Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dear Tony Stewart,

Dear Tony,

I have liked you since the beginning of my NASCAR fandom. I admired your fire and your passion. I managed for years to shrug off your issues as being a sign of passion. However, the last few weeks have pushed me past the line of Tony Apologists, right into the line of Disgusted with Tony.

It is very easy for a two-time NASCAR Champion to get too big for his britches. Three years ago, I waited in line for you to show up for an appearance in Vegas. You were an hour late. I waited again the following year. You were 45 minutes late. You complained about feeling like you were in a fish bowl, at Daytona and Vegas, because fans were staring at you through the glass. You seem to enjoy it more when you don't have to interact with fans. Come to think of it, you don't enjoy interacting with reporters, either. Beware, Tony, as both of those groups can make you or break you.

You have had your hide tanned by Mr. Helton, and from what I read, Mr. Gibbs is next in line with the paddle in hand. According to Jenne Fryer, Mike Helton refuses to even talk about how he feels about you now. Mike was a poker bud of yours.

You recently dissed the sport of NASCAR, the one that pays for your living. You got spanked for it, then went right out on the track for the Busch race, and you were promptly a factor in two crashes.

One of those crashes was because you had contact with the car of David Gilliland. When David was questioned afterwards, and indeed was PRESSURED about your part of it, he steadfastly refused to say anything negative about you. Take a look, Tony:

  • DAVID GILLILAND – No. 25 Ford Fusion (Finished 37th) – “Our Ford Fusion was running real good today, but, I don’t know. There was a little bit of contact there and sent me spinning. It’s too bad we ended our day soon, but we had a good car. It felt really good to run up front there.” YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONY’S DRIVING OUT THERE TODAY? “It’s a little rough, but, I mean, if it was the last lap you could swallow it a little easier. It’s just Talladega. You’re running close and bump-drafting and everything else. You’re real close. It’s just kind of the nature of the beast, especially here, so it’s just one of those deals I guess.” YOU HEAR ABOUT THE YOUNGER DRIVERS KNOWING WHEN TO RACE AND HERE YOU HAVE A VETERAN GETTING INTO THE BACK OF YOU. “Yeah, a little bit. But I think the track gives everybody so much confidence that it gets them into trouble, but it’s just too bad. Like I said, our Ford Fusion was real good today and it just felt good running up front there. I wish we could have finished up there.”
Too bad you, a veteran, could not be nearly as graceful. Instead, the post-race interview today, after the Cup race, had you throwing out a cheap shot about David "lucking into his ride."

I am no longer apologizing for your "heated emotions' excuse. I am no longer buying into your 'woe is me' attitude. I am no longer going to believe a word you say.

And one more thing, Tony, you claimed that David was getting back at you for taking him out after the Busch race. That implies two things:
  1. You took him out deliberately.
  2. You expected that action from him, because YOU would have reacted that way. You assumed that he did it because that would have been your response.
I find it amazing that after Daytona, you reported that David was a great driver. And now, he 'lucked' into his ride. So, he is good when he helps you, and then becomes a bad driver because he got into you. One doesn't lose talent like that, Tony.

Oh, and Tony...the reason why you got jacked up by David at the end, was because you drove right down in front of him. You were not driving a straight line on the track, your straight line was going off of the wall down to the bottom. You went right in front of him. Man up, Tony, and take some of the blame on yourself.

In the meantime, I am cutting my Tony Stewart Fan Club card into pieces. My Sirius radio, which is turned on 24/7 to the NASCAR channel, will be turned off for two hours on Tuesdays from now on. I will drive out of my way, go past Home Depot straight to your competitor. I will check in my house for any sponsor's products whose badges you have worn in the last year, and clean them out. Coca-Cola out, Hello Pepsi products. Old Spice will never be in this house again. Did your comments about David Gilliland cause this? Yes, because it was the last straw heaped on the back of a very heavily laden camel. At this point, an apology from you is about as valuable as a counterfeit dollar bill.

Just remember this Tony, not all of the boo's you received at the track come from JR fans. Many come from former fans who no longer believe in you.

For being such a good driver, you certainly are looking more and more like the southbound end of a northbound mule. And a pompous mule, at that.

Very Sincerely,

One extremely peeved SNAFAM

Tony, the decal says it all!

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln.


vroom said...

What a classic foto!

PS, I mean BS..Tony was not 100% wrong with what he said, just my 3 cents worth.

High Groover said...

Sadly, I missed the Busch race incident and was paying attention to ANOTHER driver when the fracas between DG and Smoke occurred on Sunday. IMHO, tho, it doesn't matter one whit who took out who -- Tony's comments were personal and waaaay out of line. What a shame that someone with the charisma, popularity, and drive to make positive change in our sport has traded in his Championship Throne for bully pulpit. I guess that's what happens when you "luck into" a radio show!

Steven said...

excellent post. I thought Stewart's comments after the race were way out of line. There was nothing Gilliland could've done to prevent that crash and the fact he didn't say anything negative about what happened Saturday or Sunday, shows he's got more class than Tony. "Lucked into his cup ride?" Yeah, Gilliland is 25th in points...not too bad for a guy who's racing his first full year in NASCAR. Maybe Tony could learn a few things from a little integrity and character.

theStewartFan said...

I wish I had something to say in Tony's defense, but I don't. I guess my loyalty and ability to forgive Tony keeps me a fan for one more race, but I know how you feel.