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Entries in Ramzy Nasrallah (3)


7 Things We Hate About the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLV Logo

One Great Season

Life is a constant struggle for the eternal contrarian: In a matter of days, much of the world will gather in its bars, living rooms and thatched huts to consume the Sport of Kings' pinnacle event. Despite the pageantry, the gambling, the gluttonous food and alcohol consumption and each of the 30-second commercials (Talking babies + talking animals = ABSOLUTE GENIUS) that cost far more than you’ll ever be worth, there's so much to hate about the Super Bowl.

You're surrounded by people in your life who live for the Super Bowl. Contrarians like us who despise it must stick together, because while football is the lifeblood of the American way, the Super Bowl absolutely sucks.

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10 Things You Hate About ESPN

He's baaack. Ramzy Nasrallah, star contributor at, told me he couldn't participate in last week's OGS Best & Worst of ESPN survey because he had far more than just a few votes in mind. So here's a full-on, very entertaining, anti-WWL rant that Ramzy was nice enough to cook up exclusively for One Great Season readers.


One Great Season

Everyone hates ESPN.  Everyone needs ESPN.  The Worldwide Leader is basically the dentist, except you go there daily instead of every six months. You don't necessarily hate ESPN's televised poker, bland radio shows like "Mike & Mike" that have no value or Colin Cowherd because ultimately, they're all avoidable. Out of site, out of mind, right?

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Talking Derby Without Sounding Like a Horse's Ass

Kentucky Derby

One Great Season

Unless you're a Kentuckian, a committed horse-racing aficionado, a professional gambler or simply the type who refuses to miss a huge party, this weekend's Kentucky Derby is about to sneak up on you yet again.

Unlike New Year's Eve, which always occupies the same day, Derby Day shifts annually around the first weekend in May, and unlike the Super Bowl, it's not the culminating event of a sport you've been following for several months, as the Derby is just the first leg of the Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness and the Belmont. Being Derby ignorant is one step away from hating America. You're on a slippery slope to Gitmo.

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Derby Day at Churchill Downs attracts well over 150,000 people every year and has a culture all its own. Yet you know nothing about it. Sure, you understand it's a horse race and you may have yelled, "Down The Stretch They Come" like a douchebag once when you accidentally happened to catch it live at a sports bar, but aside from that, the Derby is a mystery to you. You're better than that. Even if you aren't, you should be.

Kentucky Derby

Here's a little sound-byte primer for you, equus ignoramus, so that you can come across as just a little more cultured in between Jager bombs on Saturday afternoon:

The Race

Often called "The most exciting two minutes in sports," as the winner typically crosses the finish line in 120-125 seconds. The first-ever Derby winner, Aristides, finished in a sluggish 2:37, while last year's winner, Mine That Bird, finished in 2:02.  Performance enhancers of the pharmaceutical and technological variety are not only pervasive, but generally encouraged in horse racing. All horses in the Derby are 3-year-olds, so you can only run in it once, and -– that's right, professor –- you can only win it once, too. Churchill Downs has a bunch of races that precede the main event, so there's plenty of time for lubrication prior to the grand denouement. The women in attendance traditionally wear sun dresses, big hats and sunglasses (also known as "the devil's disguise" since the costume serves as a disingenuous performance enhancer for unattractive women) and nobody in the infield has less than a .2 BAC after 11 a.m.  The rest is details.


The 1973 winner of the Derby and the most ridiculous athlete in American history, horse category. Still holds the all-time Derby and Belmont records. Secretariat steadily increased his speed in the race, running each quarter segment of the Derby faster than the one previous en route to the win, a rarity in horse racing. He won the Derby and the Preakness by a relatively close two-and-a-half lengths, and then with all of the pressure in the world to win the Triple Crown, absolutely destroyed the field in the Belmont, winning by 31 lengths. The only non-human member of the Kentucky Hall of Fame spent the final 16 years of his life in the bedroom, nailing fillies daily without prophylaxis. Winning the Triple Crown means never having to pay for dinner or say please ever again.


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The dominating 2006 winner of the Derby who shattered his leg two weeks later in the Preakness, which led to his untimely death from laminitis the following year. Related to several other famous and recent Derby winners, including Big Brown, Smarty Jones and Funny Cide. Kentucky has a very rich horse culture, and every Kentucky citizen either owns a horse or is related to someone who does; this is not conjecture, it's scientific. Barbaro's death, for many Kentuckians, was like the passing of a family member, as his worsening condition was reported daily in both the Kentucky and national media until his demise.  Joking about Barbaro in mixed company is generally unadvised. Barbaro's remains are interred in front of Churchill Downs beneath a bronze statue of him. He's more popular than you'll ever be.


Betting on horses comes in several different flavors.  Win, place and show are simply the first-, second- and third-place finishers. You can bet on each individually or in a group. For example, if you box a trifecta bet, you pick three horses you think will finish in the top three and if they do so in any order, you win. A straight trifecta bet means picking the first, second and third horses correctly. A superfecta is doing this successfully with the top four. Superfecta is Latin for "sucker bet," but because you can place one for less than a dollar, it's cheap entertainment. 

Mint Julep

The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. It's a recipe that takes delicious bourbon and turns it into something that closely resembles Scope mouthwash. A julep is made by combining bourbon, water, sugar and mint -- basically a Bluegrass Mojito. If you're going to make the trip to Kentucky, you're going to be enticingly close to both good bourbon (neat or with rocks) and value bourbon (Coke, julep or otherwise). If you have the means, get your hands on some Van Winkle (but casually refer to it as "Pappy" to avoid ridicule) and do not julepify it for God's sake.

Dancer's Image

The only horse to ever win the Derby, only to be disqualified after anti-inflammatory drugs were found in his celebratory piss test. Had Dancer's Image won last year's Derby, he wouldn't have been DQ'd because what was illegal in 1968 is now totally permissible. So if you're a horse and you're reading this, no more Golden Seal with your phenylbutazone cocktails, baby; prohibition is over! 

The Oaks

The race that takes place on Derby eve, this Friday.  Not as well-attended as the Derby itself -- only 100,000 or so bother to attend this, making it only slightly more popular than the Ohio State spring game -- but nonetheless it still outdraws both the Preakness and the Belmont. Last year's winner, Rachel Alexandra, went on to win the Preakness. Just as girls named Rachel are usually hot, fillies named Rachel almost always win big horse races. Again, scientific.

Who Will Win in 2010?

Generally speaking, all who enjoy outdoor cocktails with the sun blasting on their faces are the big winners this Saturday, but as far as the 2010 Derby finishers, I'm going with Dean's Kitten to win, Endorsement to place and Setsuko to show. Feel free to bogart my picks, but please remember to send some Pappy my way -- 23-year, if you can get it -- if they pay off for you.

Ramzy Nasrallah is a senior staff writer for ESPN Affiliate You can follow him on Twitter @ramzyn.