Sports that feature an animal or machine (I'm looking at you NASCAR) don't deserve a place at the table with real sports like football, baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, or curling.
I think most of America knows this to be true, yet each year we continue to tune in to the 138th running of the jockey-carrying derby on NBC. The big hats, the bubbly drinks, and the tiny men in spandex -- people just can't get enough.
Actually, yes. Yes they can.
The novelty of horse racing on television is one of the driving forces of the interest of humans. It's the principle of scarcity where something we are rarely exposed to gains value to us. It's why ABC's Wild World of Sports doesn't exist -- the same reason we love the Olympics. It's the opposite of taking something for granted.
But I want to take horse racing for granted and I do at every turn -- all the way down the stretch and into the barn.
The recent triple crown chase by I'll Have Another was abruptly ended by an injury that surfaced just prior to the final race. Prior to withdrawing from the Belmont Stakes, the North American Thoroughbred came from behind to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The story resonated throughout the sports world with each passing race.
Riveting, I know. But a week after the final race and everyone has forgotten how excited they pretended to be the past month or two. Maybe it's because we'd love to keep talking about this triple crown season, but we're too focused on the rest of the racing schedule to dwell on the past -- right?
After you've wrapped your brain around what that looks like you'll have come to your senses. We don't watch horse races because we admire the athlete or the back-story. We can't relate to, bond with, or legitimately care about a creature the same way we do our favorite teams and stars in the realm of sports. Especially when the four-legged athletes span a career that lasts one or two years -- maybe.
The American public does not legitimately care about horse racing. We enjoy the opportunities and side-shows that come with it.
When next year's triple crown races start again I'll do what I always do this time of year.
I'll Skip Another.
Where does horse racing rank in your sports-viewing life?
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @long_snapper.