The Sheets

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 28, 2009 in General Discussion, Kentucky Derby | No Comments >>

I have a friend who loves the Derby. The race that comes once a year not only brings him fond memories, but time he spent with his father. Those are the times that matter. For the best two-minutes in sports, these two fans will be forever connected.

His father was a longtime fan. He was the kind of guy that held a Derby party that the neighbors starting looking forward to attending in January. He decked out the house, and got into his garb. Nothing was left unturned. It was like being there without the traffic and hustle.

He started writing a seasonal packet with all of the info any player could want to know about their runner. He went in-depth, and each year more and more people attended. The “sheets” became legendary.  When guests would tell their friends, they would request a copy of the handicapping tool. It began to grow so large that it extended to new friends, and people he had not met. The best part was sharing the love of racing, and one read would have you asking to be on the list. Oh, and once your name was added to the list, it is on there forever…..

As time passes, we gain and lose things. The great equalizer takes people from us, and leaves in the wake to push forward. It is like being a rock that is chipped away slowly when we lose that person who gives us meaning.

After a period of time, and many people talking about the good old days of the yearly publication, his son decided to carry-on the tradition. He wanted to keep his father’s dream alive, and begin his own tradition.

The publication is one that could rival many of the rags that I read daily. It has every component needed to give an analysis, and even has a section dedicated to his father’s past selections, and his own famous winners. That is the best part. I love to see the father-son connection continued for as long as the racing gods will allow.

Each year, I find myself waiting for this publication. I really look forward to hearing who, what, when, and why he likes which runner. This gets me in the mood. For years, the week of the Derby has been special; one that takes me back to making $2 wagers with my dad. I guess at the end of the day, it is not important if he won, but that this tradition continues. It is a rite of spring, it is a tradition continued, and is a bond between father and son that lasts forever….