Me and Danica … almost

Here was my chance to go one-on-one with Danica Patrick. “I was hoping you could get a mention of this online or in your magazine. If you are available, I wanted to see if you might be interested in coming down for a special event we have on June 25th with Danica Patrick,” the e-mail began, and of course I was intrigued.

To the point where I considered asking the missus if we could cut our Outer Banks vacation a day short so I could hang out with the IndyCar star. And even better: “I’d be happy to set you up with a one-on-one interview. I just need Danica to be able to mention why she’s at the Radio Shack and who she’s raising money for.”

Alas …

One, I couldn’t figure out a good way to explain to the wife how cool it would be to go one-on-one with Danica.

“Did you see the spread in the SI Swimsuit Issue?” was the best I could come up with. Hey, we were at the beach.

“I’ve already interviewed Jennie Finch. Danica, then Maria Sharapova, and I can retire from sportswriting as the envy of every male I’ve ever known and ever will know.”

Eh-h-h. That wouldn’t work, either.

“But she’s raising money for a good cause.”

I should’ve tried that route. The appearance at the Richmond Radio Shack was to raise money for the FRIENDS Association for Children. Just her being there alone netted a cool $5,000 from Boost Mobile for FRIENDS, a nonprofit child and family agency that has served the Richmond area since just after the Civil War.

As you can see, I did my research on FRIENDS thinking ahead to the remote possibility that, I don’t know, maybe a hurricane would have made its way up the Carolina coast and sent us toward the mountains a bit earlier than expected.

Damn global warming, or lack of global warming, or whatever.


– Column by Chris Graham

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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