The 136th running of the Kentucky Derby happened this weekend and around here that is a holy day. After a day of drinking, snacking and imaginary betting we are happy to bring to you our annual Kentucky Derby Awards. This year the ridiculousness was flowing like our bourbon and we captured most of it to share with you. And now our round up of the filler surrounding the most exciting two minutes in sports. It won’t make up for the money you lost on Lookin At Lucky, it should at least make your morning less work filled.
The Chinese Water Torture Segment Award for Slow, Painful Death
Winner: That dreadful Top Chef segment with Al Roker
There’s a reason cooking competition shows are edited. Have you ever watched someone chop up a bunch of parsley or vegetables or whatever? Unless you’re at Benihana, it’s horrifically boring. Watching someone cook is generally boring which is why the only time you ever do that in real life is when you’re at a dinner party, and everyone feels awkward because they don’t know each other, so they gather around the kitchen where conversation takes care of itself and there’s plenty of wine.
Otherwise? Watching someone cook feels like it takes forever. And when you’ve got noted black hole of fun Al Roker there marshalling the proceedings, that’s a recipe for segment death. We don’t even remember what they were cooking, nor do we care. We just hope Al Roker ate something that day that made his baby fist-sized stomach ache later that night. Al Roker can suck it.
“Big Brown Upside Down” Annual Innuendo of the Year Award
Winner: The KY Derby written on the chalkboard during that classroom segment
We love the majesty of the Kentucky Derby and all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the crown jewel event in the Sport of Kings, but we’re definitely not above making fun of obvious innuendo offered by hopelessly earnest television commentators.
The “KY Derby” sounds like some gay endurance fuck session that takes place in an unmarked building on some special weekend each year, not the biggest horse race on the planet. This haphazard scrawl on the blackboard was only made more ribald by the inclusion of children in the shot. Our only hope is that at the next KY Derby, someone gets Big Brown Upside Down and a heaping helping of Kentucky Hot Brown. We call that the CJS Innuendo Trifecta, and it pays off 15-1. Booya.
Our Favorite Note of the Day Award
Winner: Slop scraper.
That’s all one of the bullet points says. We’re pretty sure it has something to do with the tractors used to smooth out the racetrack, but we prefer not to think about it too deeply. We just like seeing it there on the page. Slop scraper. That could have actually won the Big Brown Upside Down Award too.
The CJS Fail Award
Winner (Loser?): The CJS
Not only did Dagger have to work the day of the Derby forcing us to watch this thing on Tivo (which was actually better, we’re ashamed to admit), we haven’t even had time to properly research a bourbon cocktail to enjoy on Race Day. So instead of bringing two ways of preparing the Mint Julep or Official CJS Drink of Summer or the bizarre as fuck Ward Eight Cooler, we ended up drinking bourbon on the rocks, which, considering this is splendid Derby Day, is like getting a handjob on your wedding night.
Admittedly, the bourbon we bought was smooth and tasted great, but we let ourselves down with no new alcohol frontiers to travel. Our only saving grace was that our fridge contained 4 different kinds of beer: Smithwick’s, St. Pauli Girl, Colorado Native, and Del Norte Cinco. Of course, it was also that mixing of beers along with a hearty glass of whiskey that helped make us feel like butt the next day, but what’s a Derby Day without a resultant hangover too?
The Lazy Journalistic Crutch Award
Winner: Natalie Morales referring to Isaac Mizrahi as her “good friend”
Why do journalists always have to refer to other celebrities as their “good friends?” Do they fear the loss of credibility if we don’t subconsciously believe all famous people hang out drinking Roberto Cavalli Vodka in The Hamptons together? It’s this mental image that makes almost all of us hate celebrities that much more.
Why would Natalie Morales and Isaac Mizrahi be friends anyway? What could they possibly have in common? Natalie Morales is the peppy alternate news chick on the Today Show, and Mizrahi is another black-frocked freak fashion designer with atrocious looking hair. I’m pleased that he designed her dress, but can we just accept that these two people are famous and they don’t have to be friends? It’s like in the WWE whenever they had more than 3 Asian characters. Invariably, two of them had to be related. Why is this? It doesn’t even make sense.
The Best Summation of Every Athlete Interview Ever Award
Winner: This exchange.
Interviewer: Are you feeling any pressure?
Jockey: Yes, a lot of pressure.
Most journalists have no idea how to ask a decent question, and we suspect even if they do, most of them have given up after too many good, insightful gems are wasted on answers like that from athletes who can barely even respond to a question that has one layer of meaning.
It doesn’t even matter who had the exchange above. The point is, The Kentucky Derby distills sports into its most basic essences: Dumb animals seeing who can win a simple competition, two minutes of extreme exertion, a bunch of rich assholes trying to control that which is beyond control, and gambling. Horrible interviews are just a part of that. And we get it out on the table early. Excellent.
Most Out Of Place Sponsor Award
Winner: Yum! Brands
Horse racing is called the Sport of Kings. People show up to the Derby dressed to the nines in their Searsucker suits and giant hats, sipping mint juleps and making thousand dollar wagers. And what kind of food should be associated with a scene like this? How about Taco Bell, KFC or Long John Silver? Though after enough mint juleps and losing a ton of money making an ill advised wager, Taco Bell might be the right choice.
And if we were rich we would probably have our own Taco Bell in the CJS office, well only if Chick-fil-a turned us down. But Yum! Brands, you lose any chance of being considered classy when you make a sandwich using two pieces of chicken in place of the bun.
What Happened to “The Miracles” Award
Winner: Smokey Robinson
Smokey Robinson has shown up in a lot of places we’ve seen lately, which begs the question: What the hell happened to the other guys he got famous with? And for that matter, what happens to everyone else that gets stuck in a band named after the lead singer. Anyone wonder about The Heartbreakers? Or the guys who comprise “Band” in “The Steve Miller Band?” How’s about those black dudes that surround Dave Matthews? Or what if you’re not part of a band at all.
We saw Beck at Red Rocks, and as you’d expect, he had a backup band with him. Who the hell are these guys? Beck is obviously one guy, but he had four others with him. How do they feel about being hired guns? Do they just go from band to band, or is it just one set of shape shifting guys that play in every band from Andrew WK to Ben Folds Five?
Our money’s on the shape shifters, but that’s only because our lives are not science fiction-y enough for our tastes. Anyway, Smokey Robinson looked like a pimp yet again.
I Thought My Drunken Ass Wouldn’t Be On Television Award
Winner: Joey Fatone
Right before the race starts, Churchill Downs plays “My Old Kentucky Home” over the loud speaker, and the director pans through the crowd, the stands, and the luxury boxes to capture young and old, poor and rich, sober and fucking hammered alike belting out the classic tune. And every year, they find a celebrity who didn’t expect to be caught on camera sweating like Chris Farley with puffy red cheeks and disheveled hair rocking this song like a Sigma Nu brother jamming out to Van Halen’s “Panama.”
Last year it was Nick Lachey. This year it was yet another past his prime boy bander: Joey Fatone. With the exception of Timberlake, of all the boy band members from the last decade, I think Fatone would be the best one to hang out with. He had a killer sketch on Robot Chicken called “Enter the Fat One,” he always looks like he’s having a good time, and he doesn’t stink like douche like those poor idiots from the Backstreet Boys. He’d probably get all drunk with you and watch that awesome “Bye Bye Bye” video over and over again in his Ferrari, and then he’d probably fart and make a tasteless gay joke at Lance Bass’s expense.
Yeah, hanging out with Joey Fatone would be the tits.
The Man We Most Want To Be Award
Winner: Bob Costas
With all the recent flaws at NBC (read: Winter Olympic flubs; Tonight Show bungle) we can’t imagine the Derby on any other network. And we really can’t imagine any other host than Bob Costas. It just can’t be done, go ahead, try it. We’ll give ya a moment.
See, no one but Bob Costas fits into that position. With his soothing voice and his pleasant demeanor, he makes us feel at ease and more importantly, like we belong there. We would love to be that comforting and suave. While it would be fun to be a millionaire horse owner or look like Ashley Schaffer, by being Bob Costas we know we would get to see the best sporting events and all on NBC’s dime. We’ll take it!
Most Obscure Reference Look-A-Like Award
Winner: Tom McCarthy looking like Izzy Mandelbaum Jr.
The owner and trainer of General Quarters looks just like the son of the family of old guys who Jerry Seinfeld ends up putting in the hospital. How much would it suck to look like some secondary character from a ten year old episode of a sitcom? Getting weirdo TV nerds calling you out on it every one in 3,000 people.
It’s a good thing we weren’t the ones interviewing him. Asking him why he quit the crepe restaurant business to train a horse, or how long he and his family were laid up in the hospital after meeting Jerry. We do think we heard him say, “It’s go time” at the start of the race as well as faint chants of “Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum” while the horse was running.
Bringing The Derby Back To Baseball Award
Winner: Joe Torre
We’re always looking for an excuse to talk about baseball and this year’s Derby helped us out with that. Joe Torre ownza one of the horses who ran this year, Homeboykris. He says it was Don Zimmer who inspired him to become a horse owner, but we think he just wanted to manage something that was cleaner, smelled better, and easier to control than Manny Ramirez.
While we’re on baseball, did you guys see Ubaldo Last night hurling the ball up in the trip digits striking out a baker’s dozen? That was awesome! You can have your horse Torre, we’ll keep Jimenez. Homeboykris came in 16th, we’ll go ahead and predict the Dodgers will come in 16th as well, yeah that’s dead last in the NL.
What’s Up With Your Face Award
Winner: Tom Hammond
Seriously Tom, what’s up with your face? You appear to be in a constant state of shock. Perhaps you, like us, are amazed a major network will let you on TV. And during day time hours, there could be children watching, children who will now have nightmares. And what is going on in your eye region? Something about them looks very off. We can’t pinpoint exactly, but they’re weird looking. Something about them comes across as very effeminate and we’re creeped out by it.
Now this isn’t your fault per say, but maybe with your awkward face you should use a different microphone. The head set one you have makes it appear as though you have some giant cancerous growth on your cheek. Between the weird eyes and the faux mole you were like Fred Savage to our Austin Powers. Now knock it off so we can focus on what you’re saying.
Dagger & Hart
04 May 2010 CJS Staff