With R. Lee Ermey serving as the Grand Marshal and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from MTV’s hit show, Jersey Shore originally selected to wave the green flag at the start of this weekend’s Sprint Cup race in Richmond, it seemed fitting that Wonderful Pistachios was the sponsor because it got fans wondering if NASCAR had gone nuts!
The “Wonderful Pistachios 400” takes to the track at Richmond International Raceway on the very same weekend of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Fans want patriotism and respect in remembrance of a day that changed our lives forever, not a comical farce!
It just so happens that both Ermey and Snooki are spokespeople for Wonderful Pistachios, so along with the race naming rights, they probably come as a packaged deal. The company also employs a variety of other personalities in their commercials, such as Chad Ocho Cinco, but with the NFL season kicking off this week he was probably too busy focusing on his new team and all. Wee-Man couldn’t commit unless he was given a guarantee to wave the flag in a “Jackass” worthy stunt, say from the track’s actual start/finish line and not the actual flag stand and that Keyboard Cat probably had a gig somewhere at a local ASPCA. So we get what we get.
That being said, I actually do get Ermey, who is best known for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket.” Before becoming an actor, Ermey served in the US Marine Corps for 11 years. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and after injuries forced to retire in 1971, he was later bestowed the honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant after serving 14 months in Vietnam and two tours in Okinawa, Japan.
Despite his larger than life, often abrasive on screen persona, he was first and foremost a decorated soldier who fought for our country, he deserves to be honored as well as honor those who continue to fight for our freedom. But Snooki? That’s a whole other situation all together.
By right, Virginia is known as one of the Southern states and no matter how hard NASCAR tries to diversify the image; it is a sport that originated in the south and still carries with it a certain charm found only in it’s culture. The mere presence of Snooki, a girl whose ultimate dream is to “move to Jersey, find a nice, juiced, hot, tanned guy and live her life” could prove unsettling to your average NASCAR crowd, but look a little deeper and you will find a heart of gold in that pint-sized pixie. Snooki, the daughter of a volunteer New York firefighter will “pay tribute to to firefighters by passing the flag-waving duties to Frank Siller, founder of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation,” as stated in a RIR press release on Thursday.
Stephen Siller was a FDNY firefighter, who died after running through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, left behind five children. Frank Siller honored his heroic brother by starting the Tunnels to Towers Foundation bearing his sibling’s name to help children who have tragically lost parents.”My brother dedicated his life to helping people, and he lost his life helping people,” said Frank Siller, “If he was still here, he’d be doing more than any of us.”
Thank you Snooki for doing the right thing, you’ve made a lot of us NASCAR fans proud.
To be fair, this self-professed “Guidette,” (the feminine form of “Guido’), who will still be in attendance on behalf of her sponsor, was probably wondering just what she had gotten herself into as she prepared to do her thing in front of what she probably viewed as thousands of rowdy rednecks. Look, by stereotype alone, born and bred in the south with an inherent love of NASCAR and all things that involve a tractor, I could easily be type-casted as a “redneck.” I know that we’re a tough crowd, but are we really all that different?
Yankee vs. Rebel. “Yous guys” vs. “Y’all.” Sure, they’ve got Springsteen and we’ve got Skynyrd, but the truth is both bands rock in the name of the USA and isn’t that what it’s really all about? By God, we’re Americans, free to express ourselves as we see fit. So instead of hating on all of the little idiosyncrasies, let’s celebrate our similarities.
We both have funny accents.
We both have the potential for big hair. Seriously, you think Jersey girls are bad? Try visiting Texas sometime!
We’re both loud, unruly drunks. They call it a bender, while we lovingly refer to it as tailgating.
They have their trashy tanning salons and well, we have Wal-Mart.
On Jersey Shore they like to throw out the phrase “G.T.L. Baby! Gym, tan, laundry.” We ‘necks prefer “G.T.O. Darlin’! Grand Turismo Omologato.”
Snooki has friends named “The Situation,” Jwoww and Pauly D. While some of us have a father, who also doubles as our uncle, first and second cousin, as well as a nephew.
In 2010 Snooki was arrested for “disorderly conduct.” How can we possibly judge knowing that many of us have been witness to some foolish girl being escorted out of a race for taking her top off and whipping it wildly, lasso style above her head.
So let’s find away to all get along this weekend people and save making fun for when it really counts, on Sept. 18 when a Caveman will serve as Grand Marshal for the Geico 400 in Chicagoland. Ah, he makes it look so simple doesn’t he?