Monday, August 08, 2005

They Call Him Smoke

I love Tony Stewart. I know I know.... He's a damn Hoosier. Well so is Larry Bird... You gonna say somethin' bad about him?

Tony Stewart is the epitome of a NASCAR driver. He's the only active drive to actually punch a reporter. That should be qualification enough.

Among other things in Tony's favor... hell.. he's put Jeff Gordon in the wall more than any other driver. Now... if that don't soften your heart towards the man nuthin' will.

Watchin' Tony win at the Brickyard was a beautiful thing... and brought to mind something I've been frustrated about for a long long time.

Is there any sport that's more under-covered than Auto-racing in general, and NASCAR in particular?

I don't know what the deal is... I know a lot of people just don't get it... but that doesn't change the fact that whole' shittin' load of folks do. I guess you end up with sports reporters who've grown up covering Baseball, Football, and Basketball... and they've always shied away from racing. It never struck them as big time.

Reckon it's struck now?

NASCAR's appeal is pretty obvious. There's no drug problems in NASCAR... I mean... Come on... when you drive around at 200mph, inches away from 42 other cars... well... You ain't exactly hard up for thrills.

NASCAR is both bluecollar, and boardroom. In the last few months both Wine Spectator, and Cigar Afficianato have printed full length features on the sport. Those don't exactly cater to the redneck crowd... ya know?

NASCAR is the biggest spectator sport in America... The TV ratings are insane... and it's growing at what a few of us still consider an alarming rate.

For damned near 60-years NASCAR has been the fastest growing sport in America. But you turn on Sportscenter and you a 10-minute blurb showing a couple crashes, and who won.

I know hundereds of awesome NASCAR stories... that have never been told... Because the reporters just don't pay attention.

Time to wake up boys. Baseball is roughly 1 third as popular as it was in the 50's. Football is still the King, and rightly so... But NASCAR is clearly here to stay, and its high time the Sports Media woke the hell up.

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