Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Snoozefest at Daytona

I know the national media that requires NASCAR to have high ratings in order to make money is going to pound you over the head all week with proclamations that this Sunday's Daytona 500 was "one to remember." Sure the last 20 laps were exciting, if only because restrictor plate racing causes wrecks when the race is winding down. I hear almost nothing now from the current drivers about restrictor plates. Jeff Gordon is pretty much the senior competitive full-time driver and restrictor plate racing was four years old when he started his first Cup race. I did notice when he dropped out late in the race that he was visibly pissed off about the mandated springs the cars were running.

During the long, long, long, long, long, long, long, pre-race show that was on while I was taking pictures of superhero figurines, I saw the segment where an obviously emotional Darrell Waltrip discussed the departed Dale Earnhardt. It was genuine and touching, something that was missing during the rest of Fox Network's horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible and quite lengthy pre-race show. I guess since the Daytona 500 is referred to as the "The Superbowl of Stock Car Racing" then it deserves a pre-race show as long and pointless as the Superbowl's. Is that the reward for a sporting event, the bigger and more successful you get the more embarrassing the programming leading up to it is required to be? That is how we measure success in our country, by what brings in the most money. Advertising fuels the pre-game programming so the more slop you can sling the more dough you can ring up. I guess we can congratulate NASCAR, the apparent departure of any vestige of dignity other than the race itself has cemented stock car racing as a major league sport in our country. I'm so proud to be a part of this number.

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