Once upon a time I thought wrestling and Roller Derby were real. I believed that longer than I believed the Santa Claus and Easter Bunny bits.
I’m so naive, it’s taken decades to understand that most sports are hardly more legitimate than the aforementioned. There’s rarely a play that goes by in 3 of the big 4 sports without some form of cheating. Ergo, there’s rarely a play that officials arbitrarily decide to penalize or not. When you factor in that every event probably has criminals participating (illegal drug-wise), then it’s 4 out of 4.
But it doesn’t stop there. Unfortunately, Nascar and maybe every other sport (except bowling since Pistol Pete has atoned?) is suspect. In golf, perhaps the best player to ever live somehow doesn’t know one of the most basic rules of the game. (How to take a drop.) Of course, the sanctioning body also forgot how to assess the proper penalty. So Nascar with all their cameras and technology can’t figure out how to orchestrate a restart. The craziest thing I heard Sat. night was Dale Jarrett defending Nascar about a suspect restart because their vantage point was ill positioned. If the race officials can’t observe the restart markers properly, then what’s the point of having them? Ah. Here’s another example of cheating as an acceptable part of sports. See, the drivers know the rule. They also know Nascar has a hard time enforcing their own rules consistently.
It seems one of the few rules Nascar is consistent in enforcing is the pit road speed limit because it is electronically controlled (i.e. not up to their discretion). Maybe it’s time to rethink this restart business. First of all, it seems to me the flagman is irrelevant. Whatever signal they are giving is being relayed to the drivers electronically. And I don’t think anyone is paying attention to the move over flag. With all of the electronics and flashing lights in use, why not just have a bunch of big ol’ green lights signaling “go”? You go and it makes no difference who gets to the line first. After all, it doesn’t seem to make much difference now.
Here’s the bottom line. The bottom line is all that matters. Occasionally we hear a sanctioning body talk about credibility. Not so much anymore. Those bodies have come to realize that we’re not all that concerned about it. They continue to hire and rehire thugs, drug abusers, cheaters and liars. They know we don’t care. We still watch, attend and spend.
So that’s what it’s all about. Dollars. I suppose we all accept that to some extent, but fans like to believe it’s about the art, the feats, the abilities, the thrills and chills. Only the 1 percenters truly understand it’s only about the dollars. I ain’t one of them and don’t want to be one of them if I can’t enjoy watching cars go around in a circle.
Next time I want to talk about another sham. This idea it’s all about the “team”. Here’s a clue: Tony Stewart and Austin Dillon.
P.S.: Didn’t want to make this blog longer by going into detail, but the title refers to the 15 car. His shenanigans are apropos to the subject.
By Gary Erdakos