NASCAR: A swing and a MISWritten by Ryan Fowler | | email@example.com
Without warning, it washes over you. The roar of the engines, the scent of burning rubber, the sweet taste of hops and barley.
Slowly my IQ starts to drop as I begin to sound like Boomhauer out on his front lawn.
We’ve all done it. We’ve tried to mimic it. We’ve attempted to perfect it. It’s the NASCAR twang.
Now, let me say from this point forward that unless you read this entire column, you are not going to enjoy what I am about to say.
The twang comes from within. It started as a joke, but has become my go-to commentary when speaking of or about NA’CAR.
“Left turn, left turn, left turn,” I say slowly with a strong Southern country accent. “Crash! Drink beer.”
It’s simple. It’s to the point. It embraces my view of the NASCAR world. And I know I’m not alone.
As you can tell, I’m not the biggest fan of the “sport.” Defiance driver Sam Hornish Jr. is the main reason I pay attention at all. I’m all for hometown heroes and hope “Sideways Sam” continues to straighten things out like he has over the past few weeks.
My issues with NASCAR are numerous, but I will try to simplify for the sake of time.
I really need somebody to explain to me the theory behind restrictor plate racing. Oh, and don’t preach to me about safety because I saw what happened to Carl Edwards a few weeks back, tumbling through the air like Ricky Bobby.
In what wide world of sport do we set limitations on our athletes?
I could not imagine baseball setting a limit on how fast a pitcher can throw, or in basketball, each player being required to be a certain height to create an equal playing field.
NASCAR, and I know it’s a hot topic, really needs to figure out if it is in the business of creating the fastest car with the best driver or profiling the best drivers with the same car.
To me, parity is overrated.
Now, I want to touch on the monotony of NASCAR. As previously stated, I can only watch a car make so many left turns before I lose interest.
To be fair, I’m a sports fanatic, and at times baseball becomes a little too slow and repetitive for my liking. However, I’d rather watch a pitcher’s duel or back-to-back homers than bump drafting or drivers cutting tires and then complaining about track conditions.
I will give NASCAR some credit. When it mans up and races on road courses, I can appreciate the driver’s abilities a bit more.
That leads me to my final rant. The term “athlete” gets tossed around when talking about different sports.
It’s one of those classic sports arguments where a right answer may never come to exist.
Are NASCAR drivers really athletes? I know they sweat like pigs in those cars. The level of concentration they possess is second to none. A vast knowledge of a car’s inner workings can go a long way.
But an out-of-shape guy in his 30s, who likes to play Halo on Xbox and works on cars in his garage, could fall into that category, too.
Tony Stewart isn’t exactly rocking the Tiger Woods physique these days.
With all that said, and my cynical view toward the world of NASCAR fresh in your mind, I will leave you with this.
Recently, I made a trip to Toledo Speedway to cover the Menards 200. It was my first trip to the track in more than a year. The weather was perfect. Sunshine and a cool spring breeze set the mood.
As I looked around, I was shocked to see so many moms and dads with their sons and daughters. Most four-pack fams were sporting T-shirts with their favorite drivers.
At one point, I glanced at this mom sitting next to her daughter, and as the green flag waived, she put her arm around her.
Whereas, I remember sharing a hot dog with my dad as a little boy in left field, this family’s perfect sport moment came at the right track.
Ryan Fowler is the weekend sports anchor at NBC24 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.