Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tim Richmond: To The Limit

I would have published this post a few hours earlier but right in the middle of Lea Michele’s “Sandy” performance for Finn on Glee the power went out in my neighborhood for about an hour and a half. When I got home from work I replayed ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary Tim Richmond: To The Limit and the only knock I had on it was I wish it was ninety minutes long rather than one hour.

I especially liked how half of the documentary focused on his brief battle with AIDS as well as accurately depict the homophobia that surrounded the sport and this country during the mid-80s. ESPN also gets bonus points for having Greg Louganis lend his expertise on when he contracted HIV and its incubation period to show viewers that not only did Richmond not know about his condition until three years before his death but also to educate viewers he could have been HIV positive for several years before he started showing symptoms of full blown AIDS during the second half of the 1986 season.

This is a clip called “Cosmopolitan Man”. Tim Richmond wasn’t your ordinary stock car driver from the South. He was born in Ashland, Ohio, dressed in designer suits and rode a Harley well before middle-aged baby boomers made them fashionable. He had a boat in Florida, an apartment in New York City and a home on Lake Norman well before other stock car drivers made it the place to settle down. He was very good looking man that had no shortage of women flocking to him and was the forerunner to Jeff Gordon and all the other handsome stock car drivers that ran with the Hollywood crowd.

To this day I miss Tim and wonder how many Sprint Cup championships he would have won if he was able to fulfill his destiny – and how many championships he would have prevented Dale Earnhardt from winning.


Zebster said...

You can make the argument, because I think it's the case, that it's Richmond who begins Nascar's nationwide appeal, because he's not from the South, he was a national story because he was different and then frankly the AIDS thing brought attention to the sport.
I miss him too, RJ.

Brent said...

I would have like to see what Tim Richmond would have done over a full career. I would agree with Richmond beginning the nationwide appeal of NASCAR that exploded in the 90's. I miss the racers of that era and the sense of ruggedness that was also prevalent in that era.