Dear Sports Fan,
Can you explain the popularity of NASCAR? How can people watch a four hour race?
Confused in Washington D.C.
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Dear Confused in Washington D.C.,
There is no satisfactory explanation for NASCAR’s popularity which, thankfully, seems to be fading. Driving is not a sport. Driving barely qualifies as an activity. There are only two possible scenarios that should lead a normal human being to consider throwing four hours of his or her life away on a NASCAR race.
1. Drinking and driving: Adding alcohol tolerance to the other talents required to be a successful NASCAR driver – ability to turn left, having a large bladder and being slightly insane – would add an element of uncertainty that might make the race worth watching. This could work a couple different ways. One idea is to require every driver to take a shot of whiskey every time they make a pit stop. A twist: require every member of the pit crew to take a shot every time their driver completes a pit stop. Bonus feature for this approach: all kinds of new sponsorship opportunities. Jack, Jim Beam, Red Stag – and, if they’re smart, MADD.
2. Throw in a right hand turn every once in a while: One thing you’ll learn as you venture into the world of sports is that most sports require you to go both left and right in some way. It keeps things interesting and demonstrates an additional level of skill that separates the pros from the rest of us. NASCAR? Not so much.
Barring any of these changes, you should not trouble yourself with NASCAR. You may have a hard enough time figuring out why people like sports that actually matter – and from our perspective, it’s worth investing the time to do that for some sports, cause enjoying them with other people can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience.
But you should not waste a moment of your life trying to relate to anyone who follows NASCAR. If someone in your life – a brother, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a boss – is a die-hard fan and continuously tries to get you into it, we suggest you practice your blank stare and your vacant smiling and nodding. Or disown/break-up with them.
Thanks for your question,
Dean Russell Bell