Got a message from an old friend. Well, not old, just someone i haven't heard from in a while. She invites me to join her "former Hendrick haters who still love Dale Jr" support group. I had to chuckle. It got me to thinking though, there's probably a lot of sports fans out there who wouldn't quite get that or understand just how much pain Dale Jr fans are experiencing right now. So let me try and explain.
Suspend a bit of reality for a minute and try and picture this scenario:
suppose 2 major "unthinkable" events happened in Baseball. no, not Barry admitting to the steroids. suppose for some reason, the NY Mets just went and left town. They had enough of playing second fiddle to the Yankees and they found new stomping grounds elsewhere. Doesn't really matter where. Now imagine at the same time, the entire Boston Red Sox organization has a falling out with the city of Boston (the leaders, not the fans). Tempers flare, threats are leveled, and in a moment that changes fan's lives, the Boston Red Sox move to New York. Yeah yeah i know, the circumstances have to be outrageous and the legal things etc.... but bear with me.
so now picture yourself a Red Sox fan. what do you do? You still love your team. You believe them when they said they had to do what was best for them. You know they didn't do it to piss on you, the fan. What now? As a Red Sox fan it's always been your obligation to hate all things NY. It's in your blood. It's a requirement for being a Sox fan. Now YOUR team is putting up their feet in front of a fireplace in enemy territory. Your whole world has become conflicted.
So back to reality. Now that you picture that, i think you're ready to get a feel for what Jr fans are going thru. The torment of loyalty clashing with hatred. We still wish all the best for Jr, but as an "Earnhardt" fan we can't just "purge" the automatic hatred we feel for Gordon-Hendrick. We all cheered and hoped against hope for Jr to bring a championship back to DEI. we were waiting for SOME kind of happy memory to fill that void when Dale Sr left. it never came. instead we sat thru 7 seasons of disappointment only to have it all come to a head and have our whole fan-world come crashing down thanks to a business arrangement gone wrong. I think it would be easier to accept if it was a trade or something, but a BUSINESS decision?
I still wish nothing but the best for Dale Jr. He's a class act and a great driver.