Babe At The Brickyard

January17/ 2000

… Did a certifiable cutie pie almost winning Indy “bother you”?  Why?  BobLee updates the Sports Battle of The Sexes after Danica’s Indy showing.  And Larry Brown officially “Jumps The Shark” becoming an SNL parody of himself. Why would anyone expect otherwise.  More on Coach K and AMEX.  

    As Danica Patrick led the Indy 500 with 10 laps to go my hope was either You Go Girl – Win It (which was fine with me) or get passed by another car … but don’t simply run out of gas coming out of Turn 2 over by that old trackside motel.  The visual of her walking dejectedly across the infield would have been way to cliché-ish for me.  The way it did end was just fine.

   I am not an Indy car racing fan or a “not an Indy car racing fan”.  It’s a major sports event so I pay “some attention” to it as I do to Wimbledon, Kentucky Derby, and The World Cup.  I invest emotion if it develops a “ya gotta come see this” element in the course of the event.  This race did thanks to Danica.

   I had never heard of Danica Patrick (did “Dan” on ESPN have a sex change?) until about two months ago when I read a blurb about her which, of course, included refered to “a scantily clad pictorial in a men’s magazine”.  I noted that she was “a cutie”.  Not in the Anna Kournakova strata but “her looks” (and the David Letterman connection) were certainly part of the package.  Helio Castonevites has a cooler name though.

   The obvious comparison is to her fellow cross-over athlete Annika Sorenstam who occupies a unique sexuality strata of “not un-attractive” but not gonna get anyone all hot and bothered if you know what I mean.

   Danica Patrick is not the first female to drive in the Indy 500.  She is either the 3rd or 4th as I recall (Janet Guthrie, somebody, and somebody else).  Females have also driven in NASCAR’s Busch Series (no not Daisy Duke!) and lets pay homage to Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney of NHRA Dragsterette fame.  But Danica is the first to be given a legitimate chance to possibly win as she showed late Sunday afternoon.

OK OK, I know you are all waiting … BobLee has some “girl at Indy” personal experience.  Certainly.  And a special Indy racing moment.


    It was 6-7 years ago at the 2nd or 3rd “Brickyard” NASCAR race at Indy.  I’m bopping down Gasoline Alley right behind “the pits” and hook up with a for real racing legend Linda Vaughn – Miss Hurst Golden Shifter.  She’s this peroxide buxom gal and has to be on the north side of 60 but still poured into a spandex racing suit and just as delightful a character as, well, AS I AM (sans a spandex racing suit).  For something like 30 years she has been around racing working special events and just being a quite cool “hot mamma”.  I think she knew Barney Oldfield and Mario Andretti’s granddaddy. Her personality and charm was even more noticeable than her anatomical features, which were impossible to miss.  Don’t worry about Mizzus Swagger … that afternoon on Gasoline Alley never got any further than basic WAFFLE HOUSE flirting.

… my Indy racing incident … late 90s Texas Motor Speedway … the first IRL race there … the race is over and us “insiders” are gathered in Victory Circle for the trophy presentation to Billy Boat who drives for A.J. Foyt.  Just as Eddie Gossage is handing over the giant trophy Arie Lyendyke storms in claiming he was cheated out of the race.  A.J. rushs over and decks Arie with a right cross.  Swaggy myownself is standing 5’ away next to the ESPN guy.  My panther quick instincts took over and I got my camera up to take the consummate shot of A.J.’s fist meeting Arie’s jaw.  To this day they call me “the Abraham Zapruder of Texas Motor Speedway”. 


    Back to Danica.  Danica’s near win last weekend quickly transcended the race itself (did George Steinbrenner have a car in this race?) and has stirred up the usual extremists, flapdoddles, chauvinists, and ugly lesbo crone factions … yawn!  Columns get written about columns being written about her looks.  We 4th estaters are quite cannibalistic … “Why do people have to mention “her looks”” they moan.  BECAUSE SHE IS CUTE … THAT’S WHY!  If it was that cashier chick at the BP station with the skull tattoo and the Fu Manchu ‘stach, trust me, we would not be talking about it. … and pervs would not be downloading her images off the Internet.  Here you go pervs … no need to thank me.

   If Danica Patrick looked like your 3rd cousin Sophie the story lines would NOT be…

“Danica Patrick, with a noticeable over-bite, no ankles, and man hands, won a socio-cultural victory for “two baggers” everywhere by almost winning the Indy 500.” … 

   Trust me, I know this stuff.

   PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t let there be an ex-boyfriend sex video out there!  I realize that is a requirement any time an attractive new face appears on the scene but just this once … NO!  I have never recovered from the Vanna White expose.

   Speaking of cliché side bars.  Robbie Gordon played the Vijay Singh role for this one claiming it is unfair for Danica to compete because she weighs less than the guys do and that gives her an unfair advantage.  Add that one to those Susan Estroff and Mike Krzyzewski “No, you didn’t really say something THAT stupid, did you” lists.  OK Robbie, next time she will carry a bowling ball with her and not shave her legs … sheeezzzz!

   Attendance at IRL races will spike now totally due to Danica.  Purists take heart she has “paid her dues” coming up thru the karting and European racing ranks.  She will likely win a race soon and 87,000,000 will claim they were there to see it, which includes everyone who saw Walter’s shot against Duke and everyone in Reynolds when Dudley Bradley mugged Clyde with the tire iron right in front of that UNC ref.

   The IRL promoters are delighted.  Ty Votaw the LPGA commish would also love to have Natalie Gulbis win an event someday.  

    I know not what course others make take but the day I stop noticing pretty ladies is the day Mizzus and Kid cash in my life insurance policies.


    It’s not even worth writing a “Not Again Larry” headline.  Those stories got old 15-20 years ago after Larry Brown’s first dozen teary-eyed denial/move/denial/moves.  This is a “Dog bites postman” story … yawn, snooze, wake me when he DOESN’T pull this stunt.  My personal favorite is still his one week stint as head coach at Davidson back in the 70s.

   This is The NBA where aberrant personalities play by their own no-rules.  Contracts are meaningless and oddballs abound.  The story is not “is Larry Brown bailing on Detroit for Cleveland?”  The story is “which reporter will be the first to make him cry?” 

    Larry Brown’s shameless public love affair with himself is THE most compelling story in sports today … don’t believe it?  Just ask Larry Brown.

   The Carolina loonies, still ripping Darth K for last year’s Laker scenario, will steadfastly defend Weepin’ Larry for this latest shenanigan de jour.  Every former Tar Heel is a freakin’ saint, dontchaknow.  

    Yo, Larr, gather up Doug Moe, Yogi Poteet, Larry Miller and Joe Jellybean Bryant and start a barnstorming league playing Nancy Lieberman, Manute Bol, Arnold Ziffle’s pig, and ALF.


    Mikey, Mikey, Mikey … my status as “the only UNC guy to not live to hate Coach K” may be coming to an end.  I got no problem with the original concept of the AMEX ad but once he realized that even run-of-the-mill fans and fellow coaches had problems with it … he shoulda had AMEX pull it.  Rabid UNCers hate Mike for simply breathing which he has to do but this “I am one super swell human being, aren’t I” thing is too much.  Does one of Joe Alleva’s sons work for AMEX too?


 Swagger’s Stumper

 Who do Barbie Benton and Shannon Tweed have in common?


 John Housman played the intimidating law professor in Paper Chase.

 We are hearing from fellow “24” addicts all across America.  I’m telling you Ya Gotta Get Into It but start at Day One.  Kid left for camp yesterday so me and Mizzus are renting Season 2 and 3 this weekend.

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