I had heard of this growing phenomenon, but thought it was just silly folklore.
Seriously, what NASCAR fan verbally attacks another for no good reason?
OK, I’m not that naïve, I’ve received a few ugly comments in articles that I have written and while I am quite sure the world revolves around me, I do understand that not everyone is going to see it that way.
That’s too bad really, if everyone did see things through my eyes what a wonderful world it would be, but that is a story for another day...back to the matter at hand.
There I was innocently relaxing on a Sunday night after I’d been out all day feeding the homeless, rescuing baby kittens, and fighting crime.
I had just cooked a seven-course meal from scratch, wallpapered the master bedroom, and put a load of laundry in when it happened. For the record, I was washing colors. I know this because Sunday is the day that I Woolite my Superhero cape and tights.
I generally unwind by answering my fan mail during the evening hours, so when I saw “Tony Stewart Article 09/04/2008 ,” in the subject line, naturally I clicked on it.
To my surprise, the content was a little saltier than I was accustomed to and the tone, downright livid!
What were these colorful new words that I was reading? They hurt my eyes.
After scanning the profanity-laced e-mail, I quickly realized that most of it is not fit to print, but I was able to pick out a few tidbits that I’d like to share.
“I just read your article on Tony Stewart and just realized that you didn’t have one good thing to say about him."
Not so, I simply quoted Stewart from a Rolling Stone article that he was interviewed for. Then again I did mention that he needed a good scrubbing and a shot of penicillin. That is just the caregiver in me coming out, I'm here to help.
“ He happens to be one of the greatest philanthropists of our time, but you couldn’t write about that, could you?”
Not in that context, no…but I have .
“No, you don’t like him because, oh, I don’t know, did he reject your advances?”
No, have not had the opportunity to throw myself at him just yet.
"Refused to be interviewed by you?"
How could I possibly find the time to interview him, I’d be too busy advancing my advances!
“Or the obvious, found you to be an ugly media whore?”
“By the way, what is that thing on your head in your (profile) picture?”
A live bear cub, duh!
“You should use it to cover up your face as it is likely more people have seen better looking faces on iodine bottles.”
This question was so good it elicited a two part response!
A. I do use it for that purpose all the time, have you ever seen me after a 12-hour ER night shift? Two words…Hot Mess!
B. Nice zinger! I’m going to remember that for the next time I need to insult someone. Had it not been me you were talking about I would have LOLed! Who am I kidding, I still did, that was a good one!
“More people like him (Stewart) than like you and more woman find him more attractive than any man or woman would ever find you!”
I am not arguing this point at all! Stewart is more famous than me and in fact prettier, so naturally people like him more! It is the ugly truth that I face every race day, if only I could get my beard to grow in like his. I’d be so much better off.
I'm justified in the fact that I know, I’m pretty on the inside and that is what really counts, right?…At least that is what my mother tells me.
"Bleep, Bleepity, Bleep, Bleep...BITCH!"
Um yeah, you say that like it's a bad thing.
While it started off as an innocent drive by, I am not too proud to admit that I grabbed my gat and shot back my own chromatic defense.
I stubbornly dug my heels in and fought to the dirty end.
Like a couple of children we lobbed insults back and forth to one another for the better part of an hour, until it became evidently clear that we were fighting for the same thing, being a fan of "our driver."
Mind you, we were not fans of rival drivers, arguing a case as to why one was better than the other. We were fans of the same driver and still managed to find something to squabble about!
What is it about being a fan of something that sparks our passion even when there is a common bond of it being the same something?
To understand it, we must define the word "fan."
A condensed version of the word “fanatic,” a person with an extreme enthusiasm or zeal. One who goes to great lengths in action, habit, opinion, etc. exceeding the bounds of moderation.
As humans, we thrive on competition. We take pleasure in the emotional highs and lows that we have invested in our sport. Psychologically, this is the very thing that stimulates the pleasure and reward part of the brain.
Psycho-socially we live vicariously through our driver, not only behind the wheel but also in their lifestyle. We often fantasize what it would be like to be them or at the very least be with them.
Like a proud lioness, we protect out driver as if he was a precious cub. God help those who attempt to bring harm to our pride, you're gonna get mauled.
Like the mighty lion, we instinctively fight off our foes. Hyenas like Kyle Busch or the jackal in sheep's clothing, Jimmie Johnson.
At times the lion proves to be his own worst enemy and attacks its own. An unfortunate downside to being the king of the jungle.
The same can be said about NASCAR fans, the only thing worse than going head-to-head with another fanatic, would be to run out to pit road and mark "your" territory by spraying everything down with urine.
The beauty of NASCAR drivers is that each of them willingly provides free love to anyone who wants it with no strings attached.
Every Sunday they hand out a million little pieces to every one of us, while at the same time allowing us to feel like we are the only one.
It is a rude awakening for some to realize that your man has been two-timing you with countless others. You knew it all along, but never wanted to fully accept the fact.
With eyes wide open we maliciously lash out, thinking he who roars the loudest will determine who the biggest fan is.
But as track seating proves, there is room for us all.
So to all the other Stewart fans out there, don't pick fights with me, we are all in this together. Save your energy for what matters most...booing Kurt Busch during driver introductions.