Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Modest Proposal, courtesy of Ed Hinton

ESPN and I aren't always on the same page, it seems, especially regarding a certain other favorite driver of mine. This time, however, columnist Ed Hinton nailed my thoughts exactly and laid the smackdown Jonathan Swift-style on whiners everywhere.

I mean, ending the Chase at Daytona, and re-configuring the road coarse to make it a figure-8 race? And making the points leader a "provisional champion" and then have him race Dale Jr. in a match race for the final championship? Brilliant, am I right? See, you just gotta read it.

Here's the part that concerns our favorite hoopla-inducing crew crief:
Now none of this is to say Chad Knaus wouldn't analyze this carnival system and figure out how to beat it, the way he's done all the other systems. You know, the way he and Jimmie Johnson played against house odds but still broke the bank at Casino de Alabama this past week.

Ah, but you've still got NASCAR's ultimate equalizer: postrace inspection. And we all know NASCAR doesn't have to find anything illegal on a Chad Knaus car, just something it doesn't like or doesn't understand.

So, you have NASCAR's tech spokesman rush into the media center soon after the match race and announce, "We have issues with the 48 car."

You don't have to say what. Just issues. Suspense goes on, so you dominate the news on "SportsCenter" all evening.

Monday morning you announce the 48 car is being taken back to NASCAR's R&D
center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection. Get the TV news copters all along
the south Atlantic coast to do live aerial shots of the hauler progressing up I-95 with the impounded car aboard.

Now you're transcending ESPN and Speed Channel coverage and you're also live on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

Up in Concord, you still can't find a thing illegal about the 48 car, so after a few days you release it "without issues."

So the 48 five- or six-peats as champion?

Not to worry.

Think how furious and how mobilized Junior Nation will be. Think of how your revenues will soar as those slumping merchandise sales spike through the ionosphere. Especially the jackets and T-shirts that say on the back:


You couldn't keep 'em on the shelves.

And you never know: A goodly number of Junior Nation just might stay camped out in the Daytona infield from November all the way to February, just protesting, just waiting for that dastardly 48 hauler to roll back in so they can boo it, rock it, throw things at it. Think of the revenue spike for International Speedway Corp., which could charge $1,500 a week for those reserved infield parking spots.

Hey, I'm just trying to help in these desperate times. I'm just applying NASCAR's usual modus operandi and adding a few old short-track promoters' gimmicks for a thorough fix to this whole thing.

Anything short of what I'm saying, NASCAR will just have to settle down and act like the other major professional sports leagues and accept the bad with the good -- the fact that sometimes you get dynasties like the 48 team that just whip the competition soundly, fair and square, over long periods of time.

Sometimes you can't manufacture drama, no matter how hard you try. (Full Story -
A-flippin'-men. Things have turned into an absolute circus lately, whether it's on the fans', NASCAR's, or the media's part, and each one adds fuel to the others' fire. On one hand, people accuse NASCAR of manufacturing drama to suit the 48 and they don't like that, but on the other hand, in the last few weeks I've heard people come up with all kinds of ways to swing things in their driver's favor. I'm sorry guys, but which way is it? You know, I would never accuse the Rolling Stones of being wise, but they were right about one thing: you can't always get what you want.

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