Monday, August 2, 2010

A load of BS by any other name will smell just as bad

Can I just say how completely torqued off I am that Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman got fined for "talking smack" about NASCAR?

Now, I understand that there is a need to straighten up and fly right when it comes to your sponsors; they're paying you to represent their company. But when a GOVERNING BODY, which is supposed to be for the benefit of the sport, suppresses freedom of speech, all that says to me is Soviet Russia.

NASCAR apparently thinks that drivers sharing their honest opinions about the governing body is detrimental to the sport. To me, this is denigrating and condescending to the fans. Do they think we're so stupid that we don't realize when a screw-up has occurred, and that if they shut up the drivers and the press, we'll just suddenly get amnesia about said screw-up and think everything is hunky dory? How very insulting to our intelligence.

Also, I'm not sure what they're afraid of if the drivers DO say something negative about NASCAR. If so-and-so says, "NASCAR sucks and here's why!" on national TV, do they think we're going to say, "Yeah, he's right, I'm going to stop watching NASCAR from this moment on"? Uh hur hur, maybe if we didn't pass 3rd grade. However, if we did, we're probably going to say, you know what, he's right, there's a problem, now let's see how we can fix it. And we'll all call up Chocolate or Moody or whoever on XM (hehe, I listen to that channel wayyy too much) or write in our blogs or even send some mail off to Brian France c/o NASCAR with all of our ideas on how to fix the screw-up. We like NASCAR, capisce? We appreciate drivers' honesty on what's wrong with it because they're our voice and because we, the drivers and the fans, all want to see it improve! Call a spade a spade, for frack's sake, and let's move on!

My other big beef is the complete inconsistency and unfairness with which NASCAR handled this particular situation with Ryan and Denny. I specifically remember Carl Edwards, after one of his episodes at Dega (probably the Brad run-in), saying something like, they'll keep going along until somebody gets hurt and then they'll finally change something. Now why didn't he get fined for making comments detrimental to the sport in that case? And I'm SURE Tony Stewart has mouthed off before, and sometimes he gets in trouble, and sometimes he doesn't. I don't like that at all. I always thought NASCAR did a little better than most other sports about having fair and consistent rules, and then stuff like this comes out of nowhere and makes them look like the damn NHL (you know I love hockey, but Gary Bettman can shove it). Some people are already sure NASCAR plays favorites with drivers, and picking on two drivers out of all of them to fine does not help their image whatsoever.

In a nutshell, this inconsistency in rule enforcement, coupled with the total bass-ackwardsness of trying to control their image by suppressing the drivers' thoughts, is doing WAY more damage to the sport than Ryan Newman saying, "Hey, these restrictor plate races have some problems" EVER could.

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