Tuesday, November 03, 2015

NASCAR, demigods, and reality

NASCAR?? Who understands it?

They have suspended Matt Kenseth for two races. All he did from his position 9 laps down from the leaders, was run into the leader and then push the leader's car across the track and into the wall.
The crowd loved it and applauded heartily. This confirms what many of us think already. Fans go to NASCAR races to see wrecks, much like hockey fans attend games to see a fight. Rarely is either group disappointed.
What do I think? First, Kenseth has been talking about doing something like this for two weeks. Someone from NASCAR should have taken him aside and warned him that NASCAR would not tolerate this kind of thing. Second, I don't think that two races is enough of a suspension. They should have suspended him for the last three races of the season, fined him a bunch of money, and taken away some, if not all, of his championship points.

Other drivers have said that Logano had violated the "unwritten drivers code" and that Kenseth was merely enforcing the code. That's big talk from a bunch of little fellows. There is also an unwritten man's code that men don't talk to each other in the men's room. I have seen guys violate that rule, but I have never seen anyone slammed into a urinal as some kind of "enforcement".  Have you?

Guys in sports do stuff, that if you and I did in the real world, we would be in jail. While the problem has intensified as athletes have evolved into some kind of demigods, it is not new. Almost 50 years ago, Juan Marichal of the Giants attacked John Roseboro of the Dodgers and beat him with a bat. Marichal should have been arrested. Athletes should not be some kind of protected class. Wait, that takes us back to the demigod issue. If we won't tolerate it in the real world, why tolerate it in sports?

This is why our children are so confused. They see this crap in video games, in sports, in movies, and on television and think that this is reality. It's not.


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