The "U.S." vs. "The Rest" mentality
There is a large portion of the population in America that is very nationalistic/jingoistic and either doesn't realize it or doesn't think there is anything wrong with that mind set. Witness our electoral politics which feeds this sort of thinking. Outside of politics the whole "buy American" thought that because it's made in the good ole US of A it must be better quality than (insert country here).
Robby Gordon's "US vs. Them" logo feeds the demographic that resembles the above statement. The NASCAR/stock car racing fan base is full of people that think America and American-made is the absolute best. From a sponsorship/public support perspective this is likely a good move for him. Yes, not every RG, NASCAR or stock car racing fan in the U.S. fits that description but I think if one were to put a moments thought to the task they would find there is a lot of truth in it.
Dakar is NOT the Olympics. I'm not routing for Team USA. I don't particulalry care what country your from. If the bike/car/truck pilot races with skill and panache, and isn't a total douche-bag, I'm probably routing for them. That's why it's sometimes hard to get over "Mud-gate" and "Tire-gate" when I think over the careers of Despres and Coma since I otherwise have a lot of respect for these riders.
I also don't understand the sheer number of people who dream of racing the Dakar and don't put in the yeoman's work to get there and be successful (i.e. the Charlie Boarman approach). That's like signing on to a K2 expedition after you've taken a 5-day course and climbed a few local hills. But that's another topic altogether.
Here's looking to a great 2013 Dakar that doesn't get mired down in animosity, country-bashing or name calling.