In case you missed it, Robby Gordon, the NASCAR ace nicknamed "Back Marker", says he won't race in the IRL until it addresses the "unfair advantage" Danica Patrick has because he outweighs her by 100 pounds. Analysts cited his decision to forego the Indy 500 this year to concentrate on his battle with Kevin Lepage and Hermie Sadler for 39th place in the Nextel Cup standings as the primary reason Indy drew only 400,000 fans this year.
"Whew, that's a tough call," said one industry insider who asked to remain anonymous. "I'm not sure how long Tony George can ignore Robbymania."
The outspoken Gordon, who last year led the Series in accident percentage, including his retaliatory spin of Greg Biffle, which knocked Tony Stewart and Jeremy Mayfield out of Cup contention, said his one league-leading stat was due to "increased passing opportunities" provided by being behind so many other cars. His willingness to speak his mind is a departure from his open wheel days; he was notably silent about the weight issue when his fat butt caused him to run out of fuel while leading the 1999 500, losing to Kenny Brack, the "Svelte Swede". Gordon did not reply to our request for an interview. Pity, too, because we have some other suggestions for him which might get his name in the papers again, something his driving is unlikely to accomplish without further piles of twisted sheet metal:
• Mark Martin is, like, 75 years old. Require all other NASCAR drivers to wear specially fitted contact lenses that make them farsighted. And use actuarial tables to determine by age how full a bladder each driver has to start with.
• Attractive, successful drivers get the lion's share of endorsements. Require facial warts, missing teeth, or surly attitudes to level the playing field.
* Give most drivers a blow to the back of the head just before they put on their helmets, to compensate for their higher intelligence.
• It's not just racing, either. Robby could be an NBA star if only everyone else couldn't jump higher, shoot better, and dribble. Lead weights in the shoes, wearing goalie mitts, and a "No defending Robby Gordon" rule would go a long way towards equalizing the competition. The World Series of Poker would be a lot more interesting if the better players had to show all their cards. How 'bout a special episode of "Iron Chef America" where the secret ingredient is "boiled hot dog on a bun?" Robby could go up against Danica in that one. Oh, wait. Unfair advantage. She's a girl.