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Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Like Old Times (for this Mopar fan)

Yesterday was the 50th running of the Daytona 500, and Nascar did an excellent job celebrating the occasion by rolling out and displaying much of its history prior to the race. As a fan for more than three decades, I never get tired of the old clips, especially when they involve my all time favorite, Richard Petty, or any other Mopar driver beating the hell out of the competition; and I was smiling from ear to ear at the end of yesterday's 500 as well.
The talk for two weeks and then some was how unbeatable the Hendrick Chevys were going to be, especially with the addition of the best plate track racer, Dale Jr; and how strong Toyota had become with the addition of Joe Gibbs Racing. The only talk related to Dodge and Ford was how they weren't up to snuff with the other two makes.
Well, qualifying fast looks good and winning nonpoint qualifying races looks better, but the real trophy goes to those who race smart and improve over 500 miles; and that's just what the Dodge Chargers (just the name takes me back) did yesterday...they won. Congratulations Ryan Newman.
Kasey Kahne had a top 10 car all day and the Penske Chargers were frequent visitors there as well; but other than that the leader board was mostly full of Chevys and Toyotas for the first 3/4 of the race, when other than being on TV for the sponsors it didn't mean anything.
But look at all the Chargers in the top 15 at the end of the race: The top 2, 3 of the top 5, 6 of the top 10, 8 of the top 15 (one of those being the 43).
Now I realize that none of the top 3 teams in Nascar drive Dodges but here's hoping that yesterday was a sign that Dodge is much closer to them than they have been in recent years.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Why do you hate the Patriots so?

Is it the NY Yankee syndrome, where you just hate because they succeed? But the NFL rules are much different than MLB. The Patriots haven't and can't outspend teams to succeed, they have to outwork and outsmart you.
Is it because of Spygate? I'll grant you it was wrong and they got caught, and they were handed the most severe penalty ever given an NFL team...for doing something that in one form or another everyone does. If Roger Goodell is covering something up, what do you think that might be? He's trying to protect your team and his league by not opening up a can of worms. I don't condone cheating but do we really want to go down this path, really?
Is it because they're viewed by some as arrogant? No doubt the head coach is arrogant, justifiably so for the most part. But I would suggest to you that the quiet confidence displayed by the leaders of this team is nothing more than that, and not arrogance. This is a classy, hard working bunch with hardly a superstar among them. Why would you hate that?
Do you hate that they brought in a very talented malcontent (not the first time, I might add) and the result was records broken everywhere? Do you hate the posterboy QB who, up until this game, always made the right decision on the field, who never talked out of school? Do you hate him for his rings, his MVP trophies, his supermodels. America loves a winner and that guy is a winner. He never says a bad thing about anyone; he just goes out and produces. The most arrogant thing I've seen him do is "scoff" at the suggestion the Pats would only score 17 points. What did you want him to do...agree?
Do you hate them because their success is coinciding with the recent success of the Red Sox and you're just sick and tired of Boston? Okay, fine, but all you NY Yankee fans who have never set foot in the state of New York can kiss my ass.
You all really didn't want them to win the Super Bowl and go undefeated? You didn't want to see something happen truly historical, something that won't be approached again. Aren't you sick and tired of Mercury Morris?
This team has accomplished great things while maintaining a class of character rarely seen in the modern player, say nothing about a whole team. Yet everyone hates the Patriots but loved America's Team. Can I take from that you'd prefer your champions to boast, to overdo every celebration, to celebrate for doing their job; you'd prefer they be tabloid fodder and be on suspension lists? You seem to prefer that over a team that mirrors the way you go about your job, a team that does things the way you say to your kids they should be done.
Now, I've left the head coach out of this because he's an easy target. He is arrogant, he will seemingly do anything to win, he's frankly been downright rude and unsportsmanlike on occasion. You didn't hate a whole franchise for The Big Tuna's antics. So why hate the franchise for this one's?
If you want to hate them for something, hate them for getting rid of the old red, white and blue uniforms and Pat The Patriot on the helmet, as I do.

(This post inspired by my friends who are Cowboy and Raider fans, of all things)