Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Real Ricky Bobby?

Recently, I went to see the movie Talladega Nights, starring Will Ferrell as redneck NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby. The movie was hilarious, and a great send-up of racing in general. However, it wasn't until I began my usual perusal of the sports world the next day that I realized how similar the movie is to the real-life situation currently taking place in the Champ Car World Series (open- wheel racing). Consider this: you have a driver with "two first names" (Paul Tracy) who, just like Bobby, "either wins or crashes" (more crashes than wins lately, though), to the extent that he could be a living example of Bobby's motto, "If you ain't first, you're last." Instead of the arrogant Frenchman Jean Girard from Talledega Nights, Tracy's main rival is another arrogant Frenchman in Sebastien Bourdais. Also, rather than get into the movie's barroom brawl, Tracy and Bourdais recently got into a physical fight on the track after a crash (look here for details). Further parallels: filling the role of Cal Naughton Jr., Bobby's underrated teammate in the movie who starts having success after Bobby's downfall, is Tracy's underrated teammate, A.J. Allmendinger. Allmendinger also won in Denver due to a crash between Bourdais and Tracy, which will seem eerily familiar to those of you who have seen the movie. Furthermore, he also happens to have a blond girlfriend who looks quite a bit like Carly, the floozy from Talledega Nights who starts out married to Bobby, and then leaves him for Naughton. The only real difference is that Ricky Bobby's a proud redneck southerner, and Paul Tracy is Canadian... perhaps Canada is the world's new producer of rednecks?