No one could have foreseen Secretariat's 31-length tour de force in the 105th running of the Belmont Stakes, least of all CBS racecaller Chic Anderson. And yet, writes Tim Layden for Sports Illustrated, “faced with a moment that was too large for words, Anderson found words just the same.”
Anderson's most widely-recognized words from that historic day are: “Secretariat is widening now. He is moving like a tremendous machine.”
“This is the killer line, delivered with rising enthusiasm,” Layden wrote. “Anderson took time to separate He from is, rather than smushing them into a conjunction. He punched the middle syllable of tre-MEN-dous and the last syllable of ma-CHINE. This was a bold line. Secretariat was going much too fast and might have blown up at any second, in which case tremendous machine would live on as a gaffe.”
“Such a rhythm to those words,” said race caller Tom Durkin. “You can say it over and over. But it absolutely could have gone south on him, if Secretariat had slowed. There was every reason to think it would go south on him. But Chic went all the way out on that limb.
“Secretariat's performance, Chic Anderson's performance … Those are the two greatest, ever, in their fields. Secretariat was remarkable that day, and Chic was up to the task.”
Read more at Sports Illustrated.
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