Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Real Reason For All the Johnson Hate

I've had an epiphany.

Since Jimmie Johnson took a turn for the worse at Texas Motor Speedway, I've been trying to figure out why so many core NASCAR fans literally did a happy dance when he crashed on lap three. There were raucous jeers from fans at the track. And even a good many Twitter peeps made it clear that Johnson's demise was their own dream come true.

I think I've finally found the answer. Folks don't like Johnson because he makes it look easy.

Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus don't get ruffled. They rarely commit errors. They plan their work and work their plan. And then they do annoying things like hang in the back of the pack at Talladega for the entire race and end the day with nary a scratch and a sixth-place finish.

This is enough to make fans of certain other drivers who scream at their crew chiefs and cut tires on a regular basis, want to set Johnson's hair on fire.

To illustrate, please permit me a personal example. There's this guy at the office who drives me berserk. He sails through the day updating his e-harmony profile, playing Farmtown on Facebook, and chatting with his "lady friends" via instant messenger. And if that was all there was to it, I'd be merely amused. But the thing about him that really gets under my skin is, for all that, his work magically gets done. In short, he makes it look easy.

Of course, unlike the dude in my office, Johnson and Knaus put in the hours and have some serious work ethic and ambition and probably don't play Farmtown. But, unless you count Texas, winning sure doesn't look too difficult for them.

And this is why fans were elated to hear the usually controlled Knaus start to get a little huffy with his crew in the Texas garage post-wreck. That's why there was shameless delight when Johnson directed his frustration at Sam Hornish Jr on camera.

The Lowe's team had finally had a hard day - and they were letting it show.

Unfortunately for all you Johnson haters, the Lowe's Chevy will still win a history-making Cup championship at Homestead. And, yes, they might make it look easy.

Just try not to let it bother you too much.


  1. I agree with you, Jimmy and Chad are just too perfect. They don't have enough wrecks, or enough DNF'S for the hard core NASCAR FAN who spend a lot of money each year for the pleasure of being entertained by the fastest race car drivers in the Country, they think they deserve better. But on the other hand NASCAR gave them Rowdy Busch Who does everthing the opposite of Jimmy who wins races and they hate him too, so what can you do? People are just too unique to try and figure them out so lets just keep racing like it is and leave Jimmy and Chad and Kyle as they are and they will get all the love and respect that they will need in this lifetime. Nascar is still the best entertainment ever for any person of any age.


  2. I disagree. There are more reasons that one that people dislike Jimmie. Here are a few

    1.) they dislike the Chase and Johnson and company have it figured out.

    2.) His championships come from being the best in 10 races only and not the entire season.

    3.) ESPN shoving Jimmie and company down our throats for 10 straight weeks. (How many replays did we see of the crash?)

    4.) Jimmie is just not very interesting

    There is more but I said I would only mention a few :-)

  3. You are off target. The problem is that the 48 team has a long history of CHEATING, and Hendrick has been the beneficiary of questionable calls and non-penalties for bending the rules.

    In addition, Jimmie Johnson has become the poster boy for the current state of NASCAR and the unpopularity and artificiality of the chase and the overabundance of dull 1.5-mile tracks, and the overly vanilla personalityes (which Jimmie by his own admission is guilty of).

    Jimmie may well go on and win his first actual Cup championship (where he scores more points than anyone over the full season), otherwise, he is merely a multiple Chase champion.

  4. ESPN did a poll asking if fans liked Jimmie and if not, why not. The majority actually said they liked him, with 25% having no opinion. And those who said they don't like him said it was because he wins too many championships. So yes, I think he does tend to make it look too easy, but the fact is, a lot of the greats in sports have done that. Only in NASCAR does it seem to be a problem for (some of) the fans.

  5. People don't like Jimmy because he reminds us of the jock in High School that had everything handed to him and got all of the pretty girls. That is why people liked big E. You could see his struggles and work.