Posted on: February 9, 2008 12:01 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2008 7:53 pm
I have seen, and endured, all sides of the argument.
Some say, "yes, because the athletes have to drive for hours in 100 degree plus weather."
Others say, "no, because it is constant repetition...hours of left turns."
Others, still, say, "does it really matter?"
To the last comment I would say that, no, it may not be a situation that has to be resolved like the cure for cancer or the cure for Britney, but this has become a controversial issue not only at the proverbial watercooler, but at racetracks and motor speedways throughout the country.
My opinion is, and always has been, that NASCAR is NOT a sport. The good ol' Merriam-Webster tells me that a sport is "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." This causes me to ask myself whether NASCAR meets these requirements.
Does it involve competition? Sure.
Physical prowess? You bet.
Skill? I know I'd crash a couple of times going 200 mph, so yeah.
But athletic ability? That's where I draw the line.
You can't argue the point of NASCAR's sporting rights without mentioning the driver's athletic ability. Athletic ability means that the person involved shows physical prowess and is specifically gifted in the area of athletics. Would you consider a driver that?
I like to compare NASCAR to it's most famous and most resemblant cousin. Horse Racing. It's the same idea, right? Go faster than the guy beside you. But what's the difference? In horse racing, the athlete is not considered to be the jockey. Yes this may be because have of them are proud residents of Munchkin-land, but the horse - what is being ridden - is the athlete.
Would you dare call the car the athlete in NASCAR? No! Because it is an inanimate object. That is just unnatural.
My final point of contention is that when a win or a loss truly relies upon, as the drivers so often say, the "better car" being dealt to you then you'd have to call the mechanics athletes too. Are you willing to do that? Or even the assembly line workers manufacturing them at the Toyota plant.
To me, NASCAR is simply an enhanced version of our daily lives.
Thoughts would be loverly.