IN THE DRAFT: Team works in racing, golf and hoops
Oh well! Here we go again. Just like six championships aren't enough? Or is it seven? Or eight? Who knows where it will end but one thing's for sure, it appears the best team in NASCAR is poised to win it all again.
This past weekend Sue and I traveled to the U.S. Open not once, but twice, and we truly enjoyed our experience. Martin Kaymer deserved his win and I noticed on Sunday morning who should also receive some of the credit - his caddie. It comes as no surprise that a victory requires a team effort.
We were there early Sunday because we wanted to camp out in the bleachers near the third green, the fourth tee, fifth green and the sixth tee. We learned Saturday it was a popular spot and you could see the golfers play on four different holes. As we were getting comfortable on those wooden seats I noticed one of the caddies walking the course early.
I know it is customary for some caddies to go out early, checking pin placements and distances so they will be able to help their golfer in his decision-making before a shot. This particular caddie was Kaymer's. Now I wondered why he would come out so early and make his notes when Kaymer had such a big lead. It was obvious he knew if he could provide the correct info then his man would win. He sure made up half the team and he demonstrated being a great teammate.
After we got home Sunday evening I watched the best team in the NBA dismantle the defending champions. The San Antonio Spurs exhibited what a team can do when brought together as one. They blend together as well as any team in sports and it is all the responsibility of the head coach. Gregg Popovich treats all players the same and does not play favorites. That is similar to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. They are winners.
I don't know how they do it year in and year out. As this Sprint Cup season progresses it is becoming more obvious the parity we thought was in NASCAR is not there at all. Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick teams, except Kasey Kahne, have been dominant. Dale Jr. has two wins. Jeff Gordon has a win and now Johnson has won three out of four. So what gives? They are organized and disciplined.
I say all of that because I don't see any other organizations, teams or drivers out there who can knock them off that pedestal. Not Stewart-Haas nor Gibbs Racing and definitely not a Ford team. I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel, but it sure looks like Hendrick is ready and have positioned themselves to win another title.
I sure hope I'm wrong, but I went to the Open wanting Kaymer to fade and at least make it interesting. In the NBA Finals, I really wasn't pulling for either team, though I wanted to see another game. The only sure thing is others are now trying to emulate what Kaymer and the Spurs did. The bar has been raised pretty high so good luck to all of the others. They will need it.
It's time for our first road course race as NASCAR goes west to Sonoma. Although I am not watching the races like I used to, I still enjoy the road races. I really think a road race, Sonoma or Watkins Glen, in the Chase would make it a lot more interesting. Sadly, that has about the same chance of a Ford winning the championship this year. See you after Sonoma!