I’ve known for the last several years that there are a lot of Jimmie Johnson haters out there. I’ll say first and foremost, that while I’m not a fan, I’m also not a hater. I like to think I have an unbiased, middle of the road opinion. But I will say this — I believe a level-headed NASCAR fan, Johnson hater or not, would be able to, at least, acknowledge Johnson’s accomplishments and realize that he/she is witnessing history in the making.
I think I’ve heard at least most of the reasons for the hate, ranging from “I’m tired of seeing him win” and “he and crew chief Chad Knaus are cheaters.”
First of all, isn’t a racers goal to win races and championships? Of course! Should he intentionally cut back on his winning to make those haters happy? Of course not!
Then there are the “cheating” haters. Yes, Knaus has been caught fudging the rules, but what crew chief worth his salt hasn’t? Before you jump on your high horse, I’m not condoning cheating, here. What I’m trying to say is crew chiefs — at least the good ones — find a gray area and try to work it to there advantage. Okay, so Knaus has kind of fallen over the line into the black area a few times. He’s been punished for it, just as other crew chiefs are for their line-crossing.
And the crazy conspiracy theorists who claim NASCAR lets Johnson and Knaus away with their antics and “fixes” races for the likes of Johnson and most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr? I’m not even going to touch that lunacy. This isn’t the WWE, folks.
Anyway, if you’re wondering why I’m back up on my soap box after writing about Johnson and fan loathing not too long ago, the reason is this — there’s a petition addressed to NASCAR asking for the removal of Johnson and Knaus from the sport. Really, people? Okay, so the petition at Change.org has only nine supporters right now, so maybe there’s only a few whack jobs out there.
Anyway, the laughable petition contains a letter to NASCAR, specifically sanctioning body president Mike Helton. Here is a small excerpt from said letter:
“Repeatedly, you have found evidence of cheating from Chad Kanaus (yes, this is how the writer spelled Knaus’ name throughout the petition) and have levied fines, supensions, and even had point reductions for his violations. Is the point of NASCAR simply to make money?”
For one, I don’t think suspensions and point reductions equal money, and secondly, NASCAR is in a business and businesses want to make money. On top of that, one would think a person would, at the very least, make sure he spelled names correctly on such an important “document,” especially if he wants this issue to be taken seriously.
Of course, the writer of this petition and his nine supporters (or eight if the nine tally includes the writer) aren’t the only nut jobs on change.org. Most of the petitions I saw listed on the site looked to be calling for legitimate, level-headed action. But there were a few others that, at least to me, seemed ridiculous and unworthy of a petition on such a site. For instance, there’s also a petition to bring Brian Griffin back to life. In case you’re not in the know, Brian Griffin is a dog on the animated series Family Guy and was recently killed off. Maybe this means so little to me because I don’t watch Family Guy, but really, people? Are our lives so empty that these kinds of causes are the only ones we can behind?
If you want a chuckle, here’s a link to the online petition. Or maybe you’re one of the crazies who wants to support it. Knock yourself out, because I don’t think this petition is going to accomplish anything.
Okay, I’m finished with my rant. Whether I’ve pissed you off or you agree wholeheartedly, talk to us on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook. Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner