Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Last week Nickelback was named the Band of The Decade by Billboard magazine, and I contemplated writing a post ranting about it, but I decided that Chad and his band o’merry rednecks didn’t deserve my time. The fact that there was no other band in the past ten years that Americans bought more albums than Nickelback brings the bile up in my throat, but I wasn’t going to waste my time on it.

Now today I hear the news that Jimmie Johnson was named the Associated Press (AP) Male Athlete of the Year and I couldn’t stay silent any longer. A NASCAR driver named Athlete of the Year? Come on! I’ve long maintained that NASCAR is the most ridiculous ‘sport’ out there…and yes, I’m including Ice Dance. I can’t even fathom how this is the top spectator sport in the U.S. I mean, I suppose I can understand how someone can be interested in the race if you’re actually racing…but how do hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch what is essentially a 4-hour left turn? I’m sure there are some readers out there who have been to a live NASCAR race. What is the appeal? Why do you want to sit in an outdoor facility and watch cars speed by for a nanosecond 400 times?

I guess I really have a problem with NASCAR drivers being considered for ‘Athlete of the Year’, because I don’t think that they should be categorized with traditional athletes that play an actual sport. I understand that auto racing contains elements of stamina, hand-eye co-ordination, and the like…but so does playing video games all night! Should we consider professional gamers ‘Athletes’ as well? Does an ability to play Call of Duty for hours on end qualify you for Athlete of the Year as well?

Or consider the game of poker. To succeed at the World Series of Poker, you’re talking about playing for days…sometimes up to 14 hours or more per day. That takes stamina and mental acumen, and physical fitness to combat fatigue (Red Bull only does so much). Should we consider poker players as athletes? When I played two tournaments in the World Series of Poker this past summer, I lasted into Day 2 of both events, and it was exhausting. Am I an athlete for that?

But the thing that burns my ass a little more about this selection, is that every press release talked about how he won his fourth straight NASCAR championship in 2009. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he didn’t do all 4 in 2009, so how is that relevant? Is he getting credit for the other 3 championships in his consideration in the award for this year? Why don’t we consider anyone who did great things in their selected sport in the past 4 years? Congratulations Tiger Woods (oh man, the irony) and Roger Federer…Jimmie Johnson should be looking up at you two in the voting, then.

Let’s be honest, this guy just DROVE IN AN OVAL REALLY FAST. This is what we consider athletic accomplishment now?


I’m sure there are lots of NASCAR fans out there who read this blog, and I look forward to your comments in the Comments section.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Later in the day, Serena Williams was named the AP Female Athlete of the year. She recieved 66 first place votes.

In second place, with 16 votes...Zenyatta...the horse that ran in the Triple Crown races this year.

In third place with 14 votes, Kim Clijsters.

I'm not making that up.

A horse! A friggin' horse!