The word has come down from on high and once again, the utter hypocrisy of NASCAR has reared it’s two-faced head and the bigger man, the better man, has lost the battle and the war. The Carl gets a 3 race probation. Not suspension, PROBATION, for nearly killing Brad Kesolowski at 195 mph over a petty grievance that could have been better and more elegantly solved with fisticuffs. The Carl was 150 freaking laps down when he sent Kesolowski airborne. It doesn’t matter if you feel some self-entitled need to wreak payback, you just don’t do it at Atlanta. The Carl should have been suspended for 3 races for his deliberate stupid behavior….not given some candy-ass worthless probation. Last year, Carl Long got a 12 race suspension and his NASCAR career (such as it was) essentially ruined for having an engine that was 0.17 of an inch larger than allowed. Wow!! 0.17 of an inch…. now that’s dangerous, yes? 12 race suspension for that. And yet His Royal Highness, Carl Edwards got a pissant 3 race probation, a mere slap on the wrist for THIS:
His Royal Highness, The Carl, was 150 freakin’ laps down when he decided to exact some revenge for a petty slight on lap 5. And he had all race to think about how he was going to do it. And THIS is how he chose to do it. Stupid, classless, characterless, ignorant, and it could have been potentially deadly, not just to Kesolowski, but to fans in the stands. This can’t POSSIBLY be what NASCAR meant when they said, “have at it boys.” And if it is, then SHAME of them. All of the them. SHAME on Brian France, Mike Helton, and most especially, The Carl. We all thought, well…most of us, thought The Carl was a better man, a bigger man, than that. But we were wrong. Clearly, like, for example, Tiger Woods, he is not the bigger and better man he portrays himself to be. He is clearly all image and zero integrity. And NASCAR just slaps him on the wrist.
If I were Carl Long I’d want my career back ((not that it was much of a career, but such as it was, I’d want it back)) If I were Kevin Harvick, for example I’d want my money and points back for all my petty penalties over the years ((and he does, by the way)). And Chad Knaus, for all his evil mechanations, never put a fellow driver or crew chief in harm’s way by his pushing the envelope of rule Section 12-4-A actions detrimental to stock car racing, yet he had to sit out 4 races as recently as last year. If I were Roger Penske I’d send Jack Roush an invoice for the uncalled for damages to Brad Kesolowski’s #12 MOPAR FloTV Dodge.
But we’re talking about bigger men here. So Long and Harvick and Chad and Roger Penske will do none of the the above.
So who is the bigger man?
Carl Edwards? Or Brad Kesolowski? I think that one’s fairly obvious.Yes?
If The Carl was a bigger man, and a better man, he would have found a sneakier, a more cunning, and less dangerous way to aggrandize his self-importance.
Sport has a long standing tradition of self-policing. For example, last season the Milwaukee Brewers ended their season series with the San Francisco Giants with a walk-off homerun in the 12th inning by Prince Fielder. Prince and the rest of Brewers then then proceed to rub it in at home-plate with a “bowling pin” celebration with the rest of his team. Now obviously, that sort of thing is not taken lightly by opposing pitchers. So…when the Brewers and the Giants met in their opening Cactus League matchup this season, Giants starter Barry Zito drilled Prince Fielder on the ass, Prince trotted down to first base, and justice was done.
The Carl took sports justice into his own hands in a dangerous and potentially deadly way. And unlike, baseball, hockey, the NFL and host of other sports, the powers that be….the equivalents of Roger Goodell, Gary Bettman and Bud Selig…essentially turned a blind eye and did nothing.
In any other major sport out there, Carl Edward’s conduct on the filed of play would have resulted in major fines and suspension, and in some cases, even criminal charges. Last December, Cowboys lineman Flozell Adams was fined $50,000 for his late hit of New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck. In the 2008 post-season, Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was fined $7,500 for firing a pitch behind Phillies rightfielder Shane Victorino’s head that precipitated a bench-clearing brawl. how much coin did The Carl part with? None.
Hockey is violent sport…but even there there are lines that can’t be crossed, and enforcement is strict. In hockey, if you go after, say Sidney Crobsy or Alex Ovechkin ((although Ovechkin does tend to take care of himself)), and check them a little too hard and too often, the Pens and Caps have enforcers who will drop their gloves and helmets and go at it one on one and solve it. With fists, and generally without too much danger to anyone but each other. A trip to the penalty box or the trainer for stitches and it’s play on. But even the NHL has come down hard (sort of) on fighting and excessive violence in recent years ((although there is more work they still need to do in that department)), and they’ve always taken it seriously. In 1927, Billy Coutu of the Bruins was suspended for life for assaulting referee Jerry LaFlamme. In 2007 Steve Downie of the Flyers was suspended for 20 games for a hard check of Ottawa Senators winger DeanMcAmmond into the boards. In 2000 Marty McSorley was charged and found guilty of assault with a weapon when he hit Donald Brashear in the head with his stick…Brashear hit head on the ice, was unconscious and hospitalized with a Class 3 concussion which is VERY serious stuff. The court of law sentenced McSorley to 18 months probation, and the NHL suspended him. McSorley never played in the NHL again.
The Carl could have walked over to Brad after the race and punched him in the focking mouth ((it worked for Jimmy Spencer when did that to Kurt Busch)). He could have laid in wait in pit road and very calmly smashed Brad’s car and pinned it against the wall (the one opposite the pits) leaving Kesolowski wrecked but without endangering his life ((THEN they could have exited their cars for some manly fisticuffs and that would be that)). But nope. The Carl is not the bigger man. He is the smaller man by far, and his actions have diminished his stature quite possibly for the remainder of his career.
Brad Kesolowski has handled himself with as much class and character as his youth and raw talent could muster. Whether or not Kesolowski shows respect to his fellow drivers on the track, or races them too hard w/o giving them due regard, is an entirely different issue. Those matters can be solved without resorting to the dangerous and stupid behavior that Carl Edwards showed us last Sunday.
Perhaps Brad Kesolowski should deliberately do what The Carl did last Sunday. But you know he simply won’t, because he is the bigger and better man in this equation. ((We’ll see how the math between Brad Kesolowski and Denny Hamlin turns out…I’m quite sure the calculus will be a bit more subtle.))
The Bigger Man question is an interesting one. I was watching a bit of the Puerto Rico Open on the Golf Channel the other day and there was John Daly in a bright orange shirt and terribly magnificent striped pants. He was gripping it and ripping it but he looked a bit leaner than usual. And it got me thinking in light of recent wacky turmoil in the world of golf, who is the bigger man, the better man. John Daly? Or Tiger Woods.
I really have to go with John Daly on this one. He’s always been straightforward and honest about whatever bullshit he’s involved himself in. He’s never put on a public face that’s different from the real man he sees in the mirror at 3:54 in the morning. What he sees is what we get. All his flaws and demons are on parade for all to see. And despite those flaws and demons, I’ll take a man like that everytime.
Tiger on the other hand has let the whole world down, and he just doesn’t seem to get it. He hires some fuckwad from Bush administration to run PR interference. He crafts a faux press conference. He dodges questions. He dodges the truth. He can’t come out and lay it on the line. He needs to take off the public face and for once be the real man he sees in the mirror at 3:54 in the morning. Now mind you, he doesn’t owe us that. He doesn’t owe us anything, not even the truth. He doesn’t even owe it to his wife and family and friends. But he DOES owe it to himself, and until he pays up on that debt to himself, John Daly will continue to be the bigger man.
Which brings us to the question of who’s the bigger man, Wayne Bridge or John Terry? That one’s a curious conundrum for most men given all the circumstances. And I’m not about to go into this one in great depth. And I don’t want anyone to think that because I’m a Chelsea Blues fan that I’m going to side with John Terry on this. But…Wayne Bridge, for two reasons, has not shown himself to me to the be the bigger man in this.
1.) Wayne Bridge has decided to quit the English World Cup team. To me, that’s a bit childish given the patriotic circumstances involved in representing merry ol’ English. Suck it up you big girl and play for your country.
2.) Not shaking John Terry’s hand at Stamford Bridge ahead of the aforementioned 2-4 thrashing City gave my Blues 2 Saturday’s ago. Wayne had the opportunity to be the BIGGER man in this and really rub it in Terry’s face ((but I guess the scoreboard took care of that. *sigh*))
So that’s a little bit of my take on the on-going English Football shenanigans. Actually, I hope the Soap Opera on the English World Cup team continues for another 90 days, 13hrs and 21 minutes as I type this. Although it would be more sporting I suppose for us to beat the English team at full strength….rather than tipping over a team of silly little girls at a slumber party, which is, by the way, is what most of this English WAG boinking nonsense has become.
Oh well…onward. Better things await us tomorrow.
The Bigger Men and The Savior of NASCAR tee it off tomorrow in Bahrain and Sao Paolo. Sebastian Vettel tees it off first at the Gulf Air Bahrain Gran Prix. Felipe Massa, who’s made a miraculous recovery from his horrifying accident at Hungary last season rolls off 2nd.
The tee times for the Sao Paolo Indy 300 will be set tomorrow due to some adverse track conditions on the front stretch. No pothole like at Daytona, but rather, slippery concrete. So the grinders will come out and solve that and the glorious lads and ladies of the IRL will tee it off tomorrow. See ya then. Well…some of you.
In any case, I hope y’all remember(ed) to set yer clocks ahead.