Johnson has Manning-like motivation in 2012

Being somewhat of a living-in-the-moment type, I tend to shy away from pre-season predictions and other prognostications as a general rule; first of all, because they’re basically meaningless, and second, because I’m usually wrong.

 But since it’s no state secret or even a surprising choice, the biggest story in sports during the week of March 5 reminded me that I haven’t said it openly, so here you go. I believe Jimmie Johnson will win his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012.

I thought about Johnson as I watched former Indianapolis Colts icon Peyton Manning, along with team owner Jim Irsay, announce that one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game was being “released.” We all knew it was coming, and “smart move vs. dumb move” opinions abound, but my first thought was less than analytical; it was “uh-oh. That’s going to be one motivated guy.”

The term “released” always makes me laugh. It conjures up the image of professional sports being like a huge fish pond abounding with bass, trout, catfish and the occasional slimy eel. Teams serve as the anglers who literally do just that, using various types of bait, lures and cagey maneuvers to get their top choices on the hook, where they are then served up on a silver platter for the enjoyment of the fans and the profitability of the franchise.

Until, that is, things start to get a little fishy. A five-time championship dynasty becomes a sixth-place finisher. A Super Bowl winner is sidelined by injury. “We did it” becomes “What could we have done differently?” One franchise player becomes a free agent, while another must graciously applaud as a competitor hoists a trophy that for half a decade has belonged only to him.

Fortunately, champions are defined not by their misfortunes, but by how they respond to them.

Manning has been “released,” AKA fired, back into the pond, whose shores seem to be getting awfully crowded all of a sudden.

At last count, at least six teams were queuing up to talk terms with the future Hall-of-Famer. They see him not as a liability, but as a potential saving grace. After his contentious split with the Green Bay Packers, remember, Brett Favre went on to have the best statistical season of his career, with the Minnesota Vikings.

While we have already established that there is no such thing as a safe prediction, I cannot envision a day when the words “Hendrick Motorsports has released Jimmie Johnson from his contract” will be uttered. But I do know this; while finishing sixth in the year-end driver standings might be the pinnacle of a career for another driver, for Johnson, it represents failure … and motivation.

Tell a guy he’s done and some will believe it, but others will just be inspired to go out and do more. I believe Jimmie Johnson is that kind of guy, and a disappointing early season will simply make him and his team work that much harder. Talent is great, but extreme motivation will almost always beat it, and Johnson has a boatload of both.

I challenge those who believe the old adage that an extremely hot place down South “hath no fury like a woman scorned” to keep your eyes on Manning and, in particular, on Jimmie Johnson in 2012.

That mad woman is about to get a run for her money.

NASCAR notes

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and Indianapolis native Tony Stewart on Peyton Manning: “I’ve had a chance to interact with Peyton. He’s just a great guy and he’s meant so much to the Indianapolis Colts and the city of Indianapolis, and we’re all sad to see him go … In the big picture it’s probably in the best interests of the franchise but you can’t imagine the Indianapolis Colts without Peyton Manning. He’s been such a great figure, and whatever he does we want him to be happy, and stay healthy, and have fun.” … 2011 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne has announced that he may be forced to drop of NASCAR Nationwide Series contention due to lack of sponsorship on the car. Bayne drives for Roush Fenway Racing. … Defending Southern 500 winner Regan Smith and fellow driver Paul Menard, along with Smith’s wife, Megan, and a family friend, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident Wednesday. The foursome was on the way to a nearby ski slope when Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice and crashing into a stand of trees near his mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver.

NASCAR columnist Cathy Elliott is also the author of the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: NASCAR.” Visit her online at www.mybrainonnascar.com.

Comments

comments

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debut

Coastal weathers storm, Cajuns in Sun Belt debutOn the road for 12-straight days, which included a 10-day [more]

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia Tech

No. 2 Tigers take care of business, top Georgia TechThe No. 2 Clemson football team opened 2018 ACC play [more]

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat Vandy

Gamecocks bounce back from week off, beat VandyJake Bentley threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swim

SCHSL changes schedules for volleyball, tennis, swimIn the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina High [more]

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of Fame

Chants set to enshrine nine in Athletics Hall of FameThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced Monday the nine [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach