Annika Sorenstam v. Danica Patrick: who deserves it more?
I had a great time the other day chatting with Roc and Manuch on their Calling All Sports radio show (ESPN Radio’s Phoenix affiliate). The conversation? Annika versus Danica. Why does Danica, with one big race to her name, get all that press, while Annika, the most dominant woman golfer ever, doesn?t?
The question is just begging to be asked, and not just because their names rhyme.
Here?s my take: Danica?s hot stuff right now because not only did she make history, the first woman to ever lead the Indy 500, eventually placing fourth, but because her doing so is making people rethink the sport.
Racing just got turned upside down. Suddenly, it?s ?well why shouldn’t women race against the guys?? You even have whiners like Robby Gordon, bitching that women are the ones with the unfair advantage, since they weigh less. He says he won?t race against her unless they start weighting her car. Excuse me for a second: bwa ha ha ha ha! Is that a promise, Robby? Have you been reading from the Book of Vijay?
Danica?s not the first of her gender to race. Back in 1978 a woman named Janet Guthrie made a good run at the Indy 500, placing ninth. After three years of enduring sexist nonsense and chasing nonexistent sponsorships, she gave it up. But times have changed, and the world is a different place. Now it?s ready for women like Danica. She?s broken a barrier by proving that women not only belong in the racing world, but may well eventually dominate it.
And there are no ?women?s tees? in the Indy 500. No special considerations for Danica. She ran the same race as everyone else, and she beat almost 90% of the field.
Meanwhile, there?s Annika, halfway to a Grand Slam, 62 tournament wins, 5 of the last 9 majors in her pocket, and your average man on the street has probably never heard of her. Does she deserve more press? Of course. Does she deserve it more than Danica? Not necessarily. She?s setting new records, and raising the bar for women, but she hasn?t broken any barriers just yet. When she played against the guys in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial she didn?t make the cut.
I wish she?d try again. She?s playing a different game these days than she was two years ago.
The day a woman plays on the PGA Tour, from the same tees, and makes the cut, that?ll be the day a new barrier is broken. Robby Gordon and Vijay Singh will throw themselves a pity party, and the media will have a new darling.
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Rob Gordon is such an idiot. If weight matters so much in auto racing, then wouldn't light-weight drivers dominate? Horse-jockeys would have a new sport.
If Annika can't be the next "Danica," maybe Wie could...
As for Danica receiving much more attention than Annika, two reasons readily come to mind: (1) auto racing is a much more popular sport to watch than golf is, and (2) Danica can be considered a babe; Annika, not so much.