Friday, January 22, 2010

NASCAR Is Going Back to "Rubbin' Is Racin'"


NASCAR announced that maybe they are getting too NFL-ish and stomping out too much fun in the sport. So today they said that they'll relax some of the rules, increase horsepower and let these drivers get more aggressive.

Let me make this known right now: I'm not a NASCAR fan. I grew up in Charlotte where NASCAR is king so some of the knowledge rubbed off on me and, in my older years, I've acquire a bit more knowledge on the sports (for fantasy leagues, mainly). So I'm not one of those die-hards that clamored for the change.

But I am in that fringe sports fan set. The same one that only watches the final round of a golf tournament if Tiger is in the mix. The same one that wants to see boxers go at it full tilt. The one who only watches soccer during the World Cup. And the one who can keep an eye on a NASCAR race if there is actually something to watch.

The sport has gone stale. The reasoning is that the past decade the sport grew leaps and bounds. It became a very, very, very lucrative sport and we all know that when a corporation realizes it has a cash cow on their hands, the carry it around wearing their white gloves and try to place rules to make the "sophisticated person" more comfortable with their sport. The NFL has done well with this by basically limiting any kind of fun during a game.

The problem with NASCAR is that while they've gotten to this height and exposure, they really killed the momentum. I'll catch a race or two (usually I'll watch the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600) and find myself bored. We non-racing fans always joked that the sport is just four left turns ... and now it is. It seems that more laps are under caution than ever, little dings and dents become show stoppers and the one time that it gets good ... another yellow flag.

Seriously. I've become that "I'll turn it on during the last 10-15 laps to see who wins" guy because I know that there will be five cautions during that time and it doesn't make a difference what happened before then. It is so boring.

So maybe the spirit of Dale Earnhardt will come back to these people. Aggressive, raw and intense. They should hope so or the sport will keep falling back.

1 comment:

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