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.

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [more]

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title game

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings [more]

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their grip

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their gripSports can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The full range [more]

Chants use walk-off home run to stay alive in Sun Belt

Chants use walk-off home run to stay alive in Sun BeltZach Biermann's third home run of the night with two [more]

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut The Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach