By HEATHER WILLIAMS
10:32 AM CDT, June 4, 2012
Okay, honestly, I didn't want to waste another blog on Kurt Busch. I think it's been pretty well established that I used to like Kurt and that I believe that he has some personal demons that have caused him to spiral out of control. I also think its pretty sad. But it is what it is.
Then I logged onto twitter this morning and saw a decent sized group of people not chastising Busch for acting like a spoiled brat, but the media for simply doing their job. It's true, Busch is only obligated to to speak with the media if he finishes in the top five, otherwise he can "politely decline." That being said, he understands this business enough to know that if he does that, people will wonder why he didn't talk. Busch wants to use the media, but only on his terms.
Here's the thing, we all have parts of our jobs that we don't like, even if we are working at our dream job. Everyone who races in any of NASCAR's major series understands that media obligations are part of the deal. Busch has made more than $69 millon racing in NASCAR, he's a former Cup champion. If the only annoyance in this amazing life that he gets to live is he has to talk to the media at the end of the race, he has it pretty good.
But there is something else that bothers me about Kurt's meltdowns. It appears that he is a bit of a bully. He has chosen to go off on two members of the NASCAR Media Corps, that he knows are too classy fire back. He's all bark and no bite. Dr. Jerry Punch and Bob Packrass both handled themselves well in the face of those childish rants. I'm not sure I would have done the same. I applaud them for that, but I also know that there are members of the media that Busch would never act like that toward.
I've also seen a lot of people floating out the idea that NASCAR needs a villain, and Kurt Busch is just filling that roll. I agree, NASCAR needs a villain. But Dale Earnhardt was a villain, early in his career Tony Stewart was a villain, but Busch is just a jerk. You may ask, Heather what's the difference between those two and Busch? Both Earnhardt and Smoke certainly had times when they can be nasty, but they also has times when they were endearing, charming or even funny. I personally have never seen that side of Kurt Busch. Even when you interview him at a PR event or on Friday before qualifying, he seems distant, cold and put off by the entire thing. It's really hard to warm up to a guy like that.
And finally, I am so tired of people saying, you would get tired of answering the same stupid questions over and over again? Really? I wish I had a quarter for everytime someone asked me if my camera was heavy or told me "that thing is bigger than you." But each time I smile, laugh and say something like "it's not that bad." Is it annoying? Yes after 15 years, it gets a little annoying, but it comes with the job, so I've just learned to live with it.
The saddest part about the whole thing is Kurt Busch can drive. He is incredibly talented. But he is going to start running out of chances. I mean if you had an open seat, who would you want in the your car? Busch, or a talented young kid, who can also represent your sponsors in the media (like say a Trevor Bayne)? I know who I'm picking.
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