Jimmie Johnson Fires Back at Hot Air Bag Donovan McNabb

Last week, on FOX Sports 1, the new all-sports network that thinks it’s a good idea to have non-athletes talk about sports and athletes talk about things that they deem not to be sports, Donovan McNabb was asked if outstanding NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson was an athlete:

“He’s not an athlete,” McNabb said. “He sits in a car and he drives, so that doesn’t make you athletic. I give credit to what he’s been able to do.”

Can’t say I totally disagree, depending on your particular definition of an athlete, but it’s probably not a worthwhile opinion for McNabb to offer up about a six-time champion (especially since the leading story from the one time McNabb got close to being one was whether he puked or not).

Today, Johnson responded:

“Yes, I am an athlete, and so is every other driver in one of these race cars,” Johnson said, pausing to set up his punchline. “Even Tony Stewart.”

That Tony Stewart punchline though.* I imagine NASCAR fans just swilled a beer over that. But that wasn’t even the best part of Johnson’s response. That was his Michael Jordan name-drop about championdom:

“I did have some great support over the last couple of days, which is awesome,” said Johnson, who said six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan had been teasing him about only having five Cup championships.

“I can’t wait to send him a text and say, ‘Hey, buddy, I’ve caught up,'” Johnson said.

Wonder which one-time champion teases McNabb about never winning one?

*Did I do that right?

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  • Port Richmond November 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    McNabb should try it sometime. I guarantee he couldn’t last half a race. You have to have a lot of stamina to endure a race at that level

    • steve November 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      nascar drivers don’t have stamina. the teams of three drivers who race in the 24 hour Le Mans have stamina. those fuckers drive in a race for up to 14 hours and aren’t just turning left. that’s like comparing someone running a 5k and a marathon.

  • Talbot's Fucking Penis November 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    McNabb: Race car drivers aren’t athletes
    Jimmie Johnson: Yes uh!

    That’s “firing back”?

  • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Gotta agree with McNabb on this one. It’s hard to call drivers athletes when the machine is doing most of the work. Whenever a QB or pitcher has a bad game they’ll say, something like “I couldn’t put the ball where I wanted it; I didn’t have my best stuff, etc.” Whenever a diver loses (assuming it’s not cuz of a crash) it’s the car just not being good enough, not handling well, etc. Simply put, the driver can only go as far as his machine will allow him or her. The athlete goes as far as he/she can push his/her body.

    And for that classic argument that goes something like “I’d like to see you try it it’s hot as hell in those cars and you need to be strong and have stamina,” so what? That doesn’t make you an athlete. My grandfather would say the exact same thing about when he worked in the coal mines (as would many fireman, industrial steel workers, etc). That doesn’t make him an athlete. A lot of people have jobs that I (or Donovan McNabb) couldn’t do. That doesn’t mean they’re athletes.

    • Ghosts of Donovan McNabb's Past November 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Whenever a QB or pitcher has a bad game they’ll say, something like “I couldn’t put the ball where I wanted it; I didn’t have my best stuff, etc.”

      Clearly you don’t remember Donovan’s press conferences. I’m not sure he ever took the blame as much as he sold out his receivers, o-line, game calling, or just refused to acknowledge he sucked.

      • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        Haha well I didn’t mean McNabb I guess I was referring to a guy who doesn’t throw his teammates under the bus.

    • Your Mother November 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm


      ” Whenever a diver loses (assuming it’s not cuz of a crash) it’s the car just not being good enough, not handling well, etc. Simply put, the driver can only go as far as his machine will allow him or her.”

      Or they are over fatigued from fighting a steering wheel for 2 hours in 140 degree heat.

      Or one of the very athletic pit crew just messed up.

      Or they overestimated how much fuel to put in.

      Or they ….

      Anyway, I think that racing in Nascar is much, much more difficult than many people know. It’s a work out McNabb could NEVER endure. He’d puke out of the race in 10 laps.

      3 G’s on your head and body while fighting to steer, shift, and brake in 140 degree heat would kill anyone who was not an athlete.

      • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        I agree it’s difficult, and I already said above that McNabb nor I could do it. But again that doesn’t mean you’re an athlete if you can. I’ll go back to the example of my grandfather working the coal mines for all those years. He would say he’s a tough guy and a hard worker, but not an athlete. Ditto someone working in an steel plant, a firefighter, etc. There’s a difference. NASCAR is operating a machine. Would you call a pilot an athlete as well?

        • Your Mother November 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

          “Would you call a pilot an athlete as well?”

          It depends on what type of pilot. If you mean crop dusters and commercial pilots then no. If you mean F-16 fighter pilots and competitive racing pilots than I would say yes. Are people who run daily athletes? Not really. When its at a competitive level it all changes doesn’t it? When people are pushed past limits most people would tap out at then I consider them athletes.

        • Drivers are athletes November 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm

          Ok first of all your grandfather was not competing in the coal mining championships he was working (working)….. Anyone competing in sports is an athlete. Golf players are athletes because they compete. Your grandfather could play golf and not be an athlete but as soon as someone decides to dedicate their life to playing competitive golf or any sport then they are an athlete.

          All you stick and ball thinking people out their only think of the definition of athletes in those terms. That’s what your problem is. The race car is a tool directed by the drive just like the golf club in directed by the player and the bat by the baseball player. If you say drivers are not athletes then the club sinks the put and the bat gets the home run not the player.

      • steve November 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        am i fucking athlete for riding that kingda whatever ride at Six Flags Jersey? I can ride rollercoasters all day in 100 degree weather! so many g forces tho!

        why the hell do people have to mix racing and athletics. and jockies are athletes before nascar drivers…yet we ignore that dude that was mentioned below who has 10,000+ wins. and i am a lot more impressed with F1 drivers and those guys who are in teams of 3 racing a road course for 24 hours than a guy turning left. no one is saying it’s hard to do. …but that doesn’t make it a sport. because sewing, public speaking, writing website code/IT, gambling, being the president, etc. are hard to do too…but they aren’t sports.

        i will give you that pit crews are more athletic than the driver.

    • Debmess November 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Your theory cracks me up. I don’t know where you live but come to Dover and try to drive 10 laps much slower and lower than the REAL athletes. I will be glad to get you water when you quit and puke. Lol love Donovan on the field, commentary not qualified.

      • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        Jesus Christ, will you fucking nascar addicts take the time to read an entire post before responding? I already addressed this argument. I don’t know how I can make it any more clearer that both myself and Donovan McNabb are both clearly not able to complete a NASCAR race without passing out due to hydration, exhaustion, etc. That’s not the issue. As I’ve said twice now my grandfather said the exact same thing about his career in the coal mines as did my uncle in the steel plant. I could never work those jobs because I would pass out our puke. That’s a given. Neither of them would claim to be athletes. They’re just tough guys who are able to operate machinery in the heat. I’ll ask again is a pilot or a jockey an athlete? I can’t operate a plan or handle a horse. So I guess that makes them athletes right?

      • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        *operate a plane

        • Your Mother November 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm

          Just as an FYI, I can’t stand NASCAR racing. I just agree with Jimmy Johnson here.

  • Troll Hamels November 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Whether McNabb is right or wrong about Johnson being an athlete, Johnson has accomplished a hell of a lot more in his career than McNabb.

  • Slammin Gretzky's Daughter November 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    And also if Johnson says nascar drivers are athletes, then why aren’t jockeys? They drive shit too. Wouldn’t the greatest athlete of all time then be Bill Shoemaker or whatever other little jockey has 10,000+ racing wins?

  • Rhea Hughes worn out twat November 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    who cares what mcnabb says! Number 5 will always love you!

  • Sports November 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    The real question is, is racing a sport? What about cheerleading? Gymnastics? Bowling? Kyle, we need a survey to answer these questions!!!

    • Mc November 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      You might as well add golf to that list too…

  • Dr StinkyNuts November 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Stomp right foot. Turn Left. Stomp right foot. Turn Left. Stomp right foot. Turn Left. Stomp right foot. Turn left.

    ^I just became an athlete.

  • Ya its me November 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I drive over an hour each way to and from work AND I have no AC in my car….what an athlete ladies and gentlemen!!!

  • dr love November 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Of course Jimmy Jonson isn’t an athlete. He’s in a seated position and is only really moving his hands and arms. You don’t have to love McNabb to agree that he’s absolutely right. The only other thing race car drivers are really doing is sweating.

  • Coach Shanahan November 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I traded 2 draft picks for a QB who couldn’t run a 2 minute drill, some athlete!

  • hip teen November 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    *Its doe or tho, not though.

    • James November 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Really? doe or tho? What is wrong with our youth and who starts these terrible trends?

  • Vic Vinegar November 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Building the pyramids was strenuous, exhausting work in intense heat. Does that make the slaves athletes?

    Fuck your stupid rationalizations for thinking driving a car requires athleticism you dumb hicks.The worst part of ESPN isn’t their LBJ blowjob fest, its NASCAR and poker actually being shown on it.

  • Six Pack November 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    McCrapp just happened to pick the most athletic driver to call a non athlete. JJ has multiple half marathons under his belt including many #1 placements for time in his age group.
    After his win, JJ invited McCrapp to run a race with him. Doubt he could make the first 5k without chunking.
    I’m a huge NASCAR fan, but smart enough to know they are events and not a sport.

  • billy November 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

    if a 71 year old can be in the “major leagues” or “one of the top 45 drivers in the world” then it’s not a sport. (Morgan Shepherd). Jimi Hendrix would be 71 years old today. That’s how old a fucking nascar “athlete” is.

  • Drivers are athletes November 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    You people saying drivers are not athletes are funny because it always boils down to your opinion and you have nothing to support that opinion. While you have a right to your opinion you don’t have a right to disrespect someone like JJ (who is more athletic than you will ever be) with your crazy interpretations of the definitions of “sport” and “Athlete”. Look it up. Driving a race car for 3 plus hours is very physical. Its not like driving your car to work like some idiot said above. And while you are at it look up are drivers athletes. There have been scientific studies done on NASCAR and F1 drivers showing they have the VO2 Max comparable to that of Olympic athletes. You probably don’t know what VO2 Max even means do you. Look it up and get informed so you can stop being stupid fools…………. Their I have pointed you in the direction of facts, what you going to do now. I challenge you to find anything scientific that say drivers are not athletes. You will not find it.

    • Vic Vinegar November 20, 2013 at 12:54 am

      So your trying to say if its physical than its athletic?

      So every person who has fucked on camera is an athlete now? How about the lumberjacks who have to cut all those trees down?

      Great logic, but I can’t say I am surprised considering the NASCAR fan stereotype.

  • Drivers are athletes November 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    And to be clear for you I mean professional drivers not your 71 year old pawpaw that still drive his 1962 Buick. so don’t try that example.

    • Andy November 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      A 71 year old raced in a nascar race this year genius.

  • Drivers are athletes November 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Did he win Genius????

  • Drivers are athletes November 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    A 71 year old could play golf to stupid and golf players are still considered athletes when they choose to compete in organized games. Look up the definition of sport and athlete. It involves competition and physical exertion and stamina. A race diver puts out much more physically and has much more stamina than any golf player. Its simple a person can play golf or drive a car and not be an athlete, but as soon as that person commits to competing in a sport they are athletes. That’s where you all don’t get it. Its in the definition, look it up. You all think that an athlete has to be jump high, run fast. throw far, or swing something to be an athlete. That’s not what the definitions say. YOUR INTERPRITATIONS FALL SHORT AND THE FACTS MAKE YOUR INTURPRITATIONS LOOK STUPID… Just look it up and stop trying to use stupid examples to justify your lack of knowledge. By definition drivers are athletes.


    • andy November 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      This also means musicians are athletes. Try singing for 2 hours, or playing guitar / piano. It’s a competition to see who the best musician is (Oscars, awards, selling records etc), very strenuous and physically demanding (they are sweating, i’d like to see you sing for 2 straight hours or play drums) have to practice a lot, etc.

      and who the fuck is calling a golfer an athlete? John Daily plays golf, he isn’t an athlete. Also poker, bass fishing, cheerleading and horse racing is on ESPN, so i dont know what that has to do with anything.

  • DaveM November 20, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Would McNabb consider me any athlete. Since I muff dive and Campbell Chunky Soup from his mama’s turd cutter >>>>

  • Ratednc17 November 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    An athlete is defined as someone who physically trains for competition! Not just practice. The level of NASCAR racing demands the fittest athletes. They also have the longest season of any professional athletes at 9 mos out of the year! Mcnabb needs to get of his high horse, just because he won all those championships…. Oh wait!

  • Wise old hick November 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    athlete: a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength

    Yes, most anybody can jump in a racecar and make some laps. It doesn’t take an athlete to do that. In that case JJ is more than an athlete. It also takes knowledge, mental strength and perseverance to become one of the most elite drivers of all time and to be a 6 time champion. Most of the whiners on here are just running off at the mouth from their mother’s basement. Ignorant people that lacks the self discipline that it takes to succeed. I would hope Mcnadd would think before opening his pie hole next time. He has no valid reason to discredit anyone’s accomplishments only to cover up his failed, no championship NFL career. Congratulations Jimmie Johnson and the whole 48 team on number 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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