Feed the Green-White-Checker

Sixty Six is a significant number particularly when the Sprint Cup Series’ season extends to 36 events.  Sixty six is the number of races Jeff Gordon has run without a victory–until yesterday a Phoenix.  NASCAR yellows strike again.  But a national hunger crisis has also been addressed…

The green-white-checker finish is becoming more and more of a probability than possibility.  All said, the well deserved win for the elated Gordon was a boost of morale for driver and team on the flat one mile oval.   For Gordon fans everywhere it was reassurance that the magic has not left the skilled Indiana bred racer.

As part of putting on a better show for the audience, NASCAR tries however it can to keep the racing “door handle to door handle”.  Honestly it does keep it interesting.  The problem I have is the mysterious “debris on the track” yellows that are thrown to bunch up the pack if some begin to break away from the rest of the field.  This can be abused at the end of a hard fought race where a leader can lose all his momentum and effort to the 2-lap overtime session.

But the green-white-checker has merit, considering NASCAR has incorporated a limit of three before the race will finish under yellow.  This certainly keeps the carnage down–think the Bud Shootout in 2010.  It’s a conspiracy theory, but I always feel these late race crashes are pre-determined….  but of course I am not in the car.


On another note, Danica Patrick raced in the Nationwide Series event at Phoenix.  She finished right where she generally ends up in IRL races–mid pack.

Jeff Andretti in the interest of his young (and quite outspoken) female driver, Leilani Munter, has been shopping her and praising her as “better than Danica”.  Considering the femaile population is migrating to racing in a way that they also seem to be taking corporate America, I had an interesting idea:

A brand new reality show called “Win Danica’s Ride”.  Danica Patrick and the host of the growing female racing contingent could go head to head in an IROC-styled series, incorporating all the types of racing cars though (go-karts to FF to Indy Cars to tin-tops) then top it all off with a bikini competition.

Tell me that wouldn’t sell….?

On a more serious note:  Jeff Gordon’s title sponsor this year “The Drive to End Hunger”, is a wonderful mission–in purpose–by the AARP.

While the “just 8 dollars a day” concept can conjure memory to the days of a plump Sally Struthers pleading for the children of impoverished Africa, TDTEH focuses on hunger at home.  It’s tough times out there and the most vulnerable of our society are the elderly.  In most other cultures, the elderly are revered as wise and experienced.  Let’s face it: in our culture of “eternal youth and beauty”, the elderly are viewed as unattractive liabilities who we put away in nursing homes and retirement communities to be responsible for them.

Here is a bona-fide chance for all of us to help.  I am not specifically endorsing the High-profile campaign that is obviously putting a great deal of money into its NASCAR-notoriety effort, but it is important to understand–and act on–the spirit of humility and care for fellow humans.  There are a number of agencies near everyone that could use the help of time, talent and treasure.  Catholic Charities and its “Meals on Wheels” program has been helping the infirm get nutrition for many, many years.  There are food banks, soup kitchens, shelters…  the list goes on.

It might just be simple enough to bring a portion of tonight’s dinner down the street to that “sweet old couple” who always wave to you and your kids.

The elderly are definitely not going away as the Baby Boom generation has begun to reach retirement age–as a Gen Xer myself, I could easily say “serves ‘em right”, but the compassionate human in me sees hardship as hardship.  We will all be old someday–I constantly tell my three daughters that I am only nice to them because someday they will be “changing my diapers”.  Funny (and crude) as that sounds, that is reality for many.  Strides in medicine and technology are keeping us alive longer–but the basic needs of food and water need to match those advancements.

Hunger is a national problem and it needs to be addressed at home.  Based on world events in the past several weeks, I would say that African and Middle Eastern nations are looking inward to solve their own issues and are taking it upon themselves to better their situations from the oppressive and starving tactics of dictatorship.

This is America.  We have enough food to feed the world and still have a GDP that dwarfs even China.  Lets try to do something-whenever possible to personally help–not leave it to the government!


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