By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

So, apparently you didn't watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Or at least 92.6 percent of you didn't because NBC only registered a 7.4 rating for the race, its lowest ever.

Mint julep
AP Photo/Brian Bohannon
Only $1000 a pop and $50 a sip.

Despite the lack of interest, the Kentucky Derby is still an important sporting event. Why? I have no idea. But it is. Maybe it's the fancy hats. I'm not sure. But if you consider yourself a sports fan, the Derby is required viewing.

Yet most people don't watch it. Lucky for you, though, I kept track of NBC's entire hour-and-a-half broadcast. So just read below and you'll be up to speed and ready to (not) watch the Preakness.

0:00 -- Bob Costas welcomes viewers to the Kentucky Derby. Thank you, Bob. And welcome to my living room.

0:02 -- First up is a feature story about a trainer (Michael Matz) who saved three children from a plane crash that killed 110, a jockey (Alex Solis) who broke his back, and another trainer (Dan Hendricks) who is paralyzed from the waist down. It turns out that the piece ends in some sort of inspirational manner, but by that time I've downed four mint juleps to drown out my depression.

0:06 -- The logo of Yum! Brands -- parent company of KFC, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell -- flashes on the screen. Yum! is the Derby's first-ever presenting sponsor, and just by viewing the company's logo you ingest 45 grams of saturated fat.

0:07 -- Shots of women drinking mint juleps while wearing stupid hats. The logical conclusion is that you have to be hammered to willingly put on such stupid hats.

0:07 -- Hey, it's celebrity sightings! There's Serena Williams. (Or is that D'Brickashaw Ferguson?) She's obviously training hard to rehab from her injuries. And there's Dennis Hopper. He seems excited that he's still considered a celebrity.

Serena Williams
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images
Serena managed to pull off another fashion disaster.

0:08 -- The current odds for all the horses flash on the screen. Apparently there is betting involved with this event. Who knew?

0:09 -- Tom Hammond is joined on NBC's set by former jockey Gary Stevens. They are surrounded on all sides by hundreds of roses. It's really quite romantic.

0:11 -- A piece runs on the importance of the first turn. And after seeing the piece, I agree that it's an important turn. In fact, it's easily among the top four most important turns in the race.

0:14 -- Live shot of the jockeys' locker room. Amazingly, not a single jockey is seen forcing himself to vomit.

0:15 -- Trainer Bob Baffert is interviewed with his son Bode on his lap. He says his son is named for Bode Miller. He does not appear to be joking.

0:20 -- It's a feature story on Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz. (For the record, I'm picking Barbaro to win. Probably by a good six and a half lengths after taking the lead on the final turn.)

0:28 -- Here's a shot of all 20 jockeys posing for their official Kentucky Derby photo. This picture also doubles as the full cast photo from "Willy Wonka."

0:34 -- The horses begin walking from the stables to the track. I get a sense that the animals are somehow not grasping the importance of this race.

0:40 -- Costas interviews John McKee, the jockey for Lawyer Ron. Costas stands a good foot taller than McKee and appears to outweigh him by a good 50 pounds. The interview ends abruptly when a slight breeze kicks up and McKee is taken away.

0:45 -- Stevens presents four factors necessary for a jockey to win the race. Not presented are the two factors a horse needs to remember: (1) run really fast, and (2) don't break your leg because they'll kill you.

0:46 -- The odds are updated again, and Deputy Glitters is at 60-1 now. That means if you bet $100 on Deputy Glitters you lose $100.

0:48 -- Barbaro is shown bucking wildly in his stall as his handlers try to calm him. Ridiculous. I don't remember horses acting like that when I was a kid. Just another example of a spoiled modern athlete.

Jockey Edgar Prado aboard Barbaro
Mike Ehrmann/WireImage.com
Even Barbaro looks like he needed a stiff drink.

0:52 -- The jockeys begin filing past fans on their way out to the track. Some never make it as they're scooped up by fans, given a lamp to hold and then placed in someone's front yard.

0:54 -- An NBC reporter interviews Michael Trombetta, trainer for Sweetnorthernsaint. And as everyone knows, Sweetnorthernsaint was sired by the great thoroughbred Usesnopunctuation.

1:00 -- The University of Louisville marching band performs "My Old Kentucky Home." Outside of ogling Ashley Judd, there is nothing that bonds Kentuckians more than this song.

1:01 -- Ludacris and one of the ZZ Top guys are pictured side-by-side signing the words to "My Old Kentucky Home." God is dead.

1:08 -- Please kill me now. It's May 6 and there's an ad for the "Manning Bowl" on Sept. 10 -- just 127 days away.

1:09 -- Back from commercial, Costas tells us about the 50 mint juleps being sold for charity at the Kentucky Derby this year at $1,000 each. I'll buy all 50 if it means no more "Manning Bowl" commercials.

1:11 -- As the horses prepare to be loaded into the starting gate, we hear from NBC's Donna Barton Brothers, who is reporting on horseback. For my money, she's consistently the best sports broadcaster on horseback in the business. It just takes some time to get used to her doing it for NBC's hockey coverage.

1:13 -- The horses are loaded into the starting gate. Apparently, horses will only follow men wearing blue Visa windbreakers into a starting gate. Interesting horse fact that I did not previously know.

1:14 -- And they're off. Sinister Minister takes the early lead. Sarah Jessica Parker is a close second.

1:14 -- There's lots of galloping. Sarah Jessica Parker breaks a heel and goes down in turn two.

1:15 -- Barbaro takes the lead on the final turn. A track worker shoots Sarah Jessica Parker.

1:16 -- Barbaro wins in a time of 2:01.36. The "most exciting two minutes in sports"? Maybe. I'll give them that. But that last 1.36 seconds was pretty boring.

1:30 -- Barbaro is hyped as a serious Triple Crown threat. Perhaps, but I'm guessing that if it were up to him, he'd rather skip the rest of the Triple Crown schedule and just be put out to stud immediately.

Headlines …

Ricardo Mayorga pummeled by Latin Grammy nominee

Michelle Wie becomes the first woman to ever finish 12 shots back at an Asian Tour event

John Daly goes "all-in" at casino buffet

NC State hires its Plan R-32.6 (d), Sidney Lowe

Clippers early favorite to beat Lakers in "Battle for L.A."

Three Things I Thought I Thought While Wearing Silk and Whipping a Horse …

1. I took a trip to Philadelphia this weekend to take in the Barry Bonds festivities. Every time Bonds came up to the plate, he was booed. And every time he ran out to left field, he was booed. The weird thing was, Phillies reliever Ryan Franklin wasn't met with any hostility when he came in to pitch the ninth inning of Sunday night's game. I guess that means that Philadelphia fans despise those who are rumored to have used steroids but have never failed a drug test (Bonds), but are perfectly happy to cheer for those who have actually tested positive for steroids (Franklin). Either that, or even Philadelphia fans find it cruel to boo a guy with a 36-52 career record, even if he's been busted for steroids.

2. An article in USA Today last week highlighted the issue of athletes getting preferential treatment in how they serve court-ordered community service. The example cited as the most grievous was NASCAR driver Kurt Busch getting to knock off community service time from a drunk driving stop by throwing out the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Now normally I would agree that it's not right for an athlete to be "punished" by throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game. But I actually saw tape of Busch throwing his supposed "pitch," if it can even be called that. Everyone did. It was all over "SportsCenter" and the Internet. And while it may have been more appropriate for Busch to pick up trash along the side of a road for an hour, it is a far greater punishment that he was emasculated in front of the entire country by his inability to throw a baseball. Regardless of what else he does in life, I'll forever think of him as that NASCAR driver who is the owner of the worst throwing arm I've ever seen. Actually, that's not true. First I'll think of him as that NASCAR driver whose ears were so enormous that he had surgery to pin them to his head. Then I'll think of him as the owner of the worst throwing arm in history. But you get my point.

3. For all of her abilities, Michelle Wie has developed a reputation in the golf community for ducking tournaments that would pit her against some of her more accomplished teenage rivals, such as Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer. And it happened to a degree again over the weekend. The 16-year-old chose to compete against low-level male pros in an Asian Tour event in South Korea when she could have stayed home and taken on legends like Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in the inaugural Shoot Your Age Championship. But she didn't. And that speaks volumes about her. If Wie is unable to beat men in their 70s, 80s and 90s, then what chance does she really have of ever competing on the PGA Tour? So I'm calling you out as a media-created fraud, Michelle Wie. Either shoot your age or go away.

DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.




DJ_Gallo
DJ
Gallo
DERBY RECAP