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.
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.