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Memo: Hall Hating Never Goes Out Of Style

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 30 2011

You've got to wonder if Jimmie Johnson's nomination to the Hall of Fame when his time comes, will be greeted with outrage. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Let’s see what in the old Morning Memo today:

Officials operating the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., have made some adjustments to this year’s itinerary. The biggest of those involves moving voting day from October to June.

Hope that move was not designed to keep critics of the voting process happy and satisfied.

The list of names of this year’s nominees were unveiled last week. The list included great NASCAR drivers, racing pioneers and just plain wonderful people. Here’s hoping that all have pachyderm-thick skins.

Because no sooner had the names been announced than the verbal shots began ringing out.

In an opinion piece on this website, RacinToday.com columnist Larry Woody gently – and correctly – chided the process for not selecting larger classes because there are so many deserving candidates.

Others have been less than gentle in their criticisms. Some have been obscene.

Woody said that HOF organizers can expect to hear such critiques for a while: “At the current rate of inductions (five per year), the grousing is destined to continue for, oh, about 20 more years.”

I’m pretty certain that Woody is dead wrong on that. The grousing will continue on, basically, forever.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. was dedicated 72 years ago. The National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, was founded in 1963. Hundreds upon hundreds of players have been nominated for those HOFs.

And you guessed it. Every year the freaks go crazy over inclusion or omission of players they deem worthy or unworthy for induction.

Without exception.

It’s just the way it goes. You are never going to find anything close to unanimity when it comes to sports heroes, their contributions or their worthiness to be enshrined.

The guess here is that 20 years from now, not only will controversy not have vanished when it comes to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it will be 20 times worse.

(Memo to self: Keep track of this kid Jimmie Johnson for future voting considerations.)

Earncon alert

People seem to think that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is getting close to breaking free from a winless streak

Is this the week for Junior? Conditions are so-so. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

that dates back to 2008 – the year he won the spring race at Michigan International Speedway.

The reason for the optimism is his solid standing in the top 10 in points (he is third today) and his seven top-12 finishes in eight starts this year.

The world wants to know: Who made Kate’s dress and will this be the week for Junior to slump bust?

Assessing the numbers, we are setting the Earnhardt Condition at 3 out of 5 for Saturday night’s race at Richmond.

The reason for the mediocre Earncon number this week is because while Junior has won three times at RIR and has a very respectable finishing average of 14.1, he has not won there since 2006.

That was before his move to Hendrick Motorsports, which came prior to the 2008 Sprint Cup season.

Earnhardt has just the one victory at Michigan since the move to HMS.

I withdraw the question

During media teleconference this week, a reporter asked Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer a couple of non racing questions.

The first concerned Bowyer’s appearance on the television reality show, “The Biggest Loser”. Very

Matt Kenseth talks to Clint Bowyer without using Twitter. Imagine that. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for NASCAR)

enjoyalbe, Bowyer said. Very inspirational.

The second question was about a Twitter event. Seems that somehow Bowyer, who is a lot more country than he is rock and roll, got hooked into the event.

“You’re also going to be a part of a Twitter party, which I’m going to be a panelist on,” the questioner said. “Are you excited about that?”

Apparently not as excited as his fellow panelist.

“The Twitter party I’m not a big fan of; I’m not going to lie,” Bowyer said.

Bowyer did attend, however. And maybe he actually learned to like it and have fun?

Not even close.

“And the Twitter thing? What a joke! Oh, my,” Bowyer said Friday. “I was involved in a Twitter party. Did I host the Twitter party? I attended a Twitter party. I don’t know why we just didn’t get on the phone and talk to each other.

“Ask him this question and then type this answer and then see what he thinks about this and they said this and type that. It was a mess. I was mad (at his PR representative); and I’m still upset with him that he made me even participate in such a goofy thing. I’d better not say any more.”

(Memo to self: Don’t bother texting Bowyer about the big flash mob I’m planning for Darlington.)

A List: Names that matter

The three best-ever names of race car drivers: 1. Lake Speed; 2. John Force; 3. Will Power.

Least apropos: Scott Speed. Runner-up: Jimmy Means.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 30 2011
2 Comments

2 Comments »

  • Terry says:

    BASEBALL H o F 1st class…….NASCAR H of F
    BABE RUTH………………….RICHARD PETTY
    TY COBB……………………DALE EARNHARDT
    WALTER JOHNSON……………..JUNIOR JOHNSON
    HONUS WAGNER……………….BFSr…
    CHRISTY MATHEWSON…………..BFJr….
    Note baseball started with original greats……..
    not owners,offspring, managers or guys from the modern era……
    Nice guys(Mathewson) and @ssholes (Cobb) all got in.
    BUT……they would not have left out PEARSON…….
    Put HOLMAN-MOODY…and …WOOD BROS….in as teams.
    It is just wrong to piece them in.

  • Chas says:

    Great points about HoF induction process and grumbling. I agree that the 5 per year limit is too few and that means it will take way too long to get the people that NEED to be inducted actually inducted (such as Pearson,Allison, and Yarbourough, all should have been in the first class). Who knows if it will ever be changed? I hope so, but it’s very unlikely.

    I always thought Lake Speed was a great racing name too.