Monday, February 21, 2005

Stop the Jeff Gordon hating.

OK, Last Friday I said one of the Hendricks Motorsports racers would win the Daytona 500. I'm not going to say I called it though because I thought it would be Jimmie Johnson simply because he started in the front row.

But in a development sure to make most dyed in the wool NASCAR fans upset,
Jeff Gordon won Daytona for the Hendricks team, passing Dale "Stop asking me questions about my dad" Earnhart Jr. in the process. Which will lead to NASCAR Fan making excuses for Dale Junior and calling Gordon every name possible.

Now, I don't know much about NASCAR despite it's popularity. I don't know what a restrictor plate does, nor do I know anything about pit strategy or drafting. I don't even know half the drivers. I do know this: NASCAR Fan thinks Dale Junior is God and Jeff Gordon is the devil, and to them anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand NASCAR.

Case in point: If there's any contact and Dale Jr. instigates it, NASCAR Fan gives you the pat answer, "rubbing is racing". But when Jeff Gordon "rubs" someone, it's "Gordon was trying to wreck someone" and "Gordon should be black-flagged for that."

I was watching a race one time with a buddy who was into it, couldn't remember the race. where there was a huge wreck. Jeff Gordon couldn't avoid a car and got caught in it. Replays showed Jeff Gordon didn't cause this wreck, mind you.

The dude I was watching it with said, "Jeff Gordon caused another one."

"How did he cause the wreck?" I asked, slightly puzzled.

The explanation he gave me didn't work by any standard of logic or physics. I tried to explain this to him, and he just replied, "You just don't understand racing." Whatever.

I recognize the general "our team can do no wrong, but yours is a bunch of cheaters" attitude, because many hockey fans think the same way, regardless of your team affiliation. Any time a player cheap shots another player, fans of the first players' team will say, "That's hockey." But when it's their player getting the cheap shot, it's, "that is a bunch of cheaters." And anyone who disagrees, "doesn't know hockey."And that attitude, regardless of whether its from Detroit fan, Colorado fan, Toronto fan, or whoever, turns so much of the general public off of hockey, probably more so than the clutching and grabbing.

And I hope NASCAR Fan realizes that constantly sticking up for Dale Jr in this manner while trashing Jeff Gordon and all the other racers turns people off and limits it's growth potential.

OK State beats Texas Tech

In all fairness, it may have been too much to ask the Red Raiders to play 2 potential Final Four teams back to back. That said, Tech continues to prove its inconsistency. And they probably won't make the Sweet 16 playing this kind of basketball. They got Texas Tuesday and they need to right the ship quick.

NBA All Star Game

Well, the East Coast Thugs ...errrrrr... East All-Stars won, breaking the West Coast Thugs ...errrrrr... West All-Stars' win streak.

It was interesting that the halftime entertainment was country stars Big & Rich, they of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" fame. Naturally, the hip-hop crowd in attendance had no clue what to make of these guys. I guess Big & Rich play their own instruments too much for their taste.

Obituary

Author and part-time ESPN.com columnist
Hunter S. Thompson fatally shot himself yesterday and died at his Aspen home at age 67.

Even though we probably wouldn't see eye to eye on anything political, I would have liked to have met him because he was such a good writer. I doubt anything I write will ever be as ground-breaking as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But I can dream, can't I?''


Tomorrow: Big Monday
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