Woody: Danica Bashing Stinks
In the aftermath of Danica Patrick’s announced plan to stick her toe into NASCAR’s Nationwide pool next year, I’ve been surprised by the amount of hostile fan response.
Is Danica fiery and temperamental?
Yes she is. Just like A.J. Foyt used to be.
Is she a tough, take-no-prisoners racer?
You bet. Just like The Intimidator was.
Has she proven she has the skill, nerve and grit to drive extremely fast?
No question. Let Miss Daisy try zinging around Indy sometime.
Can she apply her Indy skills to stock cars?
Nobody knows. Not Danica, and certainly not the Harpies that are haranguing her.
It’s downright amusing to hear some arm-chair gearhead – who’d have to be defrosted and pried out of the car if he ever made a lap around Indy at Danica-speed – pontificate about how Patrick can’t cut it in NASCAR.
Some guy whose experience with high speed consists of making a beer run during halftime suddenly is an expert on whether Danica Patrick can succeed or not.
Maybe she can’t. Maybe she’ll wash out. But the Danica-bashers should keep in mind that a lot of fairly talented male drivers have failed to make it, too.
I detect some “because she’s a girl” bias. Maybe Freud could explain their fear of fast women.
To discount Patrick because she’s a female is nonsense. I’d take Danica in an arm-wrestling contest with many of NASCAR’s current hotshots. She has strength and stamina – despite what we’re told by some critic reclining in his Lard-Boy munching Fritos and onion dip.
Some of the Danica detractors resent the fact that she’s getting so much attention for so little results. They claim it’s because of her good looks. So what? More power to her if she can cash in.
A lot of fans admire her spunk and spirit. Who they root for –and for whatever reason – is their business.
Keep in mind, a lot of NASCAR guys got reams of media coverage over the years without winning many more races than Danica.
On one hand it’s tempting to tell the critics to get off Patrick’s back and give her a chance. Wait to see if she falls on her face before they begin booing. At least let her get on the track first.
On the other hand, the critics are playing right into her hands. The more they fuss, the more attention she gets. One critic said her entry into NASCAR is like the WWF, and maybe that’s a good analogy – he’s one of the wacky fans booing from the cheap seats.
NASCAR of course loves every media-mania minute of it. Danica already has got more ink and air time than Jimmie Johnson generated by winning the championship.
So let the skeptics whine and the cynics whimper. When Patrick rolls onto the track you know where they’ll be – glued to the TV. Yeah, they will be hoping to see her fizzle and fail, but at least they’ll be watching – all part of the Patrick plan.
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments