It seems as if every time NASCAR crowns a new champion -- or the same one in Jimmie Johnson's case -- the question comes up as to whether race car drivers are athletes. It's an ongoing debate that probably never will be settled, but former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb definitely has an opinion on the matter.
During a Fox Sports 1 segment Friday, McNabb was asked where Johnson fell among the greatest athletes of the decade. After stating Johnson is ranked third on his take of the decade's best (behind Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant), McNabb immediately contradicted his ranking by saying Johnson isn't an athlete.
“I like what he’s been able to do,” McNabb said. “Do I think he’s an athlete? Absolutely not. He’s not an athlete. He sits in a car and drives. That doesn’t make you athletic.”
The statement has generated plenty of angst among racing fans and the NASCAR community. Even Johnson responded to McNabb's comments, saying all NASCAR drivers are athletes, "even Tony Stewart."
But the best one-liner came from driver Kevin Harvick, who obviously remembers what happened in Super Bowl XXXIX:
17 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, but his ill-fated effort against the New England Patriots in 2005 is the one that still haunts Philadelphia Eagles fans. What do you think? Are race car drivers athletes or is McNabb right?