I've seen pampered, spoiled and coddled athletes before, but the ones I got stuck covering last week make me want to hurl.
Nobody ever tells them no. They get more strokes than an ICU. Everything has to be perfect or they go triple Liza.
No, not the Lakers. Not the Yankees. Not even the Williams sisters.
A group of athletes much worse. Thoroughbred racehorses.
At last Saturday's Kentucky Derby a horse named Smarty Jones made $5.9 million for 124 seconds of work. Then he went back to his Churchill Downs stall and got more hands laid on him than a $10 stripper: a warm soap-and-water sponge bath, a massage and a nice helping of hot mash, all of it from grooms who generally live in backstretch hovels with hot-and-cold-running cockroaches.
Across the way, in Barn 17, the colt Tapit had spent Derby week eating organic carrots (sliced with a restaurant-grade veggie chopper), breathing purified air and munching sod trucked in from his home farm in Maryland. He slurped Guinness beer and farm-fresh raw eggs. (Good grass and beer, followed by eggs? Sounds like breakfast at Hunter S. Thompson's house.) He finished ninth.
How's this for a sweet gig? Six, seven naps a day. Winters off. Seven or eight races a year. No wonder the jockeys wanted to strike this Derby. Compared to the horses, they're Malaysian shoe stitchers.
Put it this way: How would you like to retire at four (about 24 in people years) to a life of having sex with the most fit females in the country, three times a day? From February to June, that's all you'd do. Then you'd take July off (phew!), and if you're good, maybe fly to Australia and start again with the sheilas down there until Christmas. Nobody this side of Wilt turns that down.
And you don't even have to mess around with foreplay! A teasing stallion takes care of that. He gets things heated up, as it were, and when the mood is right, you waltz in like Elvis and bada-bing! Nice work if you can get it.
One time the late Dayton Daily News columnist Si Burick was watching Secretariat pull away to another easy win. "Jeez, I hate Secretariat," he grumbled. "He's good-looking, still has all his hair, and his whole sex life is in front of him."