Everyone has an opinion, especially when it comes to sports.
And why not? Sports are supposed to be a distraction from everyday life and while they usually are, they also come with their own set of questions and answers that vary depending on which fan you ask. That’s the fun of it, but it also leads to a load of speculation. With that being said, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s impending retirement at the end of the season is one of the most talked about storylines this year.
Unfortunately for fans that are tired of the constant barrage of goodbye gifts, bleak playoff updates and the weekly reminders that this will be the last time that JR races at so and so track, Dale JR’s retirement tour is still being covered at an unparalleled level and now even Dale JR’s biological mother, Brenda Jackson has thrown her two cents in the mix as well.
“After watching what he went through last year (battling concussions and after-effects), I wouldn’t even have started this year. Jackson told USA Today in regards to her son’s issues with concussions and his upcoming retirement from The Cup Series,“You watch your 42-year-old son, and he can’t even walk a straight line. He gets on a bicycle, and he can’t keep his balance. He can’t drive a car, although he drives one for a living.”
Jackson went on to tell Usatoday.com that,”He and Amy (his wife) want to be able to do other things and hopefully have a family. There’s so much out there for him to enjoy and experience. Why risk it when you don’t need to?To have watched him go through what he went through last year, as a parent I was very scared,” she said. “In my mind, he’s done everything he wanted to do, so let’s stop and smell the roses.”
With that and mind and the fact that this is JR’s biological mother speaking, it still seems pretty ridiculous to say that he doesn’t have to risk it anymore. Sure, JR’s concussion injury in 2012 and his subsequent one in 2016 were very scary for both fans and family to watch, but at the same time, i hate the idea of ignoring what he hasn’t done and acting like he’s proven everything he needs to on the track.
Whether fans like it or not, JR has’t proven very much in his 17 years as a full time Cup Series driver and while there were flashes of brilliance here and there, it ultimately paled in comparison to what his Hall of Fame father accomplished throughout his stint in The Cup Series. Again, JR has every right to retire on his own terms, especially with his growing health issues, but why act like he’s a man that turned the sport on its head.
In reality, he didn’t. In reality, he couldn’t even muster one championship during his career, despite coming close so many times. He also stands on the lower end of the all time win list, which is also eclipsed by his father, and countless other drivers who were able to do more in their time in the sport then JR could probably ever dream of trying to do.
In the end, he deserves to retire, he deserves to be recognized for his contributions to the sport, but to say that its not worth it and to act like he deserves to put on some kind of pedestal l as the best the sport has to offer is a pipe dream at best and an outright delusion at worst.