MONTE DUTTON: THINGS WILL GET BETTER
There really isn’t that much to write about this time of year, and that’s the way it should be. Kids are out of school. The ones in college are already complaining about how “there’s nothing to do” at home.
So we make mountains out of molehills and molehills out of anthills.
“The law firm of Scotch & Waters has announced it is extending its associate sponsorship of Loosy Goosy Motorsports from 18 to 19 races. To celebrate its increased investment, one lucky fan will get a frivolous lawsuit for absolutely free!”
What did we do before social media? About the same. It was just slower.
We bump into friends and tell racing stories. Last night I left the county for the second time in a week. The GPS in my phone missed my destination by two blocks, so the walk made my feet hurt because I only wear those shoes when I go to drop-ins and funeral homes.
One day I killed a half hour by watching only black-and-white videos on YouTube of Daytona 500 highlights from 1963 through 1966. I’m getting old. I can remember NASCAR coverage by Curt Gowdy and Bill Flemming calling an emerging superstar Dick Petty.
Sometime soon, probably after Santa Claus comes and surely by the time the citizens of this town run out of New Year’s fireworks, interest in racing will make a transition from nostalgia to anticipation.
Was Martin Truex Jr.’s title campaign the year of his life or the harbinger of greater things to come?
Who steps up to fill the void of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement? The betting line now is no one, but NASCAR has been around for decades, and not one driver has ever been unaffected by the passage of time. Someone will come along, just as Richard Petty captured the fandom’s imagination after Fireball Roberts’ tragic death.
The pessimism of this morning will turn into rosy optimism once Daytona Speedweeks appear on the horizon. It’s easy to brood now about the threat of driverless cars and kids with short attention spans. I doubt they’re going to kill racing, and I doubt concussions are going to kill football.
Right now it’s at its darkest, but it won’t be long until another dawn.