As a small blog–I mean, an emerging blog–we have to be creative when it comes to accessing famous athletes. Our many overtures to sport’s legendary figures have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Clayton Kershaw “was busy.” Wayne Gretzky “isn’t accepting interview requests.” Scottie Pippen would prefer if we “left his property and never came back.” Babe Ruth “has been dead for over half a century.”
It’s all public-relations BS, because they know we’ll ask the tough questions. Nevertheless, we keep trying to broker deals with the movers and shakers of several sports of varying cultural significance. Finally, we were able to find one of today’s most newsworthy athletes to man up–er, horse up–and face us. We spoke with American Pharoah, who will be running at the Belmont Stakes on June 6 to complete horse racing’s greatest and rarest honor: The Triple Crown.
Crooked Scoreboard: Hey, American Pharoah! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. We know you’re hard at work training to make history at the Belmont, so it’s really an honor.
American Pharoah: No big deal, guys. I read your stuff all the time. That one guy really has some interesting takes on basketball!
CSB: Oh shucks, American Pharoah, you’re making us blush.
AP: My publicist told me to say that; don’t get cocky. I gotta do some running in 30 minutes, so let’s go.
CSB: Alright, down to business. When you’re really focusing on a race, and you want to get in a zone, do you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?
AP: Hall and OATS! Just kidding. Wouldn’t that be funny, though? If I’m being perfectly honest, I’d say hoof beats require hood beats. I like to listen to some oldies but goodies from my childhood–2013–so I listen to a lot of Rick Ross’s God Forgives, I Don’t. It really embodies my mindset on the track. It’s either them or me. I don’t place or show. I WIN.
CSB: Sounds pretty intense. Can you point to a moment early on that triggered this killer instinct within you?
AP: Well, I thought that Burger King horse-meat scandal was pretty messed up. We’re clearly not food. We have manes, for Pegasus’ sake! Knowing that sort of stuff is happening out there in the world is really a motivating factor for me. I do it for them.
CSB: By letting humans, who caused the whole mess to begin with, ride you?
AP: [brays angrily]
CSB: Sorry to bring up a sore spot.
AP: You know, it’s fine. Back in the ’70s, a lot of the horses were notoriously brusque with the media, and I can understand that mindset. But by being so open, I think I’ll help change the perception that people have. Everyone remembers Secretariat as this great hero, but anyone who knows anything knows that he was a racist, and wouldn’t walk on land previously inhabited by cows. Seattle Slew went broke gambling on dressage, but the humans covered it up by saying that horses can’t own money. Horses can’t own money, my ass. Tell that to my condo in Kentucky, and my villa in Macau.
CSB: Looks like you’re living in the fast lane.
AP: Let me put it this way, guy. You’re a human. You have intrinsic value to society other than the ability to run fast. You can write. I have hooves. I can’t write. You can sit down at restaurants and enjoy nice meals. Have you ever seen what it looks like when a horse tries to slide into a booth at a Denny’s at 3 AM, drunk, without making a scene? Nothing good. And worst of all, what happens if you’re in an accident and you break a leg? You wear a cast for a while, and crutch along, and it’s a giant pain to get up the stairs where you live, right? Wow, that sounds terrible. You wanna know what happens if I break a leg? I DIE. I can’t even LOOK at a bottle of glue witho…
CSB: …Alright, sounds like we’re running out of time. Good luck at the Belmont, champ!
AP: You got it, dude. Keep it cool.
Photo credit: Mike Lizzi / Creative Commons
Jaime Alayon is a writer who spends his spare time chatting up horses. You should follow him on Twitter.