Sex Sells. How many times have you heard that phrase thrown around? In certain cases, I’m sure it does. I’ll be the first to admit how unsmooth I am in front of incredibly attractive women when buying Keystone Light. Its my curse. Also, who the hell would go to Hooter’s without the jail bait? The wings are sub-par at best, despite what the latest ZAGAT survey might say. However, recently, the sports giant that we all love to hate, ESPN, has been pushing heavily for us Sports fans to watch Danica Patrick’s debut onto the NASCAR scene solely based on T & A.
First off, Danica is not an athlete; she is a sideshow. She has won exactly 1 race in her career in the Indycar series (Japan 300) and is featured in more commercials than every other IndyCar driver in history combined. You know your sport is in trouble when your most recognizable figure sucks. Now, JR Motorsports has made the decision to race her in 14 Nationwide Series races for the 2010 season to drum up interest for minor league NASCAR. For the owners and NASCAR in general, its a brilliant move. Right now, the media is talking more about Danica’s debut than the Daytona 500, the superbowl of stock car racing. That is pathetic. One commercial for this Saturday’s Nationwide race stated “She’s the biggest thing in NASCAR, and she hasn’t even run a lap.” Could you imagine if any other sports league did that as a promo? “He’s the biggest thing in the NBA and he got drafted Tuesday.” Not the same effect; I’m disgusted NASCAR has to stoop to this level.
Also, how enticing does Danica look in that flame retardant suit anyways? If you are planning to tune into ESPN’s coverage of the race on Saturday, you’ll probably see her with her helmet off twice: before she gets in the car and when she gets out of it after the race. In between that, 6 hours of rubbing, racing, crashes, cautions, restarts, more cautions. But what the hell do I know, maybe some woman in the stands will challenge Danica to becoming a Go Daddy girl and than it will get hot (but you have to go online to see anything worth the wait cause the web content is unrated. Plus, you can secure a domain name while you’re there.)
Danica Patrick, as an athlete, is another feeble attempt to draw male interest in a sport that is extremely uninteresting. Anna Kournikova, gorgeous girl; sucked at tennis. She did not win one tournament. Not majors; WTA tournaments. You would think she could win at least something; at one point she was #8 in the world. Easier being a model, anyways. The John Deere Classic, forgettable PGA tournament the weekend before the British Open, for a couple years had to sink to the level of the “sponsor’s exemption” to allow once thought phenom Michelle Wie the opportunity to compete amongst the boys. She never made a cut but for some reason was always a media selling point to watch the tournament that didn’t feature any of the PGA’s top 50. She also skipped an LPGA major in 2008 to play in a Men’s tournament (Reno-Tahoe Open; Missing the women’s British Open). How does that make any sense?? She was not going to do anything playing against the women, so might as well drum up interest for the men and get paid for that. She missed the cut by 9 strokes fyi. Also, Annika Sorenstam in 2003 at the Colonial. She finished 96th out of 111 and defied the odds. She still came in 96th and in my opinion wasn’t worth the hype that they gave her going in.
Now, I realize that there is no NASCAR women’s circuit, so her only option is to try her luck against the men. But in a slow sports month going into a lackluster weekend, its infuriating to take Danica’s move to NASCAR as a big story in the grand scheme of sports. On a scale from 1 to 10 on how much this is a big deal, I give it a 2. Sportscenter should be showing hockey highlights before they talk about the Nationwide Series. So to answer your question, no, I won’t tune into watch Danica’s NASCAR debut.
Author’s Note: I realize I might sound hypocritical because Lindsey Vonn has been getting a lot of media attention lately due to her injury and the fact that she is pretty good looking. I left her out of this commentary mainly because she is actually good at what she does (Skiing World Cup 2 years running. Sounds good at least.) I’m all for hot, female athletes dominating in their respective sports. Danica and the other aforementioned I consider media whores before athletes.
Upset Pick: Maryland goes into Cameron and beats the 7th ranked Dukies to take first place in the ACC. Go J Kyle! Go Terps!
Happy NBA Allstar weekend.