Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Really want to like Jeff Gordon, But I Can't Because...

I didn’t really intend for this blog to be a Tony Stewart Lovefest, but it does tend to look like one. Face it, the word “awesome” was just sitting around waiting for a guy like Smoke. There really are other drivers I like: Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick, Elliot Sadler, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, and Jimmie Johnson, to name a few in the NASCAR Cup series. I can enjoy watching any of these drivers race and/or win.
Then I have this category of “Drivers I really want to like...but don’t.” I will delve into this list in detail, a little bit now and some more in the future, as the racing season progresses. Here is how it, and my thought process, works.

I really want to like: Jeff Gordon.
Gordon has got to be one of the best drivers in NASCAR Cup history. With a career record, at the time of this writing, of 73 Nextel Cup victories, and four NASCAR points championships, he ranks 7th in wins among all the drivers in the history of NASCAR. He definitely knows every aspect of driving on any type of track, and his car control is usually impeccable. He has an expert touch on the throttle, and, with his ability to place other cars exactly where he wants them, could be considered the Master of the “bump and run.” All drivers have something in their personality that underscores their drive to excel, and Jeff’s is his huge ego and sense of self-importance. He is articulate and eloquent in speech, he is flashy and aggressive, and the importance of taking care of the fans is not lost on him. To many race fans, Jeff Gordon is the epitome of what would be the Ideal Driver.

But I don’t like him because:
Plain and simply, he is Jeff Gordon. Mainly, it is the very ego which makes him successful that rubs me the wrong way. I love to watch him race, but I also enjoy watching him get beat. He is quick to retaliate when he feels wronged, and often he is quick to point the finger of blame for his own misfortune. He owns a vast knowledge of all aspects of racing, including dirty tricks. At Watkins Glen, in 2001, the year of his most recent points championship, he ran out of gas in one of the final turns of the final lap. Rather than pulling his car off of the track, and out of traffic, he parked his car squarely in the middle of the turn, effectively blocking other drivers from racing to the finish, and causing a multiple car accident. Way to keep that points lead, Jeffy.

Could I Ever Be a Fan?
NASCAR racing would not be the same for me if it were not for Jeff Gordon. I appreciate his talent, and I thought it was good of him to take at least part of the blame for his incident with Stewart in last week’s race at Daytona. But every time he does something that would cause me to start liking him, he says or does something that really rubs me the wrong way. I apologize to my friends who are Jeffy fans, but, after all these years, if I don’t like him by now, I never will.


Babs said...

Exactly!!! That is why I refer to him on my blog as "he who shall not be named". I don't hate him, but I can't like him.

Babs said...

I bet Matt was in a good mood after his win and didn't mind talking a little bit! Thanks for the tip, if I ever run into him. :)

Clance' McClannahan said...

I guess I should write a post on why I don't like JG. My turn to be real.

Clance' McClannahan said...

I take that back...I will post it in the Church Group, not the blog. Don't want all my secrets available for viewing in the public eye. :)