If you thought America was getting used to looking at Danica Patrick, well, you’re wrong. It turns out that not only does the good ol’ U.S.A. find searching for Danica a completely insatiable appetite, it’s also just as captivated with the most popular league in the sport she calls her own.
(Hey, what’s with the suit? Does she drive cars or something?)
At least those are the findings from AOL’s annual report of year-end hot searches for 2008. In fact, the report claims that Danica-mania made Ms. Patrick the most searched athlete in the world. In the meantime, NASCAR beat out another surprising contender, WWE, and the Olympics to be the most searched sports of all. That’s right, rubbin’ n’ racin’ was officially more popular online than a truly historic Olympics.
If you’re trying to tell us that you saw that coming, you’re lying. There’s no way you realized there were so many internet users in Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas. No way. After all, how can they keep using their computer when the skin from their boiled peanuts can get caught in keyboards so easily?
In fairness, Danica makes a little more sense when you consider that she A) is incredibly hot, B) finally won her first race, C) is incredibly hot, D) was the centerpiece of a major ad campaign (godaddy.com) and was on the cover of a dozen magazines, E) is incredibly hot, and F) sang during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field. Oh yeah, we almost forgot, she’s pretty hot, too.
Still, NASCAR’s popularity is phenomenally perplexing. Sure, the sport continues to prove that it can thrive on its own momentum, and having its own ESPN breakdown show is a sign it’s probably not going to fall off the face of the map.
(OK, we’ll search for you again if you come a little closer.)
Yet, at the same time, that very indicator is enough to make one think there’s no way so many people can be transfixed by NASCAR. Has anyone else ever watched “NASCAR Now”? The analysts essentially blabber about nothing and take wild shots in the dark at who might win the next race. Oh, and Brad Daugherty shows up, leaving anyone watching scratching their heads about why ESPN hired a former basketball player to analyze auto racing (just for good measure: none of the analysts EVER think a racer is going to fail. Never. They just don’t. Worth noting).
(This may have something to do with those Danica searches)
Well, don’t tell that to the American South. Or people in Northern New Hampshire, for that matter. Clearly, they really, really love NASCAR, and they want to read anything that might be even loosely connected with the sport. After all, Jimmy Johnson won the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the third-straight year in 2008, a mark which means that all those human interest stories that are interested to read the first time are done. All the repeat features have been written, too. What can people possibly be reading the third time about people in a sport built on machines that they haven’t already read?
Clearly, they can read a lot more than we’re giving them credit for.