Feature Story

Still The Same

(November 19, 2001)- - Three years have passed between championships for Jeff Gordon. The world was a different place when Gordon won a modern era record 13 races and the Winston Cup title in 1998.

In 1998 the major news headlines were the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Pope's visit to Cuba, and John Glenn's return to space. Anthrax was simply the name of a heavy metal rock band. Republicans controlled Congress and Democrats controlled the White House. The dot com industry rose to new heights as the economy boomed. Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' home run record by hitting 70. John Elway finally won the Super Bowl after four previous failed attempts. Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500. The New York Yankees set an American League record by winning 114 regular season games. Michael Jordan retired from basketball after winning another NBA title. When asked to name their heroes, 70% of elementary school children polled named a sports athlete. And Jeff Gordon won the Winston Cup title.

The major news headlines of 2001 all came about because of a single day-- September 11. Terrorist attacks, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden dominated the headlines. The world changed practically overnight. Patriotism was back in style. Anthrax scares forced Americans to be cautious when opening mail. Democrats took control of Congress while Republicans occupied 1600 Pennyslvania Avenue. The dot com industry crashed and burned as an economic recession took hold. Barry Bonds broke McGwire's home run record as he hit 73. McGwire retired from baseball, Elway has long since retired from football. Dale Earnhardt was killed after crashing on the final lap of the Daytona 500. The Seattle Mariners broke the Yankees regular season American League victory record by winning 116 games. Jordan returned to basketball with the NBA's worst team. When asked to name their heroes, 75% of elementary school children named firefighters, police officers, and military personnel. And Jeff Gordon won the Winston Cup title. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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