NERF'ers Corner by Robert Echo

Final Round, Final Chapter: Geoff Bodine

– FRIDAY, JUNE 30TH, 1978 –

We have decided to drop the fan club concept from this weekly column because of a lack of from New England clubs. For those of you who wrote us, we thank you but the number of letters we received doesn’t justify what we need to fill the space allotted us for “NERF’ers Corner“.

For all of you that have come to like our weekly hieroglyphics, the column will remain and for those of you who don’t appreciate this little corner in NESS, that’s the breaks. Ya win some, ya looz some!

The following will be the final chapter in the “Saga of Geoff Bodine“.

Mr. Bodine is so gracious in Victory Lane, so much so that he had to accuse S.J. Evonsion of spinning him out during the 100 lap feature at Riverside Park Speedway last Saturday night. It seems as though Bodine is quick to point the accusing finger, as in the case with Evonsion and Reggie Ruggiero last week. Ruggiero took him high on the final lap at the Park, the two cars touched with Bodine looping it. He finished fourth and then shook the finger at Ruggiero as if he had done it on purpose.

When the “Bellingham Bullet” had the finger pointed at him in recent incidents with Ken Bouchard (Stafford), George Savory (Seekonk) and Bugsy Stevens (Thompson), a quick response was, “Who?… Me?” He sure can accuse, but he says nothing about some other incidents in the same event where he tangled with Ruggiero, like riding over the rear of Evonsion, when he tried to pass him on the apron or bouncing Marty Radewick into Bob Polverari, spinning them both, or twice belting Jim Tourville. We’re quick to accuse, but oh so slow to confess to bad tactics.

After Bodine’s seventh straight victory at Stafford last week, I tried to get a taped interview for a local radio show here in Western Mass. and I was pretty sure that he would decline from speaking to me. True to his colors, he didn’t and I really don’t blame him as I haven’t been too nice to him in my column the past few weeks. To tell you the truth, I would rather interview anybody but Geoff Bodine. His car number is one, but he sure is not number one on my list and I’m sure that I rate low on his.

Next week the Bodine fans will retaliate with their letters. let’s face it, drivers and fans only want to hear the good things and anything controversial to them is a no-no.

This is the last week I will speak out on Geoff Bodine, I hope and so do a lot of others. Anytime in the future when I speak of Geoff Bodine, I will refer to him as “Mr. Zero“. In my mind, and it may be small, I feel that as a driver he may be number one, but his current personality rates him a big zero with me.

Oh yes! One last thing before I drop the subject of Mr. Zero. When I tried to interview him last Friday at Stafford, the conversation went like this…

Mr. Zero: “You’re Mr. Nerf, aren’t you?”
Mr. Nerf: “That’s right.”
Mr. Zero: “You know that NERF’s are nerds.”
Mr. Nerf: “If you say so.”

The rest of the conversation was about how I had slandered him and also about the fact that I had too much power in writing my column. He also feels that all racing newspapers should be burnt. If someone did that you wouldn’t hear all these woids of wisdom.

In stating that “Nerf’s are nerds” you know how Mr. Zero feels about you as a NERF (New England Racing Fan). You are the one who pays the way for the speedways to operate and for the purses that are paid to Mr. Zero and the “Big Red Machine” each week, but you are a nerd in the eyes of Mr. Zero. Shame. Shame.

We will now make Mr. Zero a promise and all his fans happy. Being that Dick Armstrong runs an ad each week in NESS to tell the people where the “Big Red Machine” is running, it will help me to know where I’m not going.

Til next week, hang in there.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *

On February 14th, 2014 I republished an untitled NERF’ers Corner from May 26th, 1978 to which I titled, “Geoff Bodine and the Big Red Machine: Round 1”.  Since then, every time a column involving the NERF’s 30 plus year old writings about Geoff Bodine is republished, the site receives emails and negative comments about bashing the legend 30 plus years later. It’s not bashing whatsoever. This is a site in memorial to the writings and working of Robert Echo.

With each and every email and comment read I shake my head and most times start laughing at the idea some honestly believe these republishing’s are placed here to bash. How does one believe Robert Echo is dishing it out from the afterlife? Dear Lord! Call the ghost hunters!

I have written notes with these republished columns, prior to or afterwards, just as this very writing. I’ve noted repeatedly the history of their feud and how brief it really was.. I’ve gone absolutely out of my way to give benefit of the doubt regarding the driver back then and even criticized Robert Echo’s writing or interpretation of accusations of said driver’s actions.

The same goes for some who have seen a parent’s, relative’s or friend’s name mentioned in a column (from 30 plus years ago). Those relatives or friends who may have written a letter (30 plus years ago) to NERF’ers Corner out of anger or spite to which Robert Echo responded in his column (30 plus years ago) and in turn the recent reader is ridiculously offended.

If you are one of these offended folks, please, by all means, don’t bother coming back. Matter of fact, while you’re at it, don’t bother reading history books or old newspapers either unless it’s a fluff piece about unicorns, candy canes, ice cream and free money.

There were no grudges left behind when Robert Echo passed away. As stated in many a note before, the NERF became a fan of Geoff Bodine. They made their peace, face to face, long, long ago. They got over it. You should do the same.

To those who were quick to email or comment negatively about these republished columns, I certainly look forward to your positive comments once later columns are republished that involve the NERF’ers kudos and cheers about the very same driver legendary Modified ace we all know as Geoff Bodine.

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