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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth               by Randy Ooney




“A horse is a horse, of course, of course,” the famous opening line of the 60’s sitcom “Mr. Ed”.  The world has changed quite a bit since everyone had a horse parked in their garage and a by product called gasoline was burned off of petroleum to make oil suitable for use.  Since then, horses have been used for shows, Canadian police, Olympic Equestrian events, pulling Budweiser wagons, and pari-mutuel racing.

The occasional horse brushing gives me pause to remember the Minnesota State Open in 2006, which was held at Jack’s Place up in Brainerd.  In late February, our team happened to be on the same shift as two of the Lind’s Lakers teams, and in the doubles event, Jason Barnhouse and Carl Fietek  set a tournament record of 1584.  Jason’s effort was 279-300-259 - 838.  (I think he won a few brackets with that set).  Carl contributed 239-227-280 - 746.  When the high fives and accolades came out on the mnbowling forum, Carl humbly claimed he found a horse and rode him to the finish.  Jason considered changing his surname to Barnhorse.  Jason has relocated to Colorado now, but still makes an appearance now and then in the Twin Cities.  Meanwhile, Carl has assumed a new partner, jockey weight Matt McNiel, and we can officially name Smilin’ Carl the new horse of the duo, already nailing down a CBA doubles title.  But with each of them claiming recent CBA titles, it may be difficult to determine who will ride and who will run.

I have to consider Joe Nathan as a horse of recent memory.  The deep breaths and bubbling lips when he exhales kind of resemble My Friend Flicka.  Sure, he gave Arod a high hard one in the playoffs and took some blame, but remember Arod is paid 25 million a year to do that sort of thing.  Sometimes you have to tip your hat.  Judging by closer performances of other teams, it’s doubtful that the Twins would have an opportunity to blow a postseason game without Mr. Nathan.  When the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson breaks out and scampers 40 or 50 yards down the sidelines, you cannot help but think of Secretariat loping down the stretch at Churchill Downs about ten lengths ahead of the nearest competitor.  The Vikings have a bevy of good players, but Peterson gets my nod as the horse to ride to the Super Bowl.

There are a lot of exclusive screen names selected by those of us who use the forum.  I’m not sure how the tradition started, but it is the internet thing to do.  Some have an obvious meaning, others may only be known by the user.  Our friendly forum has only one Horsey, a friend, a prolific bowler, a teammate of many, and an all around good guy.  So good, in fact, that he may often be nominated but never selected as Turkey of the Year.  So prolific, that when he comes home for the holidays, he has to go around Kentucky for fear that someone may hook up a saddle and bridle and hang a bucket of oats on his ears.  So, because I can, I am proud to proclaim “Ol’ Dobber”,  Jim Dabe as Horse of the Year for 2009.  So next time he takes leave  from Tennessee, maybe he could sneak into West Virginia and Mine that Bird.

A horse walked into a bar, and the bartender asked, “Why the long face?”


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