Don’t you just hate excellence? The New York Yankees won five straight World Series titles in the 1950’s, 27 in their history. How should we respond? That’s right, hate ‘em.
The Boston Celtics won eight straight NBA crowns between 1959 and 1966. They have won 17 over the course of the past 56 seasons. What should we do about that? Hate ‘em, of course.
It might have only been a six team league at the time, but the NHL’s best team in the 1950’s was the Montreal Canadiens. Ten straight final appearances, six wins including the last five straight. They have 24 to their credit in total. Best way to recognize them, you ask. Hate ‘em.
Now, I understand the feelings of Red Sox, Laker, and Maple Leaf fans. However, your feelings toward your rivals is less hate and more jealousy. I mean, in 2004 when the Yankees folded their tents after taking a three game lead in the American League final, Boston fans thought the lads from New York were just swell.
Which brings us to Jimmie Johnson. All he did was win five straight Sprint Cup titles and two of this season’s six races. Some just hate the guy because he wins. Let us think about that for a second. He wins too much, so those with the attention span of a gnat threaten to walk away from the sport in a huff because one man is having an historic run? Pardon me, but that is just dumb as a stick stupid.
There are some upset that last Sunday when Dale Earnhardt Jr got spun, Johnson could have stopped the line of traffic he led to allow his team mate to get squared away. Instead, he continued by to put him down a lap. If you are a Junior junkie, I can understand why you might be a tad disappointed. Junior said Jimmie did nothing wrong, but I get it when you wish that things had turned out better for your favorite driver. That is a totally different thing.
If Jimmie wins, it must mean crew chief Chad Knaus cheated. Maybe he did, but it is not a crime unless you are caught. Smoky Yunick made a career out of seeking out advantages, to work within the grey area of what was acceptable and what was innovation. One day they will put him in the Hall of Fame, right beside Knaus.
Apparently NASCAR favors Johnson. So, you have the beloved Junior, that nice guy Jeff Gordon, the colorful Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch, but NASCAR has decided that Jimmie Johnson is their man? Jimmie is a nice guy, a hell of a driver, but he is no Darrell Waltrip or Bobby Allison. If the outcome is as rigged as a pro wrestling match, surely they would go with a Stone Cold, Rock, or Triple H type than Jimmie Johnson.
Yet, for the longest time, the biggest criticism of Johnson is that he wins and for five years he did not share the title. In fact, some are worried Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski got the crown on loan, with Jimmie poised to reclaim it. Bad for business, they say. Funny, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt remain the sport’s greatest icons, and they split 14 season titles between them. That is more than 21% of the 64 championships handed out since 1949 going to just two guys. Add the still active Johnson, Gordon, and Stewart and you have a dozen more spoken for. My God, include three-time kings Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, and Waltrip and you have damn near 60% of all the championships claimed by just nine guys. There are more players who win a single baseball, basketball, or hockey title any given season, never mind over the course of 64 years.
So, my humble advice for those who hate Jimmie Johnson because they deem him as winning too much would be to quit your bitching and enjoy history being made. As for who is hot, Jimmie is not too far behind Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch among those who have done the most lately. Our biggest mover this week is Aric Almirola, who moves up four spot to 12th. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr is going the other way, dropping five spots and falling right off our chart.
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