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Race Fans Honor Barbaro

Just so everyone's clear on the fact that Clinton Portis doesn't have an exclusive on animal insensitivity, I bring you Drew Fluegel, Eric Berens and a group of their friends, several of whom came to Pimlico on Saturday wearing the t-shirt pictured here. Touching, really. On the other hand, they do make a mildly compelling argument about the mildly out-of-proportion response to a horse death in a sport that's surrounded with horse death. There was a horse death on Saturday, as a matter of fact. Mending Fences, was the horse's name. Apparently, a nation will not mourn for Mending Fences. Must not have had Barbaro's sense of humor or personality or something.

I'll grant you that this is sort of tasteless. (By SportsBog)

Regardless, this is what Eric Berens of Gainesville, Fla. said when I asked him about his t-shirt.

"It's a horse," he said. "You know, seriously. Let's mourn the Iraqi troops, let's not mourn a horse. It's a horse."

"It's a horse," several of his friends repeated. "It's an animal."

"Hey look at this, we've got 10 new horses," Eric said, gesturing to the upcoming race. "Great. Let's go with those new horses. Marines, they die. Horses, we make 'em into glue. We do. We glue things together. Like, things that need glue, we glue together."

I lost him a little bit at the end, and I keep breaking my rule not to get all serious, but it just seems to me that if you actually care about these animals and would rather not see them die, instead of going to the track to buy your Barbaro t-shirt and Barbaro wrist band and $22 "A Nation's Horse" DVD, you might just want to avoid the track altogether and pick a different sport.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 21, 2007; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Next: The Caps on the Preakness


Tasteless, yes, but sometimes you need to club people over the head to make your point. Considering how we keep having to hear about how the nation wept at Barbaro's passing (which means that, apparently, I am a foreign national), I think the level of poor taste is nowhere near the level of hysteria.

At what point do you draw the line between feeling sympathy/empathy for the people that were actually hurt by Barbaro's passing (e.g. owners, trainers, and other people that actually interacted with the horse) and "feeling" sad just to be a part of something? Are people actually sad, or are they just emotional hypochondriacs? How in the world did it become popular to feel sad about some horse that 95% of the country couldn't pick from any other horse in a lineup?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | May 21, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Eric Berens: Elmer's representative.

Posted by: The Big Picture | May 21, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

In field idiots!!!

Posted by: WGDC- | May 22, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I already disagree Eric Berens!!! For what he said about my hero Barbaro. Yes He is a horse but he's a champion and he has one big heart!!! I want to become a race horse trainer because of Barbaro. Im only 11 but I think Eric is one stupid jerk!!! I mean come on! No one will know Eric in a year, but people will remember Barbaro forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: madi | June 6, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

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