Shaq rode to the F1 podium in a giant Mad Max longhorn death machine

It’s not difficult to make an entrance when you’re Shaquille O’Neal. I mean, outside of Michael Jordan, he’s probably the most recognizable NBA legend on the face of the earth. But when you’re invited to bring the Formula 1 trophy to the podium of the United States Grand Prix, well, you need something special.

Obviously Shaq can’t fit in an F1 cockpit, or any similar cramped racing machine — so he rode in on THIS.

Honestly, it’s hard to parse what I’m even looking at here. We’ve got an extremely stretch … something, that looks like a bowling lane on wheels with the hull of a boat attached, giant death blades to presumably murder anyone who gets close, and then a night tasteful set of comically large longhorns.

It really helped show the world what the United States is best at: Subtlety.

The inclusion of Shaq in the weekend’s proceedings was polarizing. A lot of people loved it, others felt it was unneccesary, and someone with a tie to the sport, or Texas should have represented the event. For my money it was perfect, because of how brash and dumb it all was.

This car was hilariously dumb in the best way.

When he shook Lewis Hamilton’s hand and looked like a confused adult hearing a story from a child, I loved that.

When Shaq didn’t really know where to go on the podium, so he awkwardly hung around and it looked like he won the race. That was dumb and weird too. Another positive imo.

I’ve seen a lot of angsty U.S. fans of the sport say that the Miami GP will “represent the USA better.” Nah, we don’t need “better.” Don’t pretend this isn’t us. This is all ABSOLUTELY us in the best way.

We’re that nation constantly craving the boundaries be pushed in the medium of Reeces to make the combination of peanut butter and chocolate even more ridiculous with additions and ratio alterations.

We told the world that the only thing better than a donut is one made out of croissant.

We’re the country who took the perfectly balanced Mexican burrito and inspired restaurant owners to say “let’s make this thing like two pounds.”

We deep fry cheesecake.

That’s who we are. America takes glorious things that don’t need fixing, and add layers of ridiculousness on top that makes the rest of the world cringe and envious at the same time. So, when it comes time to welcome F1 back to America, sure, we could have been classy and brought out an Mario Andretti for a feel good moment, or dammit, we could put Shaq in a car that looks like it was designed by Homer Simpson to make everything more bombastic and glorious.

That’s who we are, and it’s perfect.

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