Denny Time, with drawn butter. (Getty Images)Welcome to the latest Happy Hour mailbag! You know how these work: You write us with your best rant/ joke/one-liner at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jaybusbee, we respond to your messages, everyone goes away with a smile on their face.
Yeah, we're late this week. Sorry. Anyway, right now in golf there's the Ryder Cup, which I know you probably don't care about but hear me out. It's a team-vs.-team competition. How awesome would that be for NASCAR? Two-on-two battles, head-to-head showdowns? Tell me you wouldn't want to see a 20-lap showdown between Jimmie Johnson/Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin/Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski vs. Kevin Harvick for all the marbles? Make this happen, NASCAR.
Also, update on our Last Chaser Standing competition: Greg Biffle came in last among eligible Chasers last week, so he joins Jeff Gordon on the virtual sidelines.
All right, your letters:
Seriously, why is the media playing up Denny Hamlin's supposed "called shot" so much? If anything, it was a balk at best. He kept saying in all of his interviews heading into the race, that he didn't mean it as a called shot and only meant it like every other driver that says "we'll go get 'em next week." But then after he won, because the media hyped the false intention of the statement, he plays it up like he really did call the shot with his antics after getting out the car and pointing, then swinging.
Either own it or don't, but don't take credit for it after you retracted your call, Denny.
— Nick J
Los Angeles, CA
OK, look, I'm biased here, but is there ANY chance that both drivers and fans won't default to the tired "it's the media's fault!" every time a storyline doesn't play out exactly the way they want? I thought Hamlin not only did a great thing by guaranteeing a win at Loudon, I thought he shot himself in the foot by backing off of it.
Here's the thing that both athletes and fans are realizing, now that they've got instant access via social media: maybe the media does serve a purpose after all. Denny wasn't misquoted when he guaranteed that win; that was straight from his phone to your eyes. Every time an athlete says something dumb/provocative/misguided on Twitter, the whole "the media twists our words" argument gets that much weaker.
But enough Journalistic Whining. Hamlin should've owned the guarantee from the start. Playing it tentative is what people hate about NASCAR these days; what's the harm in talking big at a track where you know you have success?
Read More »from Happy Hour: When is a guarantee not a guarantee?