Every year there are numerous blogs posted by racing fans out there stating NASCAR owes them something. Whether it's a photo finish every week or a tight points race, there is always some fan who thinks because he buys a ticket or turns the channel onto a NASCAR race that he is owed something.
I am from the opposite school of thought.
The only thing NASCAR owes the fans is a race where all 43 competitors are subjected to the same rules and enforcement.
The fans aren't guaranteed a photo finish in the Daytona 500. They aren't guaranteed 50 lead changes every week. They aren't guaranteed rumpled fenders and heated tempers at Bristol or Martinsville. They aren't guaranteed an autograph and they aren't guaranteed their favorite will win or even run near the front. They aren't guaranteed anything!
That's what sports is all about. If you knew going in that the Steelers would win by 35 points over the Browns, would you go? Maybe if you're a die hard Steelers fan, but for the rest of us knowing what's going to happen ahead of time goes against the fabric of what sports is all about. You buy your ticket or tune in on television to see what happens and who wins.
Sometimes you go to the ballpark and you get a game with seven homers and a 14-13 final score. The game might even be settled by a bottom-of-the-ninth grand slam. But the very next night, the same two teams could play and end up with a two-hitter and a 1-0 final score. Do the fans from the second game deserve some sort of refund because they didn't get the same game as the fans on the first night?
I don't follow stick and ball sports too much, but I do follow them enough to know I don't read too many blogs from fans wanting their money back after a 1-0 game.
There are still bloggers out there complaining that they were "ripped off" by NASCAR because the Daytona 500 was rain shortened. Was I disappointed? Sure, who wouldn't be? It's the biggest race in the sport and to have it be ended short is a bummer to say the least. Did NASCAR rip us off? No. (The discussion about the 3 P.M. start is for another time...) Since when is NASCAR in control of the weather and how long any particular rain shower will last?
It seems some are mad there aren't more wrecks and heated tempers at Bristol. The new track there isn't like the old track - there is room to race and room to pass. The old track was a terrible racetrack. The narrow groove led to caution after caution and kept the actual racing to a minimum. It's funny, the people who complain the racing is bad at California now complain that actual racing at Bristol is boring!
Racing isn't about wrecks and lost tempers. If that happens as a result of close competition that's one thing. But to expect it as "the show" is something else entirely. Like I said earlier in the week, if that's the only reason you tune in, there are demo derbies at thousands of county fairs all across the country.
NASCAR does a fairly good job at giving us what they owe us: an event governed fairly and equally among all the competitors entered. As long as the rules are the same for the guy qualified 43rd as they are for the guy on the pole, that's fine with me. Whatever the drivers deliver on the racetrack once the green flag drops is fine with me because I understand sometimes it will be a barn burner and sometimes it might enduce a yawn or two.