The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Danica must win to deserve praise

Numerous athletes have had so much success, it is a mystery to me why news media give race car driver Danica Patrick the royal treatment for accomplishing nothing in NASCAR’s sport of stock car racing.

The media have a tendency to give critical praise and attention to athletes who have yet to prove themselves. Patrick, currently the media darling and marketing goddess in NASCAR, is a perfect example.

Ever since Patrick announced she would run a limited number of races in NASCAR’s lower-level Nationwide series season, a barrage of media attention has followed her. At the season-opening race at Daytona, Patrick had more media following her than veteran driver Jimmie Johnson, who has won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship an unprecedented four times in a row.

I, for one, am sick of all the media hype, always seeing Patrick in commercials, in magazines and even in Sports Illustrated magazine swimsuit spreads.

Patrick’s only claim to fame was her lone victory in the IndyCar Series when she won the Japan 300 in 2008. The win was more a fluke than a dominating victory when she took the lead late in the race while the leaders had to refuel.

So far, Patrick has had a 35th- and 31st-place finish in her two Nationwide races.

I understand Patrick’s appeal. She seems to be the perfect marketing tool. She has the “woman in a man’s sport” angle. She is cute, sexy and at ease when being interviewed.

What I don’t understand is how she continues to be portrayed as a successful race car driver when she has not even come close to winning a NASCAR race.

Nobody can blame Patrick for taking advantage of all the endorsement money, which companies seem to have no problem giving her. If they are going to hand her the cash, she is going to take it.

The media should be more responsible when crowning the next racing idol. Once she proves herself, then the media hype can come.

Until then, keep the accolades for the drivers who have already taken the checkered flag in a race and deserve the attention.

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