Monday, April 23, 2007

Some Earnhardt fans irrational about Gordon's use of #3 flag

It's absolutely amazing how far some people will go to get ticked off.
Jeff Gordon wins at Phoenix and ties Dale Earnhardt with 76 victories on NASCAR's all-time list.

Gordon had been hung up on 75 wins for a while, so he'd had time to think about what he might do after moving even with Earnhardt in the record books. What he came up with was taking a victory lap while holding a "3" flag as a tribute to the late seven-time champion.

Pretty neat, huh?

Well, no, not if you listen to some Earnhardt fans (and, by extension, Gordon haters).

One internet "writer," whose name I refuse to use so as not to give him the attention he so pathetically seeks, summed up the irrational reaction I am talking about:

"Jeff Gordon’s arrogance never ceases to amaze. ...Gordon and crew will of course claim they were honoring a fallen hero. The argument feigns weak at best with the long-time supporters of the man in black. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. congratulated Gordon in victory lane seemingly endorsing Gordon’s parade. But to a large contingent of Dale Earnhardt fans, Gordon’s antics after his win at Phoenix were self-serving.

"HE MIGHT AS WELL DANCE ON TOP OF THE SEVEN-TIME CHAMPION'S GRAVESITE TO CELEBRATE HIS WIN. (Emphasis mine).

"The flag waving did not buy Gordon any new fans. One can well bet that long time fans of the late Dale Earnhardt would rather be boiled in oil than wear Gordon’s colors. There was and only ever be one Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon needs to come to grips with the fact that he is no Dale Earnhardt.

"Here is hoping Gordon enjoyed his little show of defiance and his moment of glory."

Lest you think this is a lone nut, the message boards and Sirius radio talk shows were filled with like-minded responses. Maybe not quite as bizarre as the dancing on the gravesite line, but pretty far out there.

Look, folks. Nobody says you have to like Jeff Gordon. Nobody says you even have to respect him for paying tribute to Earnhardt after his win at Phoenix. But don't assign your irrational feelings to Gordon and his team. That's sad.

Believe what you will -- and you will anwyay -- but here are the facts. Late last year, a member of Gordon's team thought of the idea of carrying the flag around in the postrace celebration. The team member knows Dale Earnhardt Jr. and was actually at a birthday party for Earnhardt's son. He asked Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Elledge, Dale Jr.'s sister, what they thought of the idea and they were enthusiastically supportive.

And, of course, after the race Saturday night Earnhardt Jr. said on his radio that it was a cool, classy thing for Gordon to do. He also came over to victory lane to congratulate Gordon.

What more do Gordon's haters want in terms of "approval" of the idea from the Earnhardt side? I am sure they bought the flag, so Dale Earnhardt Inc. got its licensing money off the deal. What's the problem?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like the beer cans they threw at him for the crime of trying to win. Real class. They throw things when they don't get their way and hen call Gordon a crybaby.

#3 Forever said...

People can say whatever they will about Gordon, but the man can drive. His stats prove it. His victory lap was an awesome way to honor the Intimidator. I'm no Gordon fan by any means, but he showed true class at Phoenix.

BruSimm said...

Hi David, I was a Jeff Gordon detractor. But I came to realize he can wheel a car.

While he was able to trade paint with Sr., I once heard a funny remark from an interviewed fan that the only reason he (gordon) hasn't hit the wall is because it doesn't have a race # on it. Now that was funny! At least I thought so back then when he was learning his limits in the series.

Now, when I see Gordon tie Sr.'s win record, I was mad, but only because my fallen hero is no longer on that particular pedestal by himself anymore, and he doesn't have the chance to take it back. With that, my old emotions came up for a fleeting moment and I did not like Gordon at all.

That moment has passed and though it was silly, it showed my emotional attachment to my hero who has left me here by myself.

And with that being said, I find that since Sr. saw somthing in Gordon that he liked, there must be something good about him.

I do find myself respecting his talent and the notches in history that Jeff Gordon has the abillity to make.

Congratulations Mr. Gordon.

'Nuff Said.

Anonymous said...

Nobody would ever mistake me for a Jeff Gordon fan. In fact anybody who knows me knows that I'll always be a Dale Earnhardt fan. I'm shocked that any reasonable person would see Jeff's tribute as anything other than respectful. Jeff showed more class on Saturday night than a gaggle of his detractors have shown in their contrived outrage.

Tony said...

It confounds me as well. I would like to believe that if Sr. were still around and he saw that he would state that those fans of his are no fans of his. It's pathetic, it really is. It's a school yard mentality projected by a bunch of morons who have never moved beyond 5th grade. It does nothing to improve the image of the sport and it turns me off as well. I thought it was an appropriate gesture on Gordons part and nothing more. When I got up on Sunday and started reading the boards out there I couldn't believe it. Oh well, something else to confirm my lack of faith in humanity.

Anonymous said...

I was a big E fan and I've been an outsider to the sport since 2001, but I thought Gordon's gesture was pretty classy.

Anonymous said...

"There was and only ever be one Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon needs to come to grips with the fact that he is no Dale Earnhardt."

Theyre right, he isnt Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt is dead and Gordon isnt.

Anonymous said...

JEFF GORDON SHOWED SATURDAY NIGHT SOMETHING THE SPORT IS MISSING(CLASS) FOR DALE SR. FANS TO THINK GORDON WAS SOMEHOW SAYING HE WAS BETTER THAN SR. BY WAVING A FLAG IS FOOLISH.I HATE TO BE THE BEARER OF BAD NEWS BUT GORDON AND DALE WERE GOODFRIENDS OFF THE TRACK,BUSINESS PARTNERS ECT.SO IF SR. COULD LIKE GORDON,WHY CAN'T DALE'S FANS,GET OVER THE HATING!JEFF GORDON DIDN'T DISRESPECT DALE SR.HE MADE A FITTING TRIBUTE TO(THE MAN IN BLACK)THE INTIMIDATOR!!!

Anonymous said...

From a Canadian Jeff Gordon Fan (and a fan of the Late, Great Dale Sr. too!!):
To the "Gordon Haters" I have two words: BITE ME!! You folks are so blind and stupid, I wish you nothing but misery in your miserable, jealous little lives.
What Jeff Gordon did was 100% CLASS ACT all the way. If you are so blinded by your hatred of the man, then I suggest you take off the blinders and come to grips!
I can sum you all up in another single word: GOOFS!

Anonymous said...

I have been a Dale Earnhardt fan since he raced dirt track at Metrolina Speedway. I too am anti-Gordon but I must admit that I thought it was a class act what he did at the track on Saturday. 99% of Earnhart fans are now Jr. fans and Gordon knows it. He didn't do it to gain fans. He did it out of respect for THE MAN who he said taught him a lot, and let's face it...taught him how to win races!

Anonymous said...

I too felt mad when Gordon reached Dale's record but then I realized the reason he reached it is because Dale is no longer here to win races and increase his record and my madness was replaced with sadness. However, when I saw that flag being waved for my fallen hero, I thought what a CLASS ACT! I'm a pull for anyone but Gordon fan but what he did brought a smile to my heart and I have to give credit where credit is due!

Anonymous said...

If/when Gordon passes Darrell Waltrip's win total, will he carry around a flag that says "Qualified under Previous Champion's Provisional"?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Gordon or Earnhardt fan, but there was nothing wrong with what he did Saturday night. If Jr and Kelley approved of it, that should be the end of the discussion. The Earnhardt fan base needs to quit trying to be so easily offended. If Gordon had not mentioned or referenced Earnhardt at all they would've been upset about that too. Get over it!

Anonymous said...

If I remember my 90 NASCAR history, Dale Sr. never LIKED Gordon and Gordon should KNOW better, since most #3 fans are NOT #24 fans.

Nikki said...

I think what Jeff did was nothing more than showing respect to someone he admired. I'm not a Jeff Gordon fan but you can't deny the fact the man has won 4 championships. I think what Jeff did was very classy and it was also very classy and cool that Dale Jr went over to Victory Lane to congratulate Jeff. If Junior is cool with it, then we should be cool with it too.

Anonymous said...

Gordon displays class still to this day- even though he has had to endure every negative rumor that his haters have spread for years. Congrats to Gordon, and especially Dale Jr for showing his fans a true example of how to show respect!

Anonymous said...

To the comment three above me...I guess you don't know your "NASCAR history"!!! Sr. was great friends with Jeff and business partners.How can you call yourself a Dale Sr. fan and not even the basics about him. Ignorant fans like you is what is ruining this sport. Learn the facts!!!!

Anonymous said...

brusimm said "Now, when I see Gordon tie Sr.'s win record, I was mad...." Uh Sr. doesn't own any record. Richard Petty owns a win record. David Pearson is second. Remember BobbY Allison and Cale Yarbrough and Darrell Waltrip? So no need to be so mad about imaginary pedestal. PS. Sr. and Gordon were business partners on some real estate.

Anonymous said...

After what happened Sunday at Talladega, I think that all Earnhardt fans should stay home in their single wide trailers and watch the races on their wide screens that they bought at the rent to own store. Just think, they will own it after 5 years of weekly payments of $50 each. The TV that it, the trailer is rented.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing they were business partners but no one can seem to tell what business it was just it was real estate or clothing. Also how many other drivers were involved in this with them. Im betting it just wasnt Gordon and Sr.