Monday, November 22, 2010

I don’t have to like Jimmie Johnson’s streak.

 I don’t have to respect it either and as a sports fan I resent being told that I need to.  Let me expand on that.. I , as a sports fan , do not have to accept Jimmie as the new god of nascar. Talented, yes I’ll give him that.  His crew chief is scary good to but Chad is always going to be considered a unapologetic cheat in my book so for now I’m focusing on Jimmie.  

Jimmie Johnson is a product of the new NASCAR , the chase era not the NASCAR that’s been around for 6 plus decades and ( hopefully) will be around many more.  I’m not writing this thinking I have the answers to fix the rating and attendance declines of the last few years. Or even fix the chase itself.  I’m just going to talk about Jimmie and why I don’t  have to cheer for him or even be amazed that he won it all , again.  Jimmie truly is killing my interest in this sport.

To start let me explain something I also understand. Football. I was raised to watch football and I know that a girl watching and understanding the game of football is a bit of an anomaly.  My Dad was a huge Cowboys fan and I remember watching many many games with him. I teased him that he sat me in front of the tv as a baby and explained who those moving blobs on the tv were (including Tom Landry, the best pro coach ever) . I remember receiving a Roger Staubach jersey that was worn with pride until the lettering was gone and it no longer fit.  Now growing up a Cowboys fan I understood rivalries.  To this day the biggest was with the Redskins. There are other teams that come and go over the years like the Steelers and the 49rs but the Redskins are it to a old school Cowboys fan. Our most hated enemy. 

Basketball and Baseball to have their rivalries.  I currently live in San Antonio , home of the San Antonio Spurs.. Spurs fans hate the Lakers. I’m sure there are other teams on the hated list but I don’t watch basketball so I really don’t know who else .  Now here is the point I have been working towards. As a Cowboys fan I hated the Redskins but I didn’t have to watch them every week unless they were playing my team. Spurs fans are not forced to watch the Lakers every time the play. Boston fans are not made to watch the Yankees and so on. See where I’m going with this?

As a NASCAR fan, to watch my sport, I have to watch Jimmie to. I don’t like it but it is what it is. What drives me nuts is the constant Jimmie watch every race. For example for 2009’s fall chase race at TMS , Jimmie was wrecked early and went to the garage.  We then watched a split screen of the crew working on his car complete with commentary of what was happening, during a race! Really was not needed but that’s what the media (ESPN/ABC) did.  

Yesterday Nov21 2010 Jimmie won his 5th championship in a row. A feat unequaled in the sport and most of the media came out with the same story.  It’s  a phenomenal athletic accomplishment on par with some of the most storied feats in the history of all sports. Ok I'm not sure I agree but why do I have to like it?  The writers and Jimmie fans will keep saying over and over just how great this is and all the NASCAR fans should just except it.. Sorry for this fan that’s not going to happen. I have a driver , thank you very much, I don’t want to appreciate Jimmie’s total domination of the sport. That’s what this sport is , I think, my driver vs your driver .  I’m not asking you to like mine please don’t ask me to like yours. I'm not asking you to even appreciate the thing MY driver has accomplished during his entire career.But you expect me to pay homage to yours.. Sorry, not going to happen.

This version of NASCAR is not what I started watching 10 years ago. We had rivalries and it was exciting to see what would happen every week.  Drivers had to be on their game all season.  Now with the chase they only have to be good enough.  Once in the chase they can go for broke but even then most just go for good enough.. Jimmie fans and supporters say somebody needs to step up and take it. But how can anybody take it when the rules , so far , favor one team ? My point is a driver with the most wins this year won’t have the trophy. The driver who got the most points for the entire season as a whole also does not have the trophy.  We did have some excitement going into the final couple of races for once but I think we all knew when Denny’s point lead was decimated because of  a bad call, that Jimmie would win it.. again. The chase is a flawed system as a whole and I say that as somebody whose driver has actually won during the chase era.  The difference is he would have won under the old system as well.

I also find it very telling that the head honcho of NASCAR, Brian France , has no clue just how much the Chase is hated by a large portion of the fans.  How can somebody run a business that’s worth as much as NASCAR is and be so out of the loop? I’ve spent the day going to some of the news sites , reading the fan responses to the 5 time champ and let me tell you to quote a friend of mine “ They aint happy” . Most of them say the same thing. Get rid of the chase, give more bonus points to the race winners. If the chase stays then at least give the regular season winner top seed and bonus points.  That way the regular season counts for more than race wins.  I am glad that the suits in charge allowed the drivers to “express” themselves a lot more this season and hopefully that will carry over into next year.

I’ll be watching when the Daytona 500 rolls around but if it’s a 3 hour Jimmie love fest I’ll just have to follow along online. Twitter and the chat on Yahoo are more interesting for me anyway. I get better ,faster info online during the race that way. 

Maybe my driver will finally get that win he wants there. I’ll hope so.

Comments are welcome but spam is not.. Until next time remember you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.