Originally Posted by remdog
Have to agree with Dan. In fact, I never 'got' Dale Earnhardt when he was alive!
Hey, I have no problem with someone saying they don't get the Earnhardt thing. It was Dan's "He's dead folks, move on!" add-on that offended, and not because I'm an Earnhardt worshipper. When he was racing, I was not a fan of his at all. But after his death, and after researching and talking to people about his life, I became a big admirer of the man for what he went through and what he became. The similarities between his life and Pete Rose's life are both striking and remarkable, and we all know how Pete was revered in this town and among Reds fans everywhere, at least before the gambling mess started.
I think part of what keeps the Earnhardt mystique alive (in addition to his being one of the two greatest at his "sport" ever) is the circumstances under which he died. An appropriate analogy that might bring it home for Reds fans would be for Pete Rose to have been rounding third in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 of the World Series and suddenly collapse and die on the basepath, while millions watched. That's pretty much what happened at the Daytona 500 that February day in 2001.
I really didn't mean to get into all this in this thread (of all places), but I guess my button was pressed.
Some don't "get" Earnhardt, just as some don't get Rose, Mantle, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, or The Beatles. For every icon, there will be a large percentage of the population that won't give them a second thought, in life or in death. That makes them no less significant to those who understand their place in American pop culture history.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled fun.