Three Cheers For Standards

We are not involved with Twitter but somewhere we saw that The Donald had tweeted about the Kentucky Derby and concluded that, “The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close!”  It happens in sports all the time that the best horse, dog, person, or team doesn’t win.  In some cases it is bad luck and in other cases they break the rules.  There were two cases of the latter that we observed yesterday.

The first was when Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) visited Bournemouth in a English Premiership soccer game the Spurs needed to and expected to win despite being the visitors.  The Spurs were third and Bournemouth 14th at the beginning of the match.  The Spurs needed a win to ensure playing in the lucrative Champion’s League next year while Bournemouth had no particular incentive.  The Spurs dominated most of the first half and only the heroics of Bournemouth’s debutant goalkeeper, Mark Travers, kept the game level.  Then, just before halftime, Son Heung-Min got a deserved red card for assaulting an opponent.  A red card means the player is out of the game and the team plays a man down for the rest of the game.  Two yellow cards equal a red so the coach, Mauricio Porchettino wisely, it seemed at the time, took out two players with yellow cards at halftime.  Yet one of the substitutes, Juan Foyth, earned a red card after just over two minutes of play in the second half.  The Spurs played nine versus eleven for almost the whole second half and finally gave up a goal in stoppage time to Nathan Ake (wouldn’t he look good in an Arsenal kit).  The Spurs were the better team but the referee, Craig Pawson, correctly enforced the rules that led to a different outcome.

The stewards at Churchill Downs did just what Craig Pawson did.  They enforced the rules under even more extreme pressure.  Maximum Security, one of the favorites, was first over the finish line but he clearly interfered with other horses near the top of the stretch.  Maximum Security was great coming down to the finish as he held off several strong bids including the long shot Country House who was second under the wire.  Maximum Security was, as The Donald said, a deserving winner of an exciting race.  But he interfered with and endangered horses earlier.  To almost everyone’s surprise the stewards did the right thing and disqualified Maximum Security making Country House the winner.

We wish The Donald was more attached to process rather than outcomes.  We want to remind him that it is about William Barr following process.  We think it is likely that William will find that some folks did not follow the correct processes.  But it is about doing it right like Craig and the stewards.  It is not about him bringing joy to The Donald.  We wish everyone on both sides of the aisle recognized that.