am blogging about it on a hand-held Google machine and still making the effort to put the apostrophe after the S in "Breeders'."

A misplaced apostrophe is the least of our identity problems. I ate lunch today at my new favorite barbecue spot, The Smokin' Joint. The manager asked how I liked the food, then said, "I don't know if you're into sports, but on the weekend we show all the games." I told him I don't live here and said I'd be at the BC. He asked, "What's that?"

Those who get it really get it. We get that these are far and away the two best days of the year in racing. Maybe the two best days period.

But the shared experience means so much more. So until that BBQ manager, who asked me whether I like sports, comes on board with us, it will be a lot like the first few days after someone buys a new album. (You remember those.) You make your friends listen to it. You want them to get it with you. I recall doing this in the early 1970s when my dual loves of racing and Stevie Wonder were just beginning. Oddly enough, Wonder was being shown in concert on the same big screen that will show sports this weekend while BBQ is served. I should have told that BBQ manager to listen to my music. Listen to Jeff Beck tear it up for Stevie. Maybe we could have been in agreement on our appreciation of the music I listen to. And maybe we could have agreed that when they show a lot of sports there this weekend, a race or two will get high consideration. We'll cover the placement of apostrophes over ribs another day.

Kenny Mayne

Kenny Mayne -- known for his offbeat style, dry humor and unique sayings -- has served a variety of roles in more than 10 years with ESPN. He currently provides features to SportsCenter and "The Mayne Event" segments to Sunday NFL Countdown.



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