Friday, February 19, 2010

Catching Up: Part Deux (Danica Patrick and Juan Pablo Montoya)

I'm almost positive the Daytona 500 was last weekend, but I could be wrong. Either way, that got me thinking about my lone experience at a NASCAR event.

I went to Talledega just a few years ago (documented here, here and here, and immortalized in five different podcasts), and in just three days I witnessed more racism, sexism and overall white male stupidity than I've witnessed in my 29 years on the planet -- and I'm very white, very male and very stupid.

NASCAR events -- especially in the south, I presume -- are still 99 percent white and 85 percent male. Nobody is wearing shirts, the Confederate flag is everywhere and it's not terribly difficult to overhear a few hundred N-Bombs on an average race weekend.

The typical race fan may have evolved slightly since the days of Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison, but not at the rate of the rest of civilization. For example: I spent an entire day in Talledega wearing a sleeveless, "FUCK YALL I'M FROM ALABAMA" T-shirt (in Confederate flag lettering) and every idiot down there thought it was the greatest piece of clothing ever designed. Not a single person down there could have imagined I was mocking them. I would say irony was lost on them, but I'm pretty sure they don't know what irony is.

Trust me when I say that NASCAR Fan 2K10 is not the poster child for progress.

That being the case, I'm praying like crazy -- and if there is a God, please answer me this one time -- that Danica Patrick and Juan Pablo Montoya finish in the top two in every race from now until the end of eternity.

And by "the end of eternity," I mean until it bankrupts NASCAR, which, by my calculations, would take less than eighteen months.

Don't let me down, Catholicism!

-Brad Spieser (