By Steve Czaban Special to Published Jun 11, 2008 at 5:25 AM

Big Brown's Belmont collapse was amazing in that it included a 3-in-1 combo platter of humiliation in sports.

1. He choked under pressure.

2. His trainer practically begged for bad karma, and got it.

3. He flamed out, finishing dead last.

Could we have allowed Dennis Green to conduct the post-race press conference, just for fun? Can you imagine if Denny had boxed a few hundred-dollar three-way with Big Brown on top?

"Da Tara was who we thought he was! We had him in the backstretch, and WE LET HIM OFF THE HOOK!"

After the race, everybody was playing armchair vet, trying to figure out what happened. Was the horse too hot? Did it train properly? What about the fact he hadn't gotten his little booster of Winstrol in a month?

The trainer, Rick Dutrow quickly said the lack of steroids had "nothing" to do with the tank job. Of course. He was just taking steroids to add shine to his brown coat. Right. Horses, like humans, use steroids for one reason, and one reason only: they work.

So a lack of steroids had SOMETHING to do with the outcome, we just don't know exactly how much?

Oh wait, hold on. I have some e-mails coming into this column...

Come on. Steroids can't make you a better thoroughbred. Just like steroids can't help you hit a curveball, punt a football, swim faster, or jump higher.

Signed: Barry Bonds, Todd Sauerbrun, Michelle Smith, and Marion Jones.

That bitch cost me a lot of money. I would have drowned his ass.

Mike V. -- Leavenworth, KS

For the record, I never saw Big Brown at my pool party. At least not the horse by that name.

Signed: Jose Canseco

I'm just glad Big Brown wasn't called before Congress. It would have really sucked to know less English than a horse.

Signed: Sammy Sosa

In case anybody is wondering, I was nowhere near Belmont Park on Saturday.

Signed: NBA referee Dick Bavetta

Seriously, though, this choke will go down as one of the all time greats in sports. It's like Greg Norman was riding the horse, while wearing jockey silks in Buffalo Bills colors.

In baseball, superstitions rule. You don't talk about no-hitters in progress, consecutive-game hitting streaks, and for God's sake, don't change your underwear when the team is winning.

In other sports, when somebody starts talking smack, you worry about the so-called "bulletin board effect" which -- on its face -- is totally irrational. Professional athletes are not sufficiently motivated to beat another team unless somebody says something inflammatory and someone tacks it next to a wall next to the urinal.


Horses don't have bulletin boards next to their oat barrels, and when they try to pin things up with their hooves it's just a mess. Therefore, I'm going to assume that Da Tara didn't read Dutrow's comments about a "foregone conclusion" and become inspired / pissed off enough to run the race of his life at 38 to 1.

Now that the mud and tears have dried, Dutrow is blaming jockey Kent Desormeaux.

Of course. Desormeaux choked, not Big Brown.

In the epic movie "Glengarry Glen Ross," Al Pacino rips office sales manager Kevin Spacey for killing a deal by opening his mouth prematurely. "Do not open your mouth, if you do not know ‘the shot'!"

Dutrow needed that drilled into his brain before this one. It would have at least relieved some pressure on Desormeaux, and lowered everybody's expectations. While Lou Holtz was a classic "aw, shucks" coach before even routine games, maybe a little Lou would have gone a long way.

You know, something along the lines of "This is the hardest one to win, and there's a reason why the Triple Crown is so revered. We're prepared for a fight, but we plan to win it."

Instead, a foregone conclusion has turned into another cautionary warning in sports: shut your mouth until the check has cashed.

Steve Czaban Special to

Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.