Monday, September 5, 2011

A mea culpa, with qualifications...

I can't tell you how I know that 'Elbowz11' is not really Ben Spies, but I can tell you that I know for sure it isn't Spies -- unless he's carefully crafted an entire second identity in England, complete with another name and address!

So my pot-stirring post about Elbowz11 dissing Valentino Rossi last week -- which, in my limited defense acknowledged the possibility of the post coming from a faux-Spies -- was just pot-stirring. Hey, I'll do almost anything for 1,000 hits.

The larger point though, is still worth mulling. I admit that I'm one of the rare motorcycle racing fans who's not particularly in love with Valentino Rossi. Don't get me wrong; I totally acknowledge his dominant riding skill over a long period. His comeback from a nasty injury also earned him a couple more points in my book. A win on the Isle of Man (which will never happen) would push him into Mike Hailwood territory in my books. And since I've never met him, I can't say that I really dislike him. I just don't love him.

As a writer, I can say that from a literary point of view Rossi the man is far more interesting than Rossi the superman, and I've watched Rossi's (and Ducati's) struggles with a little more interest this season. I never expected to read press releases from Ducati in which they expressed satisfaction with the fact that their star rider was finally catching up to the third group. I feel a little bit sorry for Ducati, a company with an admirable passion for racing. But I also feel a bit vindicated; there were people who'd written off Honda once and for all, and that's something you do at your peril.

Speaking of things done at peril, it's clear that anything that could possibly be considered a public slight of Rossi will still trigger a vitriolic response from his fan base (a group only slightly less protective than Sarah Palin's base.)

I guess than it will be a while before I ask the most provocative Rossi question...

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