The Frontstretch: Carl Edwards, flipping away in a world full of wonder by Cheryl Walker -- Monday June 20, 2005

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Carl Edwards, flipping away in a world full of wonder

Cheryl Walker · Monday June 20, 2005


In 1964, I was five years old.  I was already a tomboy, and loved to try to catch those nimble water spiders on a creek that ran behind our home.  Occasionally, I would hit pay dirt and catch a crayfish, which thrilled me to no end.  My Mother never thought it was really cool, though.

There were other things happening in my world at that time, that I thought was nearly as exciting as catching things that made my Mother scream:  they had spun a TV series off of a feature film entitled “Flipper,” and I was as happy as a tomboy in a bathtub full of things that creep and crawl.

The TV series followed the adventures of game ranger Porter Ricks, his two sons, Sandy and Bud, and, of course, Flipper, the perky and peppy dolphin.  I thought that show was terrific, and would have given away my brother, Walt, for a dolphin just like Flipper to come swimming down that creek I played in some fine afternoon (okay, yes, I would have given Walt away for much less; but you get the point).

Fast forward to the present:  Now we have a perky and peppy NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards, that many have dubbed ‘Flipper’ for his now legendary back flips off of cars when he wins a race.  With all due respect to both the driver and the sea mammal, they do have their similarities.  Loved by viewing audiences everywhere, they both seem to have boundless energy and a good attitude.  Helpful, happy, and able to flash beautiful smiles: who couldn’t adore them?

Here are the words to Flipper’s theme song, written by Henry Vars and Dunham.  Don’t you think they could fit the driver of the No. 99 Ford as well, with a little fine-tuning about living under the sea?

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!

Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he’s near!

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!

I only have one thing I worry about when it comes to our energetic NASCAR driver: those back flips after a long race, when Carl’s legs must assuredly feel pretty much like jellyfish after a tidal wave.

Imagine the horror if he misjudged, or his spent and tired body just wasn’t quite able to land where he should?  Worse, what if he landed on his head; and worse yet, what if that occurred directly on the racetrack?  That would be as devastating to see as ol’ Flipper getting caught in a fisherman’s net and processed into cat food, for all the children in viewing land to see.  Horrors!

It also begs the question, how will Edwards continue to do this as his body ages?  Do we really expect ‘Flipper’ to flip once he’s got forty-year old hips?  Not anymore than we would expect a dolphin to keep jumping through hoops for twenty years (the TV show was canceled after just three years, after all).

In the meantime, though, I suppose we can just sit back and watch Edwards in his world of wonder, doing tricks for the children when they appear.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


©2000 - 2008 Cheryl Walker and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!


Cheryl is no longer a contributor to the Frotnstretch, having branched out on her own, starting CawsnJaws with her son Josh. If you'd like to see more of Cheryl's Frontstretch articles, check out her bio and archive page.