"Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks..."
Reply 21 of 56
August 17, 2002 11:28AM
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>NASCAR...oh NASCAR. I've seen every popular driver in NASCAR get into a fistfight at some point. I've seen Waltrip, Wallace, Gordon, Earnhardt, Harvick, Stewart, Jarrett, Petty, Irvan, etc. all get wound up on track and off track.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Never said they didn't. But it isn't common (there aren't six post-race fistfights and pit crew brawls every Sunday) and for those who have recently misbehaved (Stewart, Harvick, Busch, etc.), they're dealt with fairly quickly.
Of course people are going to have a short fuse after 3 hours of 180mph, 130-degree temperature racing, ESPECIALLY if someone did something intentionally to them.
But what I'm saying is that it doesn't happen like it used to. Even Earnhardt himself didn't drive the last couple of years of his life the way he did 10 or more years ago. You can't go around routinely - and purposely - hitting people and pushing them out of your way.
You can see - in the promos, graphics, commentators, the whole tone, etc. - that NASCAR recognizes and understands that, in the past 5 or so years, a whole new crop of fans who DON'T live in Alabama and who DO have all their teeth are now watching the sport.
They're doing everything to NOT play up that ignorant, redneck greasemonkey image so many people have of the sport.
What's very telling? On the Speed channel (or on ESPN Classics), they'll show an old race from the 70's or 80's, broadcast in its original form (music, graphics, commentators, etc.). I was watching one from about 1986 from Bristol and when they went to a commercial, the ride-out/tag music was this bluegrass banjo thing.
You would NEVER, EVER see/hear that now! The graphics used during Sunday's races are great and top-notch. As good - if not better - than those in any other sport. And the music is always guitar-heavy, rocking stuff.
Just like when you watch football or whatever (hey, NASCAR isn't the sport that has that idiot Hank Williams, Jr. singing their Monday night THEME SONG, for crying out loud!!! Which sport has the biggest redneck of all time shilling for them, hmmm?)
Sheryl Crow sang the anthem and rode the pace car at this year's race in Fontana (she also has Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in her new video for "Steve McQueen". Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS were in the pits of Sterling Marlin's Coors Light Dodge team last year. Poison is sponsoring a car tomorrow in Michigan (Derrick Cope is driving a white car with a one-race deal from Poison, with the lime green logo/trim all over the car). George Thorogood is in a popular commercial for UPS/Jarrett (as is Charlie Daniels, Kermit and Miss Piggy), Gordon is in a Tour de France spoof ad.
As a matter of fact, the commercials shown during a race are - and I've heard this by tons of others too - some of the funniest, most entertaining commercials on TV right now.
Even some of the more hillbilly-esque drivers themselves don't talk/act the way they used to (NASCAR charm school?). When you're driving a car for UPS, Home Depot, Coors Light, Budweiser, Rubbermaid, Target, etc., you can't act like an idiot on TV every week. These companies wouldn't have it and wouldn't continue associating themselves with people making them look bad (hence Home Depot's $50,000 fine to Tony Stewart for his "shoving" incident).
A lot of you people are just like I was for years and years: I mocked, ridiculed and otherwise ragged on every aspect of this sport. UNTIL I gave it a chance.
Now I don't miss it.
No big deal, not some people's cup of tea. But don't think you know it if you don't truly watch it and follow it a little bit. Most people - even today - hear "NASCAR" and IMMEDIATELY think the worst!
Reply 22 of 56
August 17, 2002 2:39PM
Not quite. I paid more attention to it back then than now because I have gotten so freaking bored of it.
When your entire season consists of oval, oval, oval, speedway, short oval, tri-oval, oval, speedway, SUPERspeedway, oval, tri-oval...and so on with two jokes of a permanent road course race, your series has problems. It's the same with the IRL except the IRL is worse since it's contributing to the decay of a decent American open-wheel racing series...and it's sacrificing safety for cost. Still, NASCAR being one better than the IRL...that's nothing to be proud of. I'm so freaking glad it has no presence up here other than the Sears Point race, which happens to be a road race (surprise.)
It's funny how much it costs to run a one car NASCAR team for a full season. I think it costs even more than Champcar right now, and definitely more than Champcar next year.
[ 08-17-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
Reply 23 of 56
August 17, 2002 5:24PM
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>Soccer fans are not allowed to criticize fans of any other sports, until we can go a few years without 50+ people being crushed to death at a soccer game.
Alcohol + anything = bad news.
There are few things I find more irritating than the American self-denial about alcohol, but that's an issue for FC.
i dunno gover' at the last WorldCup in Korea and Japan there was a total of....... 0 brawls, fights etc.
so i guess we've picked up from Euro 2000 in Holland and Belgium...
however it was about £12 for a pint in Japan compared to pence in Holland so i suppose you may have a point there
if you all want a new sport to watch...how about the XTreame Sports!!!
wow! the summer and winter XGames are awwwwwwsome some of the tricks those guys do are wiiiiicked
<img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
Reply 24 of 56
August 17, 2002 6:44PM
We'll agree to disagree, Eugene. It's just not your type of racing. Fair enough...no biggie.
But they're doing SOMETHING right.
It's more popular than ever, and only seems to get more so.
The fact that I - of all people - enjoy and look forward to it probably says something. Especially considering I was born and raised in the heart of stock car racing country and had friends and relatives who did - and still do - participate and I spent my ENTIRE LIFE ragging on it and paying no attention whatsoever to it.
By all accounts, I was born into this stuff and should've been a lifelong fan.
What's wrong with oval, oval, short-track, long-track, oval, tri-oval, road course, etc.? It means every week it's a bit different. I'd hate to watch 36 weeks of racing from Talledega every Sunday. Or Martinsville.
It's something a little bit different each week, give or take. Had a road course last week, a superspeedway tomorrow in Michigan and a night race in Bristol on a short track next weekend.
As for "road courses", THANK GOD there are only two of them! I don't know anyone who enjoys NASCAR who looks forward to Sears Point or Watkin's Glen. Nobody! Those seem to be the two races a year that most people I know feel that can skip on or miss and not feel too bad.
It is what it is, man. You're not a fan, that's cool.
Reply 25 of 56
August 17, 2002 9:55PM
Let's see, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire help bring baseball back to life after the last stoppage. The Subway Series helped. Look at me, I know this stuff, and I'm not even a fan! Barry Bonds (while a touch anti-climatic) also helped.
But what can they do to "bring'em back" if they cancel the World Series this year too?
I guess they can juice Bonds a little, if he can last 4-5 more seasons he may have a shot at the all time home run record!
Failing that they could re-instate Pete Rose?
Reply 26 of 56
August 18, 2002 5:43AM
[quote]As for "road courses", THANK GOD there are only two of them! I don't know anyone who enjoys NASCAR who looks forward to Sears Point or Watkin's Glen. Nobody! Those seem to be the two races a year that most people I know feel that can skip on or miss and not feel too bad.<hr></blockquote>
I think it's because it's like watching grizzly bears on ice skates. Aside from Scott Pruett, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, and 2-3 others, none of the rest of the field really has any idea how to handle the diabolical "right turn."
Reply 27 of 56
August 18, 2002 7:53AM
I'll have to again say that touring car is the best racing concept in the world. It has lots of closely packed cars, passing, and paint-swapping, just like NASCAR, but the cars actually bare a mechanical resemblance to road cars, and the drivers turn both left and right. Maybe NASCAR ought to re-invent it's formula to use 'real' cars and engines (or at least make a support class like this)
Reply 28 of 56
August 18, 2002 10:00AM
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
But what can they do to "bring'em back" if they cancel the World Series this year too?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Nothing. Baseball still hasn't really recovered from the last strike. If they're on strike this year when 9/11 rolls around again, well, I just don't see how they could earn back my goodwill. I'd need some kind of special promotional giveaway designed just for me - buy a ticket and get Gwyneth Paltrow's phone number.
Reply 29 of 56
August 18, 2002 10:53AM
I don't see the connection between 9/11 and the baseball strike.
It's not as important as it once was and the players are guaranteeing that it never will be what it was.
There's too much money in baseball, it's doomed.
Reply 30 of 56
August 18, 2002 11:14AM
I don't see it either.
Reply 31 of 56
August 18, 2002 11:18AM
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>Maybe NASCAR ought to re-invent it's formula to use 'real' cars and engines (or at least make a support class like this)</strong><hr></blockquote>
Yes. It's obvious that the current "formula" is dooming them. NOBODY watches! It's viewership is diminishing hourly!
I saw some stats in a Sports article a while back and it's the fastest growing, most lucrative sport going in America right now, so...
Eugene, you're probably right about the "road course" thing. Those guys make a career out of going in circles (left turn only), so it makes sense that road courses aren't their (OR the viewer's) cup of tea. Only a handful of drivers (like the ones you mentioned) are any good at it or have a real clue.
Doesn't fit the cars or the drivers and their style. When I watch it, I feel like I'm not watching a "real" Winston Cup race. Twice last year, twice this year...I just can't seem to get into as much. Harder to track where people are. Plus, as a live spectator (there in the stands), you miss so much of the race. You only get to see about 10-20% of it because the rest of the track winds and curves away from you, so you don't get to see as much as you would at a standard circular track.
10 seconds of seeing cars come zipping by, then 40-60 seconds of waiting for them to come back around to see them.
Today, though, should be really good. 2 mile super speedway at 180+ mph. Can't wait!
And my absolute FAVORITE is next weekend: Bristol at night. Wrecks, bumps, etc.
Reply 32 of 56
August 18, 2002 12:05PM
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>I don't see the connection between 9/11 and the baseball strike.
Contrast a bunch of millionaires thinking they have a reason to not go to "work" with what most Americans will
care about come 9/11.
Reply 33 of 56
August 18, 2002 9:40PM
The formula is good, but I see a way it could be better.
Muscle cars, real ones, good looking ones. Imagine a track full of Mustangs, Chargers, Camaros and Firebirds going round and round instead of Tauruses and Impalas?
Manufacturers would have incentive to make real muscle cars; not the ugly garbage they've been making since the mid 70's whereupon they ruined every single muscle machine ever made. We'd get to see what they can really do on the track. They'd still be big, heavy, and fast, but they'd be 'real' (after a fashion.) NASCAR used to use real cars once, you know? Imagine neo-retro Chargers and their ilk doing 200MPH battle in a street legal shell (albeit heavily re-inforced).
If the public goes wild for Taurus and Intrepid they'll cream themselves at the thought of these macho-machines doing all out battle.
Negatives? More idiots buying these cars and racing them on the street. Currently, few idiots buy Intrepids o race them on the street.
They can move the sedan bodies into a support series like the craftsman truck series to keep a more practical hook to the sell on Monday aspect.
If you think NASCAR is popular now, imagine what it'd be like with some of the 60's flair back in the sport.
Reply 34 of 56
August 18, 2002 9:49PM
Baseball: boring. . . rather watch little league.
someone actually watches it.... HAHAHA
Reply 35 of 56
August 18, 2002 10:26PM
You don't know anything about it. Would be like me commenting on/laughing about jai alai or rugby.
Reply 36 of 56
August 19, 2002 2:34AM
[quote]Originally posted by pscates:
Doesn't fit the cars or the drivers and their style. When I watch it, I feel like I'm not watching a "real" Winston Cup race. Twice last year, twice this year...I just can't seem to get into as much. Harder to track where people are. Plus, as a live spectator (there in the stands), you miss so much of the race. You only get to see about 10-20% of it because the rest of the track winds and curves away from you, so you don't get to see as much as you would at a standard circular track.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Actually the road races are the big draws in CART for a reason, you can buy a pass and go anywhere on the course you want!
And with temp street races the cities make a big deal out of the races and have lots of cool events around the race all weekend.
Reply 37 of 56
August 19, 2002 2:59AM
Yeah, like up in Long Beach. The whole town/area gets all into it and the weekend is based around it.
It's just my dormant redneck gene coming out, Eugene. I like Winston Cup racing. Can't help it!
BTW, my guy won today! Go Jarrett!
Reply 38 of 56
August 19, 2002 8:37AM
Reply 39 of 56
August 19, 2002 8:51AM
How did this topic turn from discussion about baseball to discussion about NASCAR?
Here's my thoughts on this:
I come from the region of the country that cares about baseball the most. Here in New England, baseball is still the
sport, despite the fact that the Red Sox NEVER win the World Series and despite the fact that the Patriots are WORLD CHAMPIONS!
We have the reigning best team in the NFL and we still care about baseball more. What's wrong with us, right?
If the players go on strike, many fans will be back. You won't have as many people watching day to day, I don't think, but Fenway Park (being an incredibly small ballpark) will still be sold out every game and people will still root for the Red Sox to win the World Series like every year.
Personally, I'm really upset that the owners and players are too stubborn to come to an agreement. Remember that the owners did this to themselves- no one said that they had to pay players $100 million. No one stuck a gun to their heads saying, sign this guy for an outrageously huge sum of money. The one thing I agree with the players on (from their point of view) is contraction which is a major part of this dispute. Remember that the union (like all unions) has an obligation first to protect jobs and contraction would eliminate many. Then you have to realize that players on those existing teams will get the jobs of worse players on non-contracted teams. Plus we all know that Bud Selig wants to contract Minnesota just to get more fans for HIS team (Milwaukee).
I'd like to say screw them all but I can't. I love baseball. I love watching the games in person, I love watching them on television. In defense of myself, I am one of those people who likes going to Minor League games and Independent League just to watch because I like the game so much. But watching the Nashua Pride or Lowell Spinners isn't like watching the Red Sox. The difference is that when you see the Red Sox, you're watching the best players in baseball versus people who are trying to make it to that level.
Everyone wants to see the best, too, no matter what you're doing. There's a huge difference from seeing Springsteen or Dylan then a local band, for example. You might like seeing the local band, but seeing Springsteen or Dylan is an event. It's the same thing with baseball.
So the season might be over in less than two weeks and I'll be pissed. But will I come back? No doubt.
Reply 40 of 56
August 19, 2002 9:07AM
If one owner does it the others are "forced" if they want to remain viable in the league. It's not like they all got together and had a meeting about signing A-Rod to $25m/year and such.
The players are against drug testing, for God's sake, how could you be on their side?
At most other jobs that would be fine by me, but this is a sport that requires athleticism and directly markets itself to kids. "Be like these guys."
"Want to be a good hitter in the bigs, little guy? Then you better get some dope."
The salary cap issue I don't give a crap about. The only thing that pisses me off is how the players talk to the media like the masses are idiots.
"It's not about the money."
That is such a load of crap!
Do they really think blue-collar guys wouldn't understand "Hey, we want all the money we can get out of this, all of you would be the same way if you were in our shoes. You wouldn't ever say 'Oh, I make plenty as it is!'"
As far as I'm concerned the player's association can go **** itself.