With all due respect to Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and all the other young bucks who were supposed to be the "next Tiger," he remains the best-known and most riveting player on the planet, even at 42.
The premature retirement of Justify is only the latest example of thoroughbred racing's unique dilemma. It is a business more than a sport. And that can break the hearts of those who appreciate the majesty of the animals and the opportunity to bet on them.
Billy Hamilton is arguably the most exciting player in the major leagues. Yet when the All-Star Game is held Tuesday, Hamilton will not be on the National League bench alongside with Reds' teammates Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez.
The last time I checked, there were 73 days and change until UofL and Alabama kick it off. That's a lot of time for the newspaper columnists and radio talk-show hosts to examine the possibilities from every conceivable angle.
I've felt all along that Tom became the victim of his success and the power that came with it. He created a cult of big donors who were more loyal to him than to UofL. And that created a lot of resentment within the faculty and administration.
In the royal family of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness is the disheveled uncle who stumbles into the party reeking of National Premium beer and wearing clothes that came from the Salvation Army.
Memo to the owners, trainers, and jockeys of the 19 thoroughbreds who finished behind Justify in the 144th Kentucky Derby, which also will be known henceforth as The Derby from Weather Hell: Take your excuses to somebody who cares.
It seems as if the chances of none of the Kentucky Derby's main contenders were compromised by the draw for post position, but you never know what to expect when 20 thoroughbreds break from the starting gate and begin looking for position.
If you're in the barn area at Churchill Downs this week, don't bother looking for Brad M. Kelley, the owner of Calumet Farm. He's not here. And he won't be here Saturday when his homebred Bravazo runs in the 144th Kentucky Derby.
It was a season without celebration until the National Invitation Tournament, of all things, came along to pump a lot of unity, pride, and fun – mostly fun – into the University of Louisville men's basketball team and its bruised and battered fan base.
I understand UofL fans' disappointment, but I also can't criticize the tournament committee's decision. One of Denny Crum's favorite sayings was, "You get what you earn." That's not always true, of course, but in this case it is.