Everything you read and hear about Danica Patrick says she’s five feet tall and weighs 100 pounds.
She’s remarkably fit-looking and obviously very healthy.
But she’s tiny. How tiny?
I came across this photograph the other day – it’s a year old, at least – of her dropping the puck at a St. Louis Blues-Chicago Blackhawks game. Her hair weighs more than she does. Beside those two huge hockey players, she’s a wisp.
In her own way, of course, she’s as tough as they are. But size-wise? No contest.
I have an excuse to use that photo today, thanks to the PR people for her sponsor, GoDaddy. They sent a release saying Patrick had participated in the Easter Egg hunt at the White House in support of Michelle Obama’s fight against obesity in schoolchildren.
A picture of health, Danica Patrick is anything but obese and a wonderful role model for young children, particularly the girls.
The Toronto Blue Jays begin their march to the World Series tonight at the Rogers Centre and one lucky fan is going to go home with a brand new, 2013, CR-V EX-L compact SUV, courtesy of Opening Night sponsor, Honda Canada.
It gets better. The second-place winner will receive a Honda CBR500R motorcycle and a learn-to-ride training course. The third place winner will receive a complete Honda lawn package, which includes a lawn mower, a trimmer and a tiller all powered by Honda 4-stroke engines.
(That is the prize I would want to win, if I should be so lucky, considering the disaster that's in front of my Mississauga dwelling.)
The three fans will be chosen at random from among the 50,000-plus who are expected to jam themselves into the sold-out Rogers Centre Tuesday night.
Jerry Bonkowski is a feature writer for the Bleacher Report (bleacherreport.com) and did a nice job this week on the late NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki, who was killed in a plane crash months after winning the 1992 Winston Cup in a showdown against Bill Elliott in the season-ending race at Atlanta.
Monday was the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.
Entitled, ”Remembering Alan Kulwicki, a NASCAR great who truly did things his way,” the column captures much of what Kulwicki was about: a university educated kid from northern Wisconsin who “went South” and beat the NASCAR good ol’ boys at their game.
I only saw Kulwicki up close once and that was at New York’s Oswego Speedway in the mid-1980s, when he was running with the ASA and honing his craft. Bob Senneker, Butch Miller, Mike Eddy, Mark Martin and all those guys were there. They were a pretty professional bunch.
But one guy, Kulwicki, stood out. No, he didn’t win that night – I’m not even sure he was really in the hunt – but what struck me about him was his fastidious way of doing things.
When he and the four guys with him unloaded earlier in the day, one of the crew swept the pit area clean before the car came out of the trailer. All of the tools were taken out of boxes and organized on a portable work bench they had with them. It was a very sharp-looking operation.
About a half-hour before driver and team introductions, Kulwicki went into the hauler and emerged with crew shirts and pants in dry-cleaning bags. He took them out and hung them up in a row on a clotheseline that stretched out from the corner of the hauler. He kept going over to that row of clothes and moving a hanger a quarter of an inch one way or the other. You could have taken a photograph of that display of clothing and nothing would have been out of place, it was so picture-perfect.
Ten minutes before intros, they pushed the car out on the speedway and put it into line and then returned to their pit where each man took his outfit off the clothesline and went into the transporter to change, emerging with minutes to spare. They then went to the car and split up to form short rows on either side, with driver Kulwicki in front.
All the other cars and drivers looked good when introduced, the ASA being a first-class organization, but none were even close to Kulwicki’s gang when it came to spit ‘n polish.
I’ve often thought about that night. There were a lot of talented drivers in that field, but with the exception of Mark Martin, Kulwicki was the only one who made it to the big time, to “The Show,” and I’m sure one of the contributing factors to his success was that he paid attention to every last little detail.
Nothing was too small for his full attention and I’m convinced he became champion and the others didn't because of that high level of concentration and commitment.
He was one of a kind. Yes, there are drivers as good as he was, and crew chiefs as good as he was, and team managers as good as he was and team owners as good. But he was all of them, rolled into one.
We will never see another like him.