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The Texas Side Of Things

published: May 13th 2022
by: Jim Banner

I’m not sure how many of you watched the Kentucky Derby last weekend but for you that didn’t, it was a heck of a race.  In fact, it was possibly the greatest horse race I’ve ever seen!  The winner, Rich Strike, a last-minute addition to the race was an 80-1 underdog and yet he did the impossible by streaking by the leaders at unbelievable speed to win the prestigious race.  And the speed that Rich Strike exhibited at the finish line reminded me of an old joke.
    One day a little boy was sitting on the curb with a gallon of turpentine and shaking it up and watching all the bubbles.  In a little while, a priest came along and asked the little boy what he had.  The little boy replied, “This is the most powerful liquid in the world, it’s called turpentine.”
    The priest said, “No, the most powerful liquid in the world is holy water.  If you take some of this holy water and rub it on a pregnant woman’s belly, she will pass a healthy baby.”
    The little boy replied, “You take some of this here turpentine and rub it on a cat’s rear end and he’ll pass a Greyhound bus, I guarantee it!”
    That’s kind of what Rich Strike looked like passing the last two horses…like the jokey dabbed a little turpentine on his behind and he took off like a rocket!
     I think that people in general like an underdog and this race proved that every now and then, the underdog actually does get ahead and win.  Think about it.  The movies we admire, the different sports that we cheer for and the people that we admire most are ones that have overcome the impossible.  Some examples would be the 1980 Olympic Hockey team from the United States when they beat the Soviet Union…it was one of the biggest upsets in sports history.  Another is the movie, Rocky.  Though the acting may have been a little sub-par, who can forget how Rocky Balboa, a small time Philadelphia boxer, bleeding and basically blinded because of swollen eyes, came back with grit and courage to defeat the heavy weight champion, Apollo Creed. Then there is the Battle of the Bulge, called the greatest American battle of World War II by Winston Churchill.  It was Hitler’s last major offensive against the Western Front in which the German army attempted to split the Allies’ front lines located in an 85-mile line across Belgium.  Thirty Ger-man divisions encountered battle-fatigued American troops that were out-numbered and without adequate equipment and no support, in frigid weather.  The Americans held out for 40 days until air support and reinforcements could arrive.
    I’m not sure about you but that’s what makes the United States great!  We tend to support the underdog and celebrate their victories because in one way or another, most of us feel we are underdogs.  Most of us aren’t billionaires, movie stars, famous singers or star athletes.  Hopefully, we make an adequate salary, possibly had the opportunity to play a sport of some kind in school or maybe had a part in the high school play.  But we all dream of more and when we see or hear of someone unexpectedly finding success its exciting… because one way or another we are encouraged to keep trying to be a winner. 


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