Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Osborne, Edwards not losers

Every now and then when covering sporting events, you get a glimpse of what the personalities of high profile people are really like.
It's easy to put on a show for a few seconds or even a minute in front of the TV camera for most.
But in the back of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car hauler, which is converted into a mini-office on race weekends, when it's only you and the person you're interviewing, you can get a much better idea of what a person is really like.
So, when I first met Carl Edwards crew chief Bob Osborne during the 2010 season, I didn't know what to expect. He was in charge of car that was accustomed to running up front in the past, but for whatever reason, was struggling at the time.
But interviewing Osborne was no struggle. That's why in the midst of a time when the team was going through a difficult stretch, there wasn't a lot of panic in his voice or even a hint of disrespect toward a reporter he was meeting for the first time.
A Delaware County native, Osborne still lists Chester, Pa., as his hometown. It's an area he grew up in and first began tinkering with toy cars, and eventually that first Jeep CJ-7 his dad bought him during his teen years, just so Osborne could fix it and get it running, which he of course did.
Having spoken with Osborne on the mornings of NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover and Pocono, he comes across as a complete professional and one of those guys who you can't help but be happy for when his team wins.
Osborne doesn't come across as someone who knows it all. Of course, he's got confidence in what he's doing, or he wouldn't be in the position he's in. But Osborne also has a sense of humbleness about him, that he doesn't take his high profile position for granted in Roush-Fenway Racing, one of the top teams in NASCAR. Osborne has worked his way up through the system and he hasn't forgotten where he came from, geographically or in his career. He acts likes his position now is more of a privilege than a rite and that's a good thing.
So, it wasn't really a surprise to see Edwards handle finishing second to Tony Stewart in the Chase for the Championship with class. It's just the way Osborne goes about his business everyday, And that's why Edwards and Osborne were second-place finishers, not losers.

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