Thursday, August 02, 2007

No sitting on the fence with Tony

You either love him or hate him. Tony Stewart is definitely one of those people who no one will have trouble deciding what to think about him. He was recently fined $25,000 and 25 points for his cursing on TV after winning the Indianapolis Brickyard 400 race on Sunday. You can read about it here.

Tony always has been and always will be the driver I root for week in and week out. I wasn't at all offended by what he said after the race, I even listed it as one of my favorite moments of the race. I've heard worse cursing on evening sitcoms and in movies. I've read that chosen word used by Tony in sermons by Martin Luther. Yes it is crude and I don't condone it. Yet I also understand that out of the heart flow evil thoughts and words. Not all make it to the lips and we fool ourselves thinking that since *I* don't say such things, how awful it is that *you* say those things. But in our heart of pure evil, those words and thoughts lie sometimes dormant waiting to spring out, often to our own amazement as it springs so easily from our lips.

But I'm a Lutheran and understand that it is my old Adam still living in me that arises and says those things. It is that old Adam that must be daily drowned by repentance and forgiveness, that the new Adam may arise in me and live a holy life. From this forgiveness I can forgive others, and even understand ever so slightly why they say it. Yes it is a choice to say such things and for NASCAR they have set rules and fined Tony accordingly.

But the whole hub-a-lub over his choice is funny to me, for no one is exempt from the saying of these words or thinking of them - it is in our heart. And if you are thinking, not in mine, your just fooling yourself as did Barbara Mandrell. You can read about her experience with her filthy language in her book, Get to the Heart. She was shocked to learn the foul language she used while in the hospital after her horrific car crash. If your still thinking, "not me," then drop something heavy on your foot, and just listen what first comes to your mind.

So don't use this as a reason not to like Tony, there are better reasons. But what I really like about Tony is that he acts today like he did when I knew him in school, passionate about racing and passionate about winning. And that makes for great viewer enjoyment on Sunday afternoons.

Go Tony, keep winning. I agree with David Caraviello's article. I would love to see the chase come down to a battle between the #20 and the #24 (and of course #20 winning). Even if it doesn't, I just love to watch the race.

No comments: