For 28 years, jockey Anthony Knott raced horses with the same result: Not Anthony. Twenty-eight years without a victory -- it was enough to make sure the English dairy farmer kept his day job.
But last Thursday, Knott finally broke through, winning the first race of his career -- an event that proved so personally exciting, Knott stood up in his irons prematurely to wave to the crowd and was nearly overtaken in the final furlong.
“I'm a bit unaccustomed to victory,” Knott told the Daily Mail, “and as I was coming into the final part of the race there was a massive roar from the crowd.
"It was just instinct to stand up and give them a wave, I wasn't thinking straight for a minute.
“Then I thought, 'Oh, God, it's not finished yet,' and I could hear another horse coming up behind me so I sat back down and got on with it.”
Knott, 44, has decided to celebrate his victory with retirement.
"I'm over the moon -- 28 years is a long time to wait for a victory,” he said. “I just wanted to win one race and I've done it now, so I think I'll leave it at that.”
What major league baseball franchise lost seven consecutive World Series games by one run?
Not a Cleveland Indian
How desperate are the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitching help?
Monday, the team signed two 20-year-old pitchers from India who had never picked up a baseball before competing in a reality show in their home country earlier this year called “Million Dollar Arm.”
Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel were the top finishers in that show, which sought to find athletes who could throw strikes at 85 mph or faster. Neither threw hard enough to win the top prize of $1 million, but Singh earned $100,000 and Patel $2,500 plus his trip to the United States. Six months ago, both athletes moved to the United States and began working out with USC pitching coach Tom House.
Singh and Patel are believed to be first athletes from India to sign professional baseball contracts outside their country. The Associated Press reported the news in a story carrying the headline: “Pirates sign Indian -- not Cleveland -- pitchers.”
Pass the popcorn
The Oakland Raiders’ offense this season has been described as one-dimensional, no-dimensional and occasionally two-dimensional, but on Dec. 4 in a select few theaters, the Raiders will actually upgrade to three-dimensional.
In three theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, the Raiders' game against the San Diego Chargers that night can be seen in 3-D. The game is seen as a preliminary step in a long road to eventual regular 3-D broadcasts of NFL games.
Which raises the obvious question: Will the Raiders look any better viewed through blue- and rose-colored 3-D glasses?
The Philadelphia Phillies. In 1915 the Phillies lost Games 2,3 and 4 to the Boston Red Sox by 2-1 scores and Game 5 by a score of 5-4. In 1950 the Phillies returned to the World Series and lost Game 1 to the Yankees, 1-0; Game 2 by a score of 2-1; and Game 3 by a score of 3-2.
(Trivia question submitted by reader Charles Conner of Irvine.)
Just wondering: After the New York Jets’ victory over this season’s last remaining undefeated team, the Tennessee Titans, there were many references to the 1972 Miami Dolphins gathering again to pop celebratory bottles of champagne.
Those Dolphins completed a perfect 14-0 regular season and finished 17-0 overall with their Super Bowl victory over Washington. But last season, the New England Patriots eclipsed both those marks, completing a 16-0 regular season and running its record to 18-0 before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
Doesn’t that make any Dolphins champagne toast this season taste a little flat?
-- Mike Penner
Photo: Baseball scouts watched earlier this month as Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, both from India, worked out in Tempe, Ariz. Credit: Matt York / Associated Press