- 01/22/2011, 04:41AM ET
(KMac) Lame Sauce said 01/22, 12:31 PM
Yes ladies and gentlemen this is Surfing vs. Nascar. I know many of you don't think Nascar is a sport, but that argument is invalid right now, and you can't argue that surfing isn't a sport...
Anyways, Kelly Slater (10x world champ) vs. Andy Irons (3x world champ) was a better rivalry than Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (7x Cup Champion) vs. Jeff Gordon (4x Cup Champion) and here's why. Nascar, believe it or not, has a huge following, and has had one for quite some time. They've had really good rivalries in the past (Richard Petty vs. David Pearson and Richard Petty vs. Bobby Allison to name a few) so Earnhardt vs. Gordon was not something that was a new experience. Most of their "rivalry" was mythical anyways, they were business partners outside of the sport for pete's sake!
Anyways, the point I'm trying to reach, is that Surfing has always had a limited fanbase, and NOBODY could touch Kelly Slater for the longest time... That is until Andy Irons came along. His rivalry with Slater singlehandedly jump-started the sport and brought more and more viewers.
Rest in Peace Andy, Mahalo nui loa.
Rudedog: Thankful said 01/22, 01:37 PM
I'm confused as to why you think Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon's rivalry wasn't legit because there were rivalries before it.
That's just doesn't make sense.
Gordon-Earnhardt was a great rivalry for the sport because it got many fans interested. Personally, this is the reason that I began watching NASCAR. It had all the makings of a great rivalry.
*Bad boy vs. pretty boy
*Old vs. new
*Young vs. old
Everything that makes rivalries great was here. NASCAR was expanding for the South at the time and Gordon was the Californian-born, child prodigy that stepped in. He was exactly the opposite of Earnhardt.
And the two were still competitive. Earnhardt won his last title in '94, just as Gordon was starting out in NASCAR.
One year later, Gordon takes his first title after edging out Earnhardt in the final race of the season.
I'll be honest, I know nothing about surfing. But to say that Gordon and Earnhardt's rivalry was "mythical" just isn't true. Maybe the two drivers didn't acknowledge it, but it was there. Ask any fan if the rivalry existed. This rivalry is why I started watching NASCAR.
(KMac) Lame Sauce said 01/22, 07:01 PM
"I'm confused as to why you think Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon's rivalry wasn't legit because there were rivalries before it."
I did not say that. What I was saying is that, yes it was a good rivalry, but it was something Nascar was used to. They've had it in the past.
Surfing on the other hand...
You said Bad boy vs. Pretty boy-Old vs. New- Young vs. Old....
You just described Kelly Slater vs. Andy Irons.
Kelly Slater won his first title in 1992 and was virtually unstoppable from then on. In fact he destroyed the competition so much that after 6 titles in a row (92-98), he retired (he was 26!). Nobody could beat him, so why keep competing?
That all changed when Andy came around. He was so talented and gifted that he brought Slater out of retirement to surf against him. He was new, fresh, and had that young bad boy reputation while Slater kept his cool professionalism. During the rivalry between Andy and Kelly, only 1 person was able to challenge for the title. That's 1 person in 9 years! Everything else was all Andy vs. Kelly.
Irons vs. Slater meant more for their sport than any rivalry in history.
Rudedog: Thankful said 01/23, 12:16 AM
Just because a rivalry was significant for their sport does not mean it's a better rivalry. A random ping-pong rivalry could make the sport mainstream for some reason, but it may not make it a good rivalry.
Gordon-Earnhardt wasn't only a good rivalry, but it was a very important rivalry as well. NASCAR was trying to expand it's fan base from the South. What better way to expand than with a Californian-born "pretty boy" battling the grizzled veteran that everyone in NASCAR loved.
And it wasn't just a rivalry of significance to the sport, but a rivalry that was competitive as well. The titles during the 90s went like this
90 - Earnhardt
91 - Earnhardt
92 - Kulwicki
93 - Earnhardt
94 - Earnhardt
95 - Gordon
96 - Labonte
97 - Gordon
98 - Gordon
99 - Jarrett
Of the 10 years, Earnhardt and Gordon won 7 of the titles. The decade was dominated by these two. Yet despite Earnhardt winning more titles, Gordon won 49 races to Earnhardt's 35 during the 90s.
It was a competitive rivalry that brought tons and tons of fan support to the sports. I personally starting following NASCAR because of this rivalry and because of Jeff Gordon.
Gordon-Earnhardt was better
(KMac) Lame Sauce said 01/23, 10:52 PM
You statement that the rivalry between Earnhardt and Gordon is different because it's the old vet from the south against the new hot shot from California is the same thing as Andy vs. Kelly.
Kelly Slater was the wily veteran that everybody loved from Florida, then out of nowhere comes this new hotshot from Hawaii taking over the surfing world. This brings Slater out of retirement to finally have some competition, and over the next 7-8 years, they formed a rivalry unlike any other in any sport.
My biggest and main point is the fact that Kelly Slater came out of RETIREMENT for this rivalry.
Anyways, we lost both Earnhardt and Irons too soon. RIP.
Rudedog: Thankful said 01/24, 04:11 PM
Well that argument left a lot to be desired, yet you caught up to me in vote totals. Hmmm.
All you're doing is repeating yourself and not really giving out new information. The difference between your rivalry comparisons is that Earnhardt-Gordon thrust their sport into the mainstream. It wasn't totally because of them it became popular, but that was pretty big reason.
Slater-Irons may have been a great rivalry, but it did nothing for their sport. I honestly couldn't tell you a surfer outside of Kelly Slater and I had no idea about this rivalry.
But lots of people know about the Gordon-Earnhardt rivalry. And that's the difference. It meant more to the sport and it did more for the sport.
If your biggest point is Slater coming out of retirement, then that's not much. Surfing isn't exactly the most physically demanding sport, so it wasn't like he was defying the odds Brett Favre style.
Good TD, but I think I gotcha on this one
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