I'm Not Sure I Knew Arturo Gatti and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Were Such Good Friends

I knew they were friends, yes. I believe I recall Dale Jr. accompanying Gatti to the ring. But it appears they were better friends than I knew, and that Junior took Thunder's death pretty hard.

I got this new impression from the most recent piece from Fox Sports' national columnist Mark Kriegel. The meat of the column is an examination of what's wrong with Earnhardt and why he's struggling so badly now compared to the early part of his racing career.

Of interest to boxing fans is the story Kriegel tells to start off the piece, which involves Junior challenging Gatti to teach him how to fight... by fighting him. There's also a contrast drawn between how a boxer is exposed for the whole world to see while a driver, even one as famous as Earnhardt, is literally hidden away.

I won't spoil it by giving away how either tale turns out. It's worth a read if you have a few spare minutes.

Posted by The Franchise

1 comment:

uatu said...

There's a recent article in Maxim that investigates the death of Gatti. Junior is mentioned in that article as a friend of Gatti's and even taught him a NASCAR trick of biting his lip to stay awake, which Gatti used in the corner against Ward to stay conscious.