Yes! Yes! Yes!
Everyone knows sports fans are perverse. Take the World Series for, example. I'm rooting for the Cubs, not because I care so passionately for the Cubs but because my friends all do. And it's been so long since they won a Series, it would be such a heartwarming story if they took home the title. On the other hand, geez, it's been a long time since the Indians won too, not as long as the Cubs, but over half a century, so that would be a happy ending as well. Really, I'll be pretty satisfied whoever wins...because I root for the underdog and they are both underdogs.
Really, I root for the underdog in almost every instance. I'm known for that. I always want the little guy to win, the one who hasn't ever got a blue ribbon or crossed the finish line first, the horse that goes off at 100 to 1 odds. I empathize with how happy they and their teams and their families will be.
There's one huge exception to my habit of cheering on the underdog and that's in my own sport of NASCAR. Jimmie Johnson is the driver who has my heart. I always want him to win even though he has 79 trophies and six championships. The hell with the underdog! Go, Jimmie!
Back during his streak of taking home championships, people told me - "he wins too much," but I didn't think so. They told me, "it's not fair," and I said "too bad, so sad". They said, "I'd like to see someone new have a chance," but I shrugged them off.
Now he's gone a few years and those new people got their chance - Tony and Kevin and Brad and Kyle. More power to them but now I'd like to see the 48 win it's 7th championship, to tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Then I'd like to see them go on and beat the record and win an 8th.
Because sports fans are hypocritical like that when it comes to their own teams. So sue me.
Watching JGR during the Chase is sort of a puzzle. After a stellar first part of the season, the performance hasn't been there since the Chase started. I wonder if it has to do with Gibbs being the Sprint Cup team that comes closest to having team orders, a rather milder set than we usually think of, but still....
Maybe they are making it more complicated than it should be. Instead of each of their drivers going out and going for broke to try to win every race, which is the ideal in racing, they seem to have a strategy that is too precise and gets in their way. They treat each other rather gently. They courteously let one another in line. At Talladega, they forswore any thoughts of winning and simply rode around in the back and took their points. I understand why they did it that way but I think you lose something in the translation. Maybe drivers lose their edge when they deliberately try not to win. Maybe you can't divide up a championship run into four equal parts. I think maybe the driver mentality has to be "every man for himself" to get the best out of them.
It was great to see Jeff again at Martinsville. That track will hardly seem the same without him. But I'll be glad to see Junior back next year. He's looking healthy and happy. I enjoyed hearing him in the broadcast booth where he did a fine job.
The next two races? I hope Jimmie wins at Texas. Clutch driver that he is, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kevin in Victory Lane at Phoenix. Driver on points, probably Kyle Busch. Don't use me for your fantasy picks though. I'm a horrible guesser.