Monday, December 11, 2006

It Must Be The Season

Football just isn't working for me. It hasn't worked since 1998, when the Broncos had their first Super Bowl victory, because that was the pinnacle of professional football and a team can't do anything more than that.
Anything else that happens after that is just a repeat of the same thing, win or lose, over and over again. Don't get me wrong--I follow football avidly, but I just can't watch hours of football on television with the same interest with which I watch auto racing.
You see, in football, you can't watch a game with the attitude that "if my team can't win the game, maybe the other team can win." That just seems silly, no matter how you look at it. In racing there are forty-three competing teams, and if a race fan's favorite driver can't win, then perhaps another driver whom the fan likes can. A football game can be considered over for the football fan when, entering the fourth quarter, that fan's team is behind 31-3. Granted, there can be a "miracle" set of circumstances in which there could be an incredible come-from-behind streak, but professional football is so predictable that such miracles are few and far between.
In NASCAR, on the other hand, nothing is predictable. Come-from-behind streaks are the rule, not the exception in racing. Where every football field is identical in dimension, no two race tracks are alike, creating a different set of circumstances in every race. Fuel and tires are as much an element in racing as are the drivers and their teams. Races have been won or lost due to pit strategies concerning fuel and tires during the course of the race. The situation of having forty-three teams--forty-four, counting the track itself--in the same game at the same time equals forty-three variables that effect the outcome of the game. Every competitor in racing, driver and team, has its own strategy and tactics, and there are forty-three different reactions to any given situation.
One thing that football and NASCAR have in common is the questionable or confusing calls of those officiating the game. This is definitely a random factor that could change the outcome of a game in either sport. In NASCAR, the rules are constantly changing, much to the dismay of the traditionalist NASCAR racing fans, but we watch anyway, because like it or not, the rule changes invariably add another element to the game, and often create more excitement. Some of the rule changes in NASCAR, such as adding restrictor plates on the carburetors for the Superspeedway races, are the equivalent of the NFL adding swinging giant sharpened titanium blades across the football field during the games. Restricting the air intake for the engines reduces the horsepower and torque of the engines, packing the cars close together at very high speeds and increasing the chances for a serious and even deadly accident.
NASCAR has the element that the NFL doesn't have--the underlying fear that something terrible could happen. Race fans don't want to see terrible things happen, but we watch with the fear that they could. A football player with the flu, a broken shoulder blade, or broken ribs will only see limited action during a game, if at all, while race car drivers often race, and sometimes win, while playing with an injury or illness. It is the intensity of the sport and the player that makes the difference. Any race car driver can tell you that driving fast in competition is a way of life, and an all-consuming addiction. The need for speed outweighs any illness or injury.
I'll be watching football for the rest of the season, but not with the same interest I watch NASCAR racing. The Broncos are not likely to make the playoffs, and the excitement of having a winning team isn't there. All in all, it is more thrilling to watch guys beating and banging on each other at nearly two-hundred miles per hour than it is to watch guys beating and banging on each other at seven or eight miles per hour.

1 comment:

Gvav1 said...

Good morning Reverend! Thanks for the link...

Futbal is fun, racing is vrooming fun! I can't wait until Speedweeks!