The artwork of fiction is dead. Proust, Tolstoy, Atwood, flow over. While half of America slept, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 140-137 in recreation with four – remember them, you almost run out of palms – 4 additional time durations. That hasn’t taken place seeing that Dwight D. Eisenhower changed into the president. Yes, a man named Eisenhower changed into the president. NPR’s Tom Goldman is in what is beginning to appear to be named metropolis USA with organic ramps and fiddlehead ferns – Portland. Tom, thanks for being with us. And I’m breathless.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I would not leave out it.
SIMON: What a sport – what a game.
GOLDMAN: Three and a 1/2 hours of the game as a diversion, entertainment, unmitigated pleasure unless you’re from Denver.
SIMON: (Laughter) Pleasurable until the final second – final five.6 seconds, definitely – yeah.
GOLDMAN: The excellent summing up came from Portland head instruct Terry Stotts after the game. He said I haven’t any concept what befell inside the first 1/2 or the second one 1/2 or the primary 3 overtimes. Rodney Hood came in and played notable. It changed into a hell of a recreation. I’ve in no way been concerned in a recreation like that. It became an extremely good attempt through both groups. Rodney Hood, who he did point out, came into the game…
GOLDMAN: …Two mins left within the fourth overtime after sitting at the bench forever. He changed into the hottest participant on the courtroom. And he scored seven factors, which include a monster 3-factor shot at the cease, which pretty a great deal sealed it. Sadly, Scott, that leaves out so many different gamers…
GOLDMAN: …From each groups who competed magnificently. But if I’ve piqued your interest, set apart three 1/2 hours nowadays and watch a replay.
SIMON: On the alternative hand, it is just -game-to-one lead. Do the Blazers have enough within the tank?
GOLDMAN: I think both groups will summon the physical electricity. This is what they educate for. But I assume Portland has a mental advantage right now. Losing a game like that after that attempt is quite demoralizing. And Denver has to deal with that. And it likely places them in a extra inclined function. If the Blazers get by way of Denver, probably Golden State lurks inside the next round.
GOLDMAN: Blazer fanatics are just thinking…
SIMON: Lurks – Golden State looms.
GOLDMAN: Looms – but Blazer lovers are simply considering the day after today’s Game 4 against the Nuggets at this point.
SIMON: Kentucky Derby, of the path, nowadays – however, this yr’s race comes in the face of a whole lot of controversy surrounding the deaths of the greatest athletes in that game. And, of the path, I imply the horses.
GOLDMAN: Yeah. Today starts the Triple Crown length – 3 large races, the Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes, over the following month. This time continually captures even the casual racing fan. But as you say, horse racing already is within the highlight with the deaths of 23 horses in latest months at Santa Anita in Southern California. Those deaths triggered calls for reform – a number of it beginning to occur.
SIMON: Some modifications have been made, right?
GOLDMAN: Yeah. Well, Santa Anita has replied, setting into the area several changes associated with medicating racehorses. And simply this week, it changed into announced the music is going to begin using scan era to take a look at horses and diagnose accidents earlier than they end up catastrophic. That’s taken into consideration a very big deal. And on a larger stage, an business enterprise called the Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity – it is beginning a nationwide campaign to aid a modern-day invoice in Congress that could adjust racing and unify a really balkanized enterprise.
GOLDMAN: Thirty-eight states have raced. And there are 38 units of rules. And it makes it honestly difficult to get any form of degree handed, in particular, safety measures that could guard the horses.
SIMON: Something I’ve puzzled approximately in latest weeks – Tom, does horse racing have a problem the way football has trouble with concussions, that there is simply harm in the game itself?
GOLDMAN: That’s a certainly excellent query. There are folks who say that is genuinely the case and that horse racing ought to be abolished as it’s inherently cruel to the animals. But there are simply others, many within the enterprise, who say racing can go on safely without horses being mistreated. But if the enterprise desires to both gain lots of people and be humane in the direction of the animals at the equal time, it must be loads better. There must be a reform because, if the public loses interest, reform efforts stall. As one animal rights activist told me, complacency is the enemy of the horses. And that might doom a whole industry.