You get the sense that sports fans, always looking for something they haven't seen for a while or maybe have never seen, will be rooting for "I'll Have Another" on Saturday at the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes.
After all, it hasn't happened since 1978 and NBC put out a release saying that there have been 12 perfect games in Major League Baseball, nine 99-yard TD passes in the NFL, nine walkoff home runs in the World Series and five repeat Super Bowl winners since Affirmed ruled the horse racing world.
O'Neill is doing a media blitz and relishing it. He has become a celebrity thanks to his horse and enjoys the spotlight.
Some might find him smug; others may find him charming.
On NBC4's "Mike'd Up" show with Bruce Beck on Sunday night, O'Neill downplayed the allegations.
"It has been stressful, and tough and hurtful with a lot of stuff that has gone on that is untrue," O'Neill said cooly. "I know we play by the rules."
The potential taint of O'Neill shouldn't prevent Saturday's race from being one of the most-watched thoroughbred races ever, and NBC's family of networks is ready with an expanded 11-hour coverage package beginning with a documentary on the horse at 7:30 Thursday night on the NBC Sports Network.
Thumbs Up: To Scott Palmer, the former Channel 6 Action News sports anchor who is now the Phillies director of public affairs, for doing an excellent job emceeing the Curt Simmons Day festivities at Egypt Memorial Park on Saturday.
Palmer kept the lengthy program moving, while still able to keep it personal and poignant.
Also kudos to Service Electric and RCN for providing extensive coverage. RCN even showed the Blue Mountain League game that followed the ceremony.
The Simmons Day celebration was shown on "Behind the Pinstripes," the Phillies pregame magazine show broadcast on Sundays before games on WPHL-Channel 17. You'll eventually be able to see the segment on the Phillies website.
Thumbs Down: To all of the banter focusing on whether Flyers fans are rooting for the rival Devils or former Flyers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards who are members of the Kings. It seems like a media creation to spur more interest in the Stanley Cup finals when the truth seems to be that Flyers fans could care less about who wins. The minute their team is out, most fans tune out.
Where are they now? ESPN radio of the Lehigh Valley has begun a new feature on its "Happy Hour" show on Wednesday nights that will spotlight former area athletes. The segment began with an interview with former Parkland football standout Greg DeLong last week and will continue at 6 p.m. Wednesday with an interview with former Central Catholic basketball star Michelle Marciniak.
Other interviews are scheduled with former Allen football player and Super Bowl champion Nate Hobgood-Chittick and ex-Whitehall and Penn State basketball great Pete Lisicky.
If you miss any of the interviews, they will be archived on the station's website, http://www.espnlv.com.
Quick Clicks: • No sport is as dependent on one person to draw the masses like golf and Tiger Woods. His record-tying win on Sunday, especially with that amazing chip shot on No. 16, has people talking about golf again. The timing couldn't have been better for ESPN, good at overhyping everything anyway.
ESPN and NBC have opening-round coverage of the U.S. Open from the Olympic Club in San Francisco on June 14.
• The Awful Announcing website has revealed that Charissa Thompson has been named as the new co-host of ESPN's "SportsNation" where she will replace Michelle Beadle. Thompson, according to AA, is a former sideline reporter with Fox, the NFL Network and is best known for studio and sideline work on The Big Ten Network. Beadle has moved on to NBC.
The Miracle League: One more edition of The Morning Call's "Calling All Sports" will be shown on Service Electric TV2 next Monday at 8 p.m. It will feature a preview of The Miracle League of Northampton County that will open in September.
The show features Rick Agretto, the head of Special Education in the Bethlehem Area School District, along with committee member Chuck Frantz of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club, and Chuck Brady, vice president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
The Ripken Foundation has partnered with the Miracle League of Northampton County and Cal and Billy Ripken are expected to make an appearance at some point.
Also, look for the Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley to get some exposure during Service Electric's IronPigs coverage on Wednesday. The annual Miracle League appearance is always one of the players' favorite nights of the year.
Keith's Can't Miss
After Game 4 on Sunday set a ratings record for a NBA playoff game on cable, tonight's Game 5 between the Celtics and Heat figures to draw a crowd eager to see if LeBron fails to deliver in the clutch again.
Belmont Stakes offers chance to see horse racing history
« Previous Story More Topic pages Next Story »
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.