Generally speaking, I like Danica Patrick, and I’m not just talking about her looks or her racy GoDaddy.com commercials.
As a driver, it is clear Patrick has improved over the years. She has gone from being largely a celebrity to being a celebrity and a pretty decent IndyCar Series competitor.
If you’re only as good as the company you keep, her stock went up when she joined Andretti Green Racing under the tutelage of Michael Andretti and all that goes along with that name in terms of experience and panache. Being teamed with Brazilian Tony Kanaan also appears to have been a benefit, one of the smartest drivers in the game.
All that being said, what Danica Patrick said to Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick (no relation) was just plain foolish.
Dan Patrick, most often associated with current MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for their days as SportsCenter co-anchors, asked Danica about the possibility of using steroids.
“Well, then it’s not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?” she said.
Does Manny Ramirez ring a bell, from, oh, about a month ago?
Or Roger Clemens, whose repeated denials still has left him perpetually defending his otherwise Hall of Fame credentials?
Needless to say, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was less than pleased.
“In one interview, she undercut what millions of parents try their best to teach their kids everyday in this country, that winners never cheat and cheaters never win,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said.
Danica subsequently backtracked and told USA Today it was a “bad joke.”
With all that has been in the news from baseball on down for years about steroids, even if she had that thought in her head, verbalizing it publicly shows a surprising lack of social acuity.
I’m sure Michael Andretti would much rather worry about strategy for Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway than this.