By admin | November 4, 2009
By Richard Allen
Jimmie Johnson is on the verge of locking up his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title. With three titles already in under his belt, it is needless to say that he was not exactly an underdog going into the season. Add to that, he drives for perennial racing powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports and his soon to come win becomes even less of a surprise.
However, Johnson is not the only entity in sports this year to have ruined the hopes of those who root for the underdogs.
To start the sports year, the Pittsburgh Steelers won another Super Bowl crown when they defeated the upset minded Arizona Cardinals. It was the Steelers sixth championship which ranks as the most victories of any NFL franchise in the sport’s showcase game. Whether or not they were the favorites going into the season, the Steelers win certainly did not rank as a triumph for the underdog.
In the NCAA college basketball tournament, the talent rich North Carolina Tar Heels took first place. Again, this was hardly counted as an upset and certainly did not rank as a victory for the underdog.
The Los Angeles Lakers won their 15th NBA championship in 2009. They were the #1 seed from the Western Conference coming into the playoffs and took no one by surprise when they beat the Orlando Magic in the finals.
The final four remaining teams in Major League Baseball screamed of heavy favorites doing what they are supposed to do. The highly paid Dodgers were beaten by the 2008 champion Phillies in the National League Championship Series. The all time winningest franchise, New York Yankees, defeated another perennial payroll leader, the Angels, in the American League final.
Like the other major sports, baseball failed to produce a Cinderella story in 2009 when the Yankees claimed their 27th Series last night.
So, it looks as if Jimmie Johnson will go on to win another NASCAR title and continue his dominance. Based on the way 2009 is going in all sports, that should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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