September 13, 2006

In Praise of Michael Schumacher.

With the announcement of Michael Schumacher's retirement, I came to realize that he deserved a tribute of some sort from The Pond. After all, love him or hate him, he's far and away the most successful F1 driver in history.

But I also came to realize that I couldn't write it. I'm just not a fan of his, and I knew that I'd not be able to do his illustrious career justice.

So, I sent an e-mail to the biggest Schumi fan I know: Mallory M. She's not been seen around The Pond for a while, due to insufficent computer disease, but she used to be a regular 'round these parts.

She also writes a regular column at World Wrestling Insanity, where she moved to after a successful regular beat at the most popular wrestling website around, The Torch.

After the jump, Mallory's Tribute to The Man We Call 'Parky.' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Formula 1 is an acquired taste. I acquired it without realizing it a few years ago. I'm not really sure what sucked me into F1. It might have been the tracks in faraway places with scenery that was spectacular and exotic. Part of it was certainly the best announce team in racing. And then there was someone named Michael Schumacher who seemed to win every race. I'll admit to having a soft spot for the pageantry of the podium ceremonies with Michael Schumacher on the top step. Pretty soon I was getting up early to watch the races from start to finish. They were no longer just background noise on the Speed Channel.

Everybody loves a winner, and Michael Schumacher is definitely a winner. He's the very best at what he does and I was shocked when his tenure with Ferrari ended the way it did. Here's your hat and what's your hurry?

I'm sure the real story will come out in dribs and drabs, but Sunday mornings will not be the same without M. Schumacher in the racing line-up.

Is it possible that he will be sitting in another seat at some point in time? I certainly hope so.

Will Kimi (or whoever) be able to fill Schumey's formidable seat? To use a NASCAR analogy, Kurt Busch couldn't wait to get into the legendary Rusty Wallace's car this year. He got the seat, but it didn't help him win races.

Sometimes the best laid plans go right down the drain, and Luca Whatiznamo--whom Michael was so eager to get away from last Sunday--may not have that sly grin on his face this time next year.

Time will tell.

And as WWE would say...best of luck to Michael in his future endeavors.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:58 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 448 words, total size 3 kb.

1 What I do like about Schumacher is about 95% of his driving style. Fast and right on the edge. Seeing him drive a wet weather race in his prime was a thing of beauty. He would win those races by massive distances, and in the main not due to his car or tactics, but by the sheer ability to throw his car into corners far better than anyone else.

And Ferrari, wow. He moved to an utter dog of a team, steeped in old glories, and turned them into a fearsome machine. They hadn't won a championship since the 70s remember. He tested and drove them to glory.

I'm still not forgiving him for the Damon Hill thing though.

Posted by: flotsky at September 13, 2006 07:18 PM (6T2ID)

2 I too have been a longtime Schumacher fan. But I have also been a long time Ferrari fan rooting for drivers such as Arnoux, Alboreto, Pironi, Scheckter and Villeneuve (that would be Gilles). But Michael has always been special. I think what I love about him is the passion you see in his face after a win. He truly seems to love it out there. This is why I couldn't see him retiring. But they all have to retire at some time, and best they go at a high point and still walking upright. Watching him say that this would be his last Monza brought a tear to my eye and made me remember the way I felt when Senna died, like there was no longer a reason to watch. I hope that's not true, and I hope that someone fills the gap for me. It will be interesting to watch Raikkonen in the Ferrari, but I've never seen passion or emotion from the Fin. So with the accolades being offered, I'll wish Schumacher the best, thank him for all the years I've enjoyed and thank him for helping Ferrari regain it's past greatness. As for Fernando Alonzo's latest statements regarding Schumachar, I'm embarassed for him. It's un-becoming of a reigning World Champion, when he should instead let his driving to the talking.

Posted by: madmike at September 14, 2006 02:43 AM (P1mII)

3 I hope you'll watch F1 so you keep coming back here! :-)

Even if I do disagree with you on Alonso's comments. They needed to be said, I think, and they care MORE weight coming from the current world champion.

If, oh, Christijan Albers said it, they'd be laughed off. The FIA listened to Alonso, and have now put the ability to overturn the stewards' decisions in matters like this into Charlie Whiting's hands. Good call, if you ask me.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 14, 2006 04:51 PM (vFS/o)

4 Everyone talks about Schumacher's passion. I agree that he is very emotional on the podium and about the sport in general. However he is certainly not the only driver on the grid to hoot and holler or shed a tear over Formula One. He's not even the only Ferrari driver to be emotional, Massa went through quite the range a few weeks ago. I agree that no matter how well he does Kimi will never fill Michael's shoes, but perhaps that's for the best.

Personally, I believe that F1 is most enjoyable when there is a true competition and the outcome of each race is truely unknown. And sure, I have a couple of favorites team and driver wise but I'm just as happy seeing someone like Kubica ending up in third in his third F1 appearance as I am seeing Michael break the record for poles or Fernando clinching the championship.

Now all we need is better aero for passing!

Posted by: Buttons at September 16, 2006 06:11 AM (w5lsW)

5 I THINK MICHAEL WILL BE GLAD TO GET AWAY THE MEDIA HAS NOT BEEN GOOD TO HE GREATEST WORLD RACING DRIVER THERE IS ALOT OF HATRED IN THIS COUNTRY TO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO DO WELL FOR THEM SELVES PEOPLE LIKE ALONSO ARE MOTOVATED BY MONEY MICHAEL IS MOTAVATED BY LOVE OF THE SPORT TO SPEND THE HOURS WORKING ON HIS CAR LIKE HE DID TAKES A SPECIAL TYPE OF PERSON AS ALEX FERGUSON SAID ITS NOT HARD TO BE A WORKAHOLIC YOU HAVE EITHER GOT IT OR YOU HAVENT ALONSO YOU HAVENT

Posted by: DAVID at December 23, 2006 03:51 AM (Cr5Iu)

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