Nothing worse than a gelding in a singles barn

  Because it’s all about the page views these days, there’s an outside chance AJC.com will lead a story with something like: “Sources indicate Matthew Stafford and Lindsay Lohan are dating and plan to attend next year’s Georgia-Florida game, which by the way could be moved to Atlanta, and for more on the LATEST RECRUITING WARS, CLICK HERE!!!!!”

  This makes it difficult when the actual story is about topics that generally don’t generate as much Internet traffic, like, say, the economy or world peace. But that’s what transitions are for.

  Which leads me to the leadoff item in this week’s Tuesday Countdown: Horse racing.

How many schools haven't called Bob? Dunno. I can't count that high.

The Count is a lady's man.

NO WAIT! COME BACK! THIS IS REALLY GOOD!

  It’s also about SEX!

  See. It works.

  Take it, Count.

 10. Blanket of roses not much of a consolation

If you missed Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, it was won by a horse named Mine That Bird. This is the sports equivalent of the Nationals winning the World Series, if most of the Nationals’ players actually worked at a Burger King the year before, which, come to think of it, they were. Mine That Bird was a 50-1 longshot. Mine That Bird was sold at auction in 2007 for $9,500 (I think that was with a Kroger Plus Card). And best of all: Mine That Bird is a GELDING!

9. He never had a  chance

Know how sometimes male soccer players all stand in a line and use their hands to protect their, um, midfielders, just before an opponent’s direct kick? I think that’s what male horses do when they hear, “Gelding!” Horses are gelded (or de-manhooded) when their owners believe they won’t be put out to stud (see below; no, not that far below) and for other reasons. From a Wikipedia definition: “Castration, and the elimination of hormonally-driven behavior associated with a stallion, allows a male horse to be calmer and better-behaved, making the animal quieter, gentler and potentially more suitable as an everyday working animal.” Question: More suitable for who?

Here's Mr. Ed in retirement on a phone chat line.

Mr. Ed's best hope was to dazzle the ladies with his ping-pong.

Mr. Ed dazzled the ladies on phone chat lines and in ping-pong but he couldn't do much else.

8. Hey, baby. Your barn or mine?

Back to the Derby: Winning the race can be worth millions to the owner and several weeks of heaven for  the horse. How so? Stud fees. According to my pal Jay Privman, a national correspondent for the Racing Form: “It depends on the pedigree he has and how he does after the Derby, and the economy. But in round numbers, you can make $40,000 per mare.” (A mare is a female horse over the age of 3, when, I believe, it becomes consensual in most states.)

  How many mares?

  “Maybe 150, over 4 ½ months. They’re like Hugh Hefner.”

  Is this a straight-cash deal? Do the mares leave the money on the nightstand?

  “No. But she does say, ‘Call me.’ And of course, they never do.”

  Funny man.

  But Man That Bird could win the Triple Crown and it wouldn’t significantly change his retirement plans.

  Stud plans: dead.

  And you think a devalued 401k is depressing?

  I did some research. Other famous geldings include John Henry and Funny Cide. But the most famous of all was Bamboo Harvester. He played the talking horse, “Mr. Ed,” in the old TV series. But much like a Kentucky Derby winner, being a gelded Hollywood celebrity has its limitations. Take note of the Mr. Ed photos.

7. Please, just go away

Here's Brett Favre waving goodbye. Liar.

Here's Brett Favre waving goodbye. Liar.

Rumors are afoot that Brett Favre is un-retiring (again) and wants to play for the Minnesota Vikings (still) so that he can stick it to the Green Bay Packers (who dared to call his retirement bluff the first time). My colleague, Mark Bradley, recently called Favre “the most overrated athlete of our time.” Gotta disagree with him there. Favre will and should go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. That said, he’s rapidly become one of the most obnoxious creatures of all-time and is devaluing his legacy, much like a certain former heavyweight champion who just won’t go away. I was trying to think of the best way to put this, until former NFLer Randy Cross did it for me in consecutive Twitters: “Brett Favre hurt his legacy if he comes back — again? To play for a division rival to spite Ted Thompson + Mike McCarthy? … Shouldn’t hurt his legacy a bit if his legacy is as a self-absorbed, petty and delusional has-been. I prefer to remember him as a HOF cinch.”

6. What do you think of him now?

Remember this guy? Here's Andruw Jones after another home run.

Remember this guy? Here's Andruw after hitting another home run.

People couldn’t dump on Andruw Jones fast enough after his last-season slide with the Braves and his first disastrous year in Los Angeles. He was called fat, lazy, drunk and stupid so often, you would’ve thought he was Flounder from Animal House. He finally accepted a minor-league contract to go to spring training in Texas. OK. So where are the naysayers now? Have you looked, recently? Jones is hitting .333 with three homers and eight RBI in 13 games (39 at-bats) as a backup outfielder and DH. Yes, it’s early. But get this: Jones actually has more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) and a career-high on-base percentage of .500. So it turns out he does have some pride.

5. DeCamillis  healing, Reeves relieved

Spoke to Dan Reeves. His son-in-law and former assistant coach with the Falcons, Joe DeCamillis, is doing better after surgery to repair broken vertebrae, suffered in the collapse of the Dallas Cowboys’ indoor practice facility after a tornado the other day. “Doctors said everything looks good,” said Reeves, who almost went to work for the Cowboys as a consultant recently. “The only thing they have to watch for now is bleeding, swelling and infection, which is always the concern after surgery.” DeCamillis, the Dallas special teams’ coach, is married to Reeves’ oldest daughter, Dana.

4. Feeling lucky, punk?

If you really think the Hawks can stop this guy, you can clean up financially.

If you really think the Hawks can stop this guy, you can clean up financially.

So how confident do you feel after the Hawks eliminated Miami? Because if you really believe an upset of LeBron James and Cleveland is in the cards, you can set yourself up for life. For tonight’s game alone, the Cavaliers are 11 1/2 point favorites, or 12-1 favorites on the money line, according to BetUS.com. The online sportsbook also has Cleveland as lopsided 2-13 favorites to win the East and 3-2 to win the NBA title. The Hawks: 20-1 to win the series, 35-1 to win the East and 100-1 to win the NBA championship. Another online sportsbook, Bodog, lists Cleveland as slightly better than even money to sweep the Hawks (5-4) or win the series in five games (11-10). They’re 9-2 to win in six games and 7-1 to win in seven. The Hawks are 100-1 to sweep, 75-1 to win in five, 40-1 to win in six and 50-1 to win in seven. Or, you can always go with a scratch-off ticket.

3. What does this really mean?

I asked Hawks owner Michael Gearon Jr. that. No, the Atlanta Spirit is not suddenly in the black because the Hawks are guaranteed at least six home playoff games (four in round one, two in round two). But it does help significantly in other areas. “The more playoff games you play, it obviously helps,” Gearon said, adding he didn’t know even ballpark numbers. “What’s most important is we’re doing very well as far as new ticket sales go. The city is responding. We’re building up a fan-base. This isn’t a one-shot deal. That’s what matters most.”

2. Timeout for a dietary note

They count fat grams, I don't.

They count fat grams. I don't.

Grilled brats last night. My wife made me look at the label, which indicated there were 22 grams of fat in each, further evidence why there are no Victoria Secret models from Green Bay or Sheboygan. Damn right I ate two.

1. And finally

Still can’t get over the whole 150 mares in 4 1/2 months thing. I mean, is this Wilt Chamberlain-like exaggeration. And how big do they make those blue pills, anyway?

Jeff Schultz can be reached via email (jschultz@ajc.com), Facebook, Tweeter (SchultzAJC) or carrier pigeon (make a right off 400).

35 comments Add your comment

Stacey Derbinshire

May 5th, 2009
11:46 am

Hi there,

I looked over your blog and it looks really good. Do you ever do link exchanges on your blog roll? If you do, I’d like to exchange links with you.

Let me know if you’re interested.

Thanks..

Michael Scharff

May 5th, 2009
12:14 pm

Jeff, fat grams are one thing, but, what we really want to know is – were they Kosher?

Billy

May 5th, 2009
12:47 pm

Gotta disagree with you on Favre. If the guy wants to play, and someone is willing to pay him, why shouldn’t he? How would you feel if your bosses came in one day and told you that they were going to fire you so that they could have someone younger and cheaper? I bet that you would be pretty ticked off, too. It’s the media that has made such a big deal out of everything that Favre does. Twenty years ago, none of this would have mattered. Now, people who claim to be sick of Brett Favre continually comment on everything that he does.

Jeff Schultz

May 5th, 2009
12:57 pm

Michael — not sure. Nor do I know if any of the feathered lovlies above were Bat Mitzvah’d.

Billy — because the guy claimed to want to retire from Green Bay and it was just a lie to get released so he could go somewhere else. He screwed the Packers, then complained when they wouldn’t just outright release him. Now he wants official to be unlinked from contract negotiations so he can sign with the Vikings because he didn’t get his way last time (and ended up with the Jets). It’s not about the team or the game or having dignity. It’s about Brett, Brett, Brett. He’s become an old and bitter joke. I’m done.

Cuz

May 5th, 2009
1:31 pm

Mine That Bird and I have something in common. We will never have someone yell to us “Hey Stud!”

jimmy

May 5th, 2009
1:57 pm

you can’t beat brett if he is healthy

BugKiller

May 5th, 2009
2:43 pm

You’re right, Jimmy, you can’t beat Brett if he’s healthy.

He does more than a good enough job of beating himself and his team for you.

What happened to the last passes he threw in the last two NFC Championship Games he played in?

Hmmm… suddenly, Tavares Jackson doesn’t look so bad, does he?

PTC DAWG

May 5th, 2009
2:46 pm

Some here have no idea what being a “gelding” means. :)

The GT fans maybe, but not many others.

Bob Smith

May 5th, 2009
2:56 pm

Nice Braves blog, lots of Minor League stuff-

http://minorsandmajors.com

jan kemp

May 5th, 2009
2:59 pm

PTC DAWG, i’ll give you 45-42 odds that a gelding is a castrated horse. How someone from the states largest school grazing pasture does not know that, amazes me. Well, not really, yes, I would like fries with my happy meal

[...] Jeff Schultz placed an interesting blog post on Nothing worse than a gelding in a singles barn | Jeff SchultzHere’s a brief overviewKentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird has a boring retirement ahead of him. He’s a gelding. [...]

BugKiller

May 5th, 2009
3:25 pm

The question, Bug, is why does anyone care about what a gelding is or isn’t?

Horse racing is as dead as boxing.

steve

May 5th, 2009
3:26 pm

Glad you noticed Andruw. Ranger players and coaches are also raving about his attitude and work ethic. I wish him well though it still pains me to see him in anything other than a Brave uniform.

JLK

May 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

You mean that photo isn’t from the pre-prom photo shoot Saturday evening? (BTW, I was assured no alcohol was consumed.)

Joey

May 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Billy, Uh… I don’t think anyone fired Favre. He keeps quitting, then gets someone in his family to start rumors that he will wants to play. I’m with Jeff on this one, just stay gone Brett.

truth-serum

May 5th, 2009
5:02 pm

HEY SCHULTZ, HERES SOMETHING FOR YOU TO PROVE YOUR HATE.

Dungy has ‘positive meeting’ with Vick in Kansas prison
By D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

Dungy has ‘positive meeting’ with Vick in Kansas prison
Fans can watch new Falcons during mini-camp
Cowboys staffer paralyzed after facility collapses
• More Falcons
Vick, who is serving a 23-month sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation, is set to be released to home confined on May 20. He is scheduled to be released from federal custody on July 20.

Dungy, who led the Colts to a Super Bowl title, retired in January.

IM SURE YOU ARE SEETHING.

Cuz

May 5th, 2009
5:41 pm

Jan you ought to know about gelding. You gelded the entire UGA football program.

Cuz, UGA Ag Grad ‘83

SugarHillDawg

May 5th, 2009
6:07 pm

Schultz ought to know about geldings. He is a human version of on! He writes about sports but he insults hunters and Nascar fans. Typical limp-wristed LIBERAL! He should write about books in the Sunday Living Section.

JLK

May 5th, 2009
6:29 pm

SugarHillDawg, are you saying a man is less than a man if he doesn’t like Nascar? REAL sports are about physical agility, strength, speed and skill, not $200K props that make a man seem fast. Typical thick-necked “conservative” thinking that driving a car painted like a box of laundry soap makes a man important. Borrrrrrrrriiiiiiing!

Jeff Schultz

May 5th, 2009
6:31 pm

Cuz: Awesome line!

Bugkiller: If you were a gelding, you would care.

JLK: Were you at my daughter’s prom? Dead man.

Truth: How does Tony Dungy visiting Michael Vick in prison prove my hate?

SugarHillDawg: Don’t know about NASCAR fans but yeah I’ll insult hunters all day long. Go out and kill the deer with your hands instead of hiding in a tree with a Bambi blaster. Oh, tough guy.

Mac

May 5th, 2009
7:05 pm

I actually own a gelded thoroughbred with a similarly unimpressive resume. Maybe it’s time to take him back to the track and see if he’s improved after several years of grazing.

Jeff Schultz

May 5th, 2009
7:49 pm

Sure. Castrate the horse so you can make $27. I’m sure he’d sign off on that.

Ted Striker

May 5th, 2009
11:13 pm

I got a ‘brats’ for the VS girlies.

EAST ATLANTA HAWKS FAN SINCE 1971

May 6th, 2009
1:18 am

PLEASE YOU DEER BEAR BIRD AND FISH KILLERS LEAVE MIKE VICK ALONE WHEN HE GETS OUT,BECAUSE I FIND IT VERT FUNNY THAT YOU SARAH PALIN MOOSE AND WOLVES KILLERS SUPPORTERS HAVE THE HEADS OF ALL THE ANIMALS THAT YOU ALL HAVE KILLED ON YOUR WALLS AT HOME,BUT YOU CAN POINT THE FINGER AT MIKE VICK,AT LEAST HE BURIED HIS ANIMALS YOU GUYS HAVE YOURS ON THE WALL STRANGE VERY STRANGE IN DEED.

P.S. JEFF SCHULTZ FIRE YOURSELF PLEASE.

brAves Sucios

May 6th, 2009
4:38 am

Every time I hear the new Favre radio ad I imagine the last line as “when I find something I like doing, I do it way past the time I should in all good sense walk away and leave it be.” Makes me afraid to buy a tractor in case it stops running good but insists on cutting my neighbor’s grass, then dies again, then goes and starts cutting my OTHER neighbor’s grass, being real noisy all the while.

Mike Vick sucks.

Evander has heart, but he was a dirty fighter all along.

Brats are delicious.

I’ve touched all the bases I care to tonight, y’all sleep tight.

David Walker

May 6th, 2009
9:19 am

hate to disappoint but the stud’s stuff is diluted about 10 to 1 then the mares get a share. So maybe 150 mares, but not 150 of the events you are thinking of

Jeff Schultz

May 6th, 2009
9:37 am

East Atlanta: That means I would have to give myself a buyout, but I’m not sure how that would work, tax-wise. I’ll get back to you on that.

brAves Sucios: You went 3-for-5 with an RBI.

David: Diluted “stuff” …. . OK, you just crossed the eeeeoooo ine.

Kelley

May 6th, 2009
9:56 am

Brett Favre is the Roger Clemmons of football (w/o the drug use, as far as we know).

Some people can’t take not being in the spotlight.

Part of me wants to be happy for Andruw, but part of me doesn’t b/c, like so many others, he bailed Atl for more money than he deserved (Smoltz, Tex).

Rocky Redwood

May 6th, 2009
10:09 am

Yes, BugKiller. Tavares Jackson does look bad to me.

GeoffDawg

May 6th, 2009
2:12 pm

I think you mean your “esteemed” colleague Mark Bradley.

wxwax

May 6th, 2009
2:14 pm

I agree completely, stars miss the limelight. But Favre is only the latest example. Namath hobbling in LA was sad. Jordan playing for the Wizards only somewhat less so.

It can make for a messy spectacle. But remember, the drive that made these guys special is the same drive that makes hard for them to recognize when it’s over.

And I have to think that the way he played for the first half of last year, before he got hurt, only cements Favre’s conviction that he can still play.

Here come some big ifs: if Favre signs with the Vikes, and if he stays healthy all year, then they could be a very, very good team. He really is the only thing that team is missing. And if it all works out for the best, then imagine what sports columnists will be forced to write? :-)

Cuz

May 6th, 2009
11:25 pm

Jeff, at fifty I think my deer wrangling days are over. I did eat a deer burger for supper, delicious. For the record, I have no dead animals on my wall. I eat any and everything I shoot, except for water moccasins when I fish.

East Atlanta Hawk fan, I would respect Mike Vick alot more if he had ate the dogs he killed. Since he and I are equal in your view.

Rednecks. We don’t want to be understood, we just want to be left alone.

Paddy

May 7th, 2009
5:46 pm

Cuz… help me out here. I love to hunt and I hate NASCAR. I love Farve but hate Vick. I am confused. Just where do I stand on the acceptance meter. Maybe you need more info on me? I love football hate basketball. Talk to me….

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