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Thursday, November 5, 2009

2010 will be a year of Danica Patrick obsession

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word obsession as: “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling”.

Now that ESPN is reporting Indycar superstar Danica Patrick will be driving a dozen or so Nationwide races and some ARCA races for JR Motorsports in 2010, expect next season to be dominated by an obsession with Danica Patrick.

I admit the story is big news. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be mentioning it.
But after watching a full half-hour of discussion about this one news item on an ESPN program last night, I was about ready to vomit.

Danica Patrick is a talented race car driver, but she has done very little in her career that is overly impressive. She had some good runs in the Indy 500, but won just one race in her half-decade in Indycar. If you did a TV commercial-per-win ratio, she would be the champion by a mile.

If Danica wasn’t a woman, there would close to zero hype about her, and a move to stock cars would be about as hyped as the switching of Max Papis or Patrick Carpentier to stock cars.

As I watched an endless number of commentators and guests comment on how great Danica is and how great it is for NASCAR that she’s coming over to stock cars, I realized just how ridiculous the media is going to be during this possible transition to NASCAR. It was only Day 1 of the news coming out, and they didn’t even mention a single news item that wasn’t Danica-related.

One thought kept popping up in my head as the endless parade of praise continued: This is all we’re going to hear from February to November.

During that time span, anytime Danica appears in an ARCA or Nationwide race, she’ll eat up all the screen time. It will be, “Where’s Danica running” on a constant loop, peppered with “It’s going to be a tough learning curve” when she screws up and “She’s really making a great transistion” when she does well.

Personally, I might just watch the races on mute, just to avoid a Danica overdose.


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