June 01, 2003

I'm Sorry, but I Just

I'm Sorry, but I Just Don't Get NASCAR

I like to think that I can pretty much enjoy some aspect of every sport. For example, although soccer could qualify as one of the world's longest athletic yawns, it still has some fascinating aspects, like when Brandi Chastain tore off her top after winning the Women's World Cup. That was pretty cool.

However, there are some sports that, try as I might, I just can't get into them. At the top of this list is NASCAR. I'm sorry, but I just don't get NASCAR. Now, before all you NASCAR enthusiasts out there spit a collective wad of Skoal in my direction, allow me to explain myself. A friend of mine just read that last sentence and said I would be lucky if I didn't receive a "collective beating" because of it.

I should note that, within my circle of friends, I'm in the minority when it comes to my distaste for NASCAR, and by minority I mean that I'm the only one who doesn't have a favorite driver. However, if I were to pick a favorite, I would simply select two common first names and combine them, which seems to be a pre-requisite for being a NASCAR driver (i.e. Jeff Gordon, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, etc.).

Even NASCAR stars who don't have two first names still have designations that remind me of people living in beaten up hunting shacks in the forest with two or three shattered toilets laying in the yard. Who wouldn't be a bit wary knocking on the door of a Jeremy Mayfield or a Sterling Marlin? Sounds a lot like an automotive version of Deliverance. I'm sorry, but I just don't get NASCAR.

I remember first becoming aware of a NASCAR interest infestation about six years ago as I sat watching TV with several of my friends. As I flicked through the channels, we briefly saw a line of cars roaring down a track, and before I could change stations, one of our group, Jim, shouted "Ooohhhh! NASCAR!!" We all looked at Jim as if he had stepped in something supremely foul.

It wasn't long before Jim's NASCAR enthusiasm began infecting others, and I now routinely find myself enduring consecutive hours of NASCAR chat while my friends watch cars zoom around and around in what to me is a pointless steering exercise. I'm sorry, but I just don't get NASCAR.

JIM: Rusty's gaining on Labonte. He'll probably draft him for awhile before trying to take him high.

MARC: No way, man. Bobby is leading in points; he's gonna take the Winston Cup this year.

ANDY: Who's leading the Busch Series anyway? I haven't been keeping up on that like I should.

JIM, MARC, and ANDY: Man, I really hate Jeff Gordon!

ME: I'm getting dumber, guys. Please, change the channel.

I should note here that I don't totally understand racing terms like "drafting," so I may have used it incorrectly here, and the nuances between Winston Cup and Busch Series escape me, although I think one has to do with smoking and one has to do with drinking.

I'm sorry, but I just don't get NASCAR.

Posted by Ryan at June 1, 2003 11:49 PM
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