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Derby Names

Guest Post from Keith Alberstadt.

I’m in Lexington, KY this weekend, where people are getting excited for the Kentucky Derby. They also go crazy for basketball in this part of the country. I believe it’s only a matter of time before some Kentucky resident combines horse racing and basketball to form a new hybrid sport. Like when someone put tennis together with picnics to make Ping Pong. Or when they merged soccer with yawning to create the art of watching soccer.

But unlike David Beckham’s salary, the Kentucky Derby is no laughing matter. There are big hats on the ladies, big wagers from the men, and big glasses of the fanciest drink I’ve ever tasted…the mint julep. Hard to believe that a state that fueled the mullet craze can make a drink that requires garnish. What a country!

I have learned that a proper mint julep consists of crushed ice, fine Kentucky whiskey, and enough sugar to give Seabiscuit half a dozen cavities. The purpose of such a drink, of course, is to give yourself such a headache the next day that you forget how you lost your kid’s college fund betting a trifecta box.

Speaking of which, I won’t be gambling on the ponies this year. I’d love to because my heart melts for one horse…Nowhere To Hide. That’s possibly the worst name in the entire field. He’s a 50-1 longshot, which coincidentally are the same odds he has of not getting a wedgie in gym class with that name. It just sounds to me like the owners are embarrassed by him and didn’t realize it until after they entered him into the biggest horse race ever.

“Let’s call him Big Fat Embarrassment. Oh that’s taken by Congress? Then how about Nowhere To Hide? That’s sweeter than this catnip cocktail they gave me.”

The prize for worst name almost went to Atomic Rain, another 50-1 longshot. Atomic?! Really? At 50-1 odds? Did the Kentucky Derby invite North Korea to the field?

I think people should think before they assign names to things like horses, kids, and sports teams. Case in point…my hometown Nashville has the creepiest nickname in all of hockey. The Predators! I bet Dateline NBC has season tickets and expects to see a mascot in a windowless van selling ice cream to kids. For the love of Chris Hansen, why did we choose that name?

I know there are a ton of bad names in the history of sports. Feel free to list your favorite examples.


Comment from Dentist Abilene
Time: January 17, 2010, 10:04 pm

Nicknames are very interesting because somehow you give an extra character on a certain person.