Voices From The Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday December 27, 2006
Editor’s Note : Jeff Meyer is again off this week. While he continues to enjoy his well-deserved “offseason” vacation, take some time to reexamine some of his best work, like this October column that shows us Kevin Harvick is not always as awful as some followers of the sport would lead you to believe.
People have been waiting for it all year. The non-Harvick fans, the media, even the Childress camp wondered if and when it would happen. When would “Happy Harvick” suddenly snap and become “Hothead Harvick?”
Well, folks, I must say, if there wasn't a meltdown last Sunday… don't hold your breath for the rest of the year. Kevin Harvick is as sensible as they come.
Of course, as always, there are two ways to look at Kevin's response to the antics after last Sunday's race that resulted in Kevin and his wife being knocked to the ground by a member of the No. 10 team. (Ok, now that I think about it, make that three ways to look at itâ€¦) First, there's the prideful Kevin Harvick way. Second is the No. 29, we're in the Chase way, and third is the DeLana Harvick, "They knocked your wife to the ground, ain't you going to do something about it?" way.
Before I proceed, I must confess that while I have not always thought of Kevin as someone I would always root for, even though he and I are very similar personality wise. While I often do things that I know I shouldn't do in the heat of the moment, I am apt to do them anyway. Luckily, I am also a very forgiving person, and I usually have forgiven myself by the next day. Sometimes, I even amaze myself by displaying remarkable amounts of self-restraint, which is a good thing if you want to stay out of jail, considering the sheer numbers of just plain stupid people that are running amok nowadays.
If I were in Harvick's shoes last Sunday, the first thing that would have crossed my mind would have been that someone is going to get their ass kicked! It doesn't matter their size or the numbers… we are going to fight! You cannot convince me that Kevin didn't feel the same way. That's way #1 to look at this : the “prideful” Kevin.
Sometimes, as probably was the case in this particular incident, there are lots of people around to break up a situation before such a “prideful” being can get his/her can opener out of whichever pocket it is kept in. When this happens, the offended usually switches to the “big picture” mode, noting the fact that he/she is being held back by 3 or 4 sets of arms, and informs the “offendee” that they are in fact one lucky SOB that these people holding him won't let go long enough for him to fully make use of such a can opener. In this case, that would be the men who make up No. 29… Team “Harvick.”
“Kevin is a hothead, but he actually did good…he went in there and talked and didn’t even confront the individual,” said Mike Dillon, RCR's director of Operations.
Well, Dillon was near the Harvicks when the incident took place, and was one of those multiple sets of “arms” that restrained Kevin from confronting the No. 10 team further, convincing him to head to the NASCAR hauler instead.
The third, and what I will call the DeLana way to look at it, is pretty simple. And I quote… “You knocked my wife down, now I HAVE to kick your ass or she will never let me live it down, blah blah blahâ€¦If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happyâ€¦my wife's honorâ€¦” and so on and so forth.
Now if Kevin is like me and I think he is, the DeLana outlook is a happy byproduct of the first two ways to take this incident. First and foremost, I want to fight! Secondâ€¦ “Man, you are lucky these guys are here to save your sorry butt cause if they let me go, you are toast!” As an afterthoughtâ€¦ “Honey, I was going to whoop all of em but they were holding me back! You seen me! Push MY wife to the groundâ€¦you're dead meat! Why, there must've been eight guys holding me off ‘em!”
At any rate, whatever happened, Kevin Harvick has come out of it smelling like a rose. Even if it is a rose that smells like it just spent 500 miles in a race car, it is not what most people expected out of Kevin Harvick.
My hat is off to you, Mr. Harvick. Job well done.
Stay off the wall,
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