Tuesday Trend Report

February 28, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson


Danica Patrick


Danica Patrick’s first weekend as a full time NASCAR driver wasn’t likely what she was expecting. For all of the hype and fanfare (and attention and money) that she’ll bring to the sport, surely there’ll be doubters and haters. Those doubters and haters got plenty of fuel for their fire this weekend as Patrick wrecked during qualifying, had a nasty crash in the Nationwide event on Saturday and then found herself out of action and in the garage after just one lap of action in the Daytona 500 on Monday night. Patrick did get in 138 laps after repairs were made, but her weekend might have been best summed up during the TV broadcast when one of the announcers touted how much other drivers had learned from Patrick already about how to react to a wreck. She did after all have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate those skills.



The NBA Dunk Contest


The NBA won’t likely ever be able to win for losing when it comes to the dunk contest. It has over time become stale, no doubt, and most years doesn’t feature the talent that fans readily associate with high flying athleticism and instead becomes a showcase for 11th and 12th men from NBA benches who can jump through the roof. The league tinkers with the format and we criticize that, they do away with the contest and we criticize that too. They give us champions like Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin and suddenly we want Lebron. Historically, the stars like Jordan and Vince Carter and Howard were the exception and more often fringe guys like Kenny Walker and Cedric Ceballos and Dee Brown were typical par for the course and the contest itself has been hit or miss. To that end, nothing’s changed. And criticism is better than indifference. We’re complaining, but we’re watching too.