I have been debating all morning about which topic I want to write about, Oscar Pistorious or Danica Patrick. I woke up this morning and saw that Oscar was trending on Twitter so I was leaning towards that until I watched ESPN First Take. One of the topics of debate was Danica. There has been a lot of chatter about Danica not deserving the “hype” surrounding her.
I agree that Danica has gotten a lot of publicity and “hype” that is typically reserved for those who have proven over a period of time that they are winners. I agree that a lot of the “hype” stems from the fact that she is a pretty woman and in our society women are typically judged on how they look, first, before they are even recognized for their abilities. However, that is not her fault and I do not think she should be ridiculed for it. Has she capitalized on it? Absolutely. Who wouldn’t? Happens all the time. Just ask the dude who sings “Gangnam Style.”
The media hypes up the “next” such and such on a daily basis. It happens all the time in football, ie Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Reggie Bush. It happens all the time in basketball, ie Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison, Michael Olowokandi. Do I need to continue? What has happened to Danica is no different than what has been happening for years. The difference is she wears makeup and everyone I listed does not.
No one knows what type of career Danica will ultimately have but I find it deplorable that members of the media, especially women, have taken it upon themselves to call her out for what she has not done opposed to what she has done. Yes, I know she has participated in almost 200 races and has only been declared the victor in one. By society’s standards she has failed. In my opinion, she has succeeded. She is participating in a male dominated sport, one where there is not a separate league for women. Her peers do not look like her. Just because she has not won a lot does not mean she does not have an impact. I think her not winning speaks louder than winning does. It shows us that even when the odds are against her she is willing to get in the ring and fight even if she knows she has little chance of winning. That is what life is all about, right? Getting knocked down and continuing to get back up to continue the fight.
Even if Danica never wins another race, she has already helped pave the way for female drivers that will follow in her footsteps. The truth of the matter is not everyone will make it to the mountaintop. Some of are here to make the path easier for others to follow. That could be Danica’s purpose. Judging by her actions, I think she is ok with that. And for that, she deserves a round of applause.
Until next time…TOODELLS.
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