(Note: The following is a blog debate which took place several months ago between Cliff Eastham and Larry Spurlock.)
LARRY: Cliff, you can take a young man with a little foot-speed and he could return a kickoff in the NFL for a TD with some blocking.
You can take a man with some old fashioned strength and a little nerve, and he could at some point swing a baseball bat really hard and get lucky and knock a Roger Clemens fastball over a 335′ fence.
Anybody who’s ever swung a golf club could put a few good strokes together and birdie a hole at any golf course. Heck, I’ve hit three point shots in basketball.
But here’s what the average person cannot do. 80 percent of the driving public has never gone over 100 miles per hour. 95 percent of the driving public has never gone over 120 miles per hour.
99.99 percent of the driving public could not drive a vehicle over 150 miles an hour for more than five minutes without disaster. And disaster is wrecking badly. 99.99 percent could not drive a vehicle that fast and make a turn around an oval track.
Now, here’s what NASCAR drivers do routinely. They drive up to 190 miles an hour while going around turns with other cars going as fast. These cars are five inches to their left and six inches to their right. They do this for four to six hours at a time without accident.
And if they do have a routine wreck, it is just as painful on the body as 10 NFL tackles.
Drivers usually lose 10-15 pounds each race.
And the strength it takes to hold that wheel during a race is equal to what a baseball player needs to swing a bat.
CLIFF: Is that all you have Larry? Please!
NASCAR is no more a sport than Chinese Checkers, or shooting an unarmed deer.
It is just another excuse for rednecks and country bumpkins to bust some more suds. What a glorious day. Throw back a couple cases of beer with your buds and watch people who you can’t understand when they talk, drive continuously around an oval track for hours.
I’m sold! Sport it is. NOT!
Calling your own defense into question, I suppose all the drunken nuts who go drag racing on Friday nights are just a hop, skip and jump away from the Olympics. Special Olympics maybe.
I just came from dictionary.com and found this as their definition of sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
The only thing I can take issue with is hunting. Skeet shooting, sport. Shooting an unarmed animal, medieval entertainment. Please note that it uses the words athletic activity and physical prowess.
Regardless of your desperate attempt to categorize NASCAR as a sport, I don’t see it as athletic or physical.
You mentioned weight-loss. Does visiting a steam room or sauna constitute sport? I think not. I squeeze the remote on my TV all evening long. Does that make me a candidate for a Decathlon?
Spelling bees are very competitive. ESPN now televises them in an effort to convince non-thinkers that it is a sport.
Are you kidding me or what?
I say we make Jeopardy a sport. I’m really good at that. Bullsh!t for $200 please Alex. I once gained three pounds eating cheetos and watching Jeopardy.
Passing NASCAR or any other car racing activity as Sport, is just plain ludicrous.
You know what else we should elevate to a sport? Beauty pageants.
Yessir, they have to stay in shape to have what it takes to succeed. Let’s make that an Olympic event.
ESPN’s “Stump the Schwab” is more of a sport that NASCAR. At least you are being quizzed about sporting events.
Again, for all of you who can’t tell the difference between sport and entertainment. Baseball is sport, chess is entertainment.
Boxing is sport, Spelling bee is entertainment.
Football is sport, NASCAR is entertainment.
And truthfully, I don’t even find it entertaining. Jeff Gordon is the only NASCAR driver I can understand without an interpreter. As Jeff Foxworthy said, he enunciates.
LARRY: Cliff, you don’t have to like it for it to be a sport, which you, obviously don’t.
I don’t particularly believe fishing is a sport. I don’t like it and I don’t waste my time doing it. But it meets the definition given in the dictionary. So I don’t like it, but agree it’s a Sport.
Now, it’s your turn…Go ahead. Say it. You don’t like it BUT it is a sport.
By the way, there’s more NASCAR paraphanalia (sic) sold, yearly, in the USA than all of baseball, football, and basketball combined.
CLIFF: Ah, but the racing does not mean auto racing, rather athletic racing. Next thing you know you guys will try to make video games a sport.
As far as the paraphernalia is concerned I would have to see hard statistics to back that up.
I mean, there are plenty of caps and shirts sold to rednecks throughout the fruited plain, however I can’t imagine they would topple all three major sports combined.
You are right, I don’t just dislike it, I detest it. I’ll go to my grave, perhaps cussing, that it is not a sport. Do you all hear me? It is NOT a sport, it’s barely friggin’ entertainment.
As far as hunting and fishing, I hate those too. I am however, willing to accept fishing and some aspects of hunting a Sport. Left up to the illiterate masses I can see Madden NFL becoming a sport. Then you can have fantasy leagues of yourselves.
I’ll take “Done” for $1,000 Alex.
Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.
Filed under: GENERAL SPORTS | Tagged: Jeff Gordon, NASCAR | Leave a comment »