Pack it up, overbearing sports dads of the world. You’ve just been outdone. You will never achieve this level of Sports Dad. And no, it’s not the officials’ fault this time (or most of the time, come to think of it). Y’all lack even half the dedication of Sports Dad of the Century Ricky Stenhouse Sr.
Stenhouse Sr. watched his son win at NASCAR’s iconic Talladega Superspeedway from an RV outside ‘Dega’s Alabama Gang Superstretch back straight. Problem is, he couldn’t find a proper, legal hole through the catch fence and someone had stolen his golf cart, as can happen at sporting events in Alabama, so he decided to climb the catch fence himself. Like you do.
Take note, everybody: this is Sports Dadding it right. You can shout at coaches, talking heads, referees or whatever else you want, but you’re all doing the Sports Dad thing wrong. Don’t even open your mouth until you’ve risked getting ejected by the drunk-NASCAR-fan-weary staff at Talladega because THAT’S YER BOY in Victory Lane.
Talladega Superspeedway public relations director Russell Branham explained exactly what happened in a post-race press conference, as quoted by Autoweek:
His son wins the race, he goes down and tries to find a way to get across the track. He tried to climb the fence, found out he couldn’t. He begins running down outside the perimeter road outside of Turn 3, outside the venue; he wants to go through the tunnel and get in here.
Our guys saw it, naturally they stopped him, they asked him who he was, said would you get in the car. They placed him in the car, talked to him, they said, “Who are you?” Said, “I’m Ricky Stenhouse’s father.” “Hold on one second sir, let me call the director of security.” Called our security [and] the security guy said, “Take him to Victory Lane.”
This isn’t the first time Stenhouse Sr.’s tried to take the short way down to see his son in victory lane, either, as Stenhouse Jr. recalled the post-race scene from his first ARCA win at Kentucky Speedway during the press conference:
When I won at Kentucky, he climbed the fence and I climbed the other side and met him at the top. So, um, yeah, I went down the back straightaway after the race was over and looked up to see if he was there, but I didn’t see him.
Clearly, this guy is a real contender for the Sports Dad-est Sports Dad of All Time.