Join the Dean Barker Fan Club in San Francisco
Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker is earning devotees at the America’s Cup, says Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I joined the Dean Barker fan club this week,” Jenkins writes. “Whether or not it actually exists, I’m in. The America’s Cup needs a hero, and if yours is Larry Ellison, I just raced to the bow and leaped off your boat.”
“Today’s sports news is overloaded with junk: Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez, Johnny Manziel, just a god-awful emptying of the trash. I don’t know Barker, helmsman of Team New Zealand, but I know he’s one of the world’s most widely admired sportsmen, in his prime at 41 and married to another top athlete, former field hockey Olympian Mandy Smith. The more we see of him in the coming weeks, the better.
“Barker is a Kiwi through and through, with the natural grace and humility that characterizes so many athletes from his country. Chronicle ace Tom FitzGerald marvelled at the sight of Barker calmly doing a television interview as he stood at the rear of his boat at the conclusion of a victorious race: ‘feet close together, never having to grab onto anything as his boat moved along, still bouncing a bit on the waves. This guy is unflappable.’”