Earth to Derrike Cope, Come In, Derrike!

 
I’m all for big dreams and whatnot – me, I just want to meet Englebert Humperdink. I do that, I’m done. Done. But, really, what’s the likelihood that an insignificant-albeit-dedicated fan like me – ask me anything about Englebert, anything at all – could actually find myself in the presence of His greatness? Really?
 
And yet, I hold dear to my hope, clutch it to my chest like a precious keepsake – does this photo speak to you the way it does to me? Englebert’s soul … is just … it’s there, you know? Anyway, the point is, I know all about dreams, I know all about refusing to let them go, no matter how entirely unreasonable and utterly hopeless they may be. I am the last person to slam a guy for nursing unrealistic aspirations.

But, really, somebody needs to sit down with Derrike Cope and give that boy a good talking to, maybe explain the law of gravity, let him know that the sun does still rise in the east and that, announcement to the press notwithstanding, wishing does not make it so. In a word, he has not a snowball’s chance in hell of impacting NASCAR in 2009.

 
As luck would have it, Cope might well actually qualify for a Cup race in 2009, something that probably wouldn’t have happened – and didn’t many times in 2008 – in the recent past. But, what with sponsors evacuating the sport with all deliberate speed, teams folding, being sold and merging, and approximately 183 teams without funding for next year and whatnot, Ol’ Derrike just might make The Show a few times in 2009. Hell, somebody’s gotta finish 43rd, right? But, in the end, the likelihood of Cope registering on the collective conscience of NASCAR? Not good. Not good at all.
 
Sure, he actually won a race once, and, yes, it was the 1990 Daytona Five Hunnert, but … I’m sorry? What’s that you say? He’s won twice? No way. Didn’t happen. You’re … you’re sure? Seriously? What was the other one? The Budweiser What? 500? What the … ? Hold on a sec … Well, would you look at that? He has won two races! Derrike Cope won twice!  Knock me down with a feather!
 
Okay, so I’m wrong, I made a mistake: Cope has won twice as many races in his illustrious, 26-year career as I previously thought. So shoot me. But, c’mon – who on earth is he kidding? I mean, we know he’s not high, what with NASCAR’s stringent new drug-testing policy and all, but, c’mon! Next you’ll be telling me that a dumbass like me could meet Englebert Humperdink!
 
Sadly, it ain’t gonna happen. And while it pains me to burst Derrike’s bubble, the mere news that he intends to race in 2009 does not mean he’s, you know, actually going to accomplish anything.