Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Running is Better than NASCAR because...

Running and NASCAR racing: Two events that both involve going from Start to Finish in the fastest time possible. Besides that, there is very little similarity between the two. Running has a large number of participants but a very small nationally interested audience, very little television coverage, and barely gets a mention on ESPN. NASCAR, on the other hand, has very few participants but a huge national and television audience and is featured regularly on ESPN.

Like many of you, I was slightly peeved that the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials held in Houston earlier this month was broadcast – tape delayed – in a condensed two hour format. The top men finished in two hours and nine minutes and the women in two hours ad twenty-five minutes. It would have been just too much to add a extra half hour to this ONCE EVERY FOUR YEAR event just to provide full coverage, wouldn’t it?! I mean, I realize that distance running is not really a spectator sport but, sheesh, have you ever watched NASCAR? Or, excuse me, have you ever watched mobile flying billboards circle a motor home dealership, like some demented rings of Saturn, for 400 LAPS (not tape delayed, not condensed into two hours even though it desperately cries out for some editing before broadcast)!?!

To ease my disturbed psyche, I decided to turn my snarky derision to the proper target. To the executives who make television decisions? No… to NASCAR. It’s official F.M.S. policy that the quickest way to get to the top is by standing on the throats of others.

So – running and NASCAR -who’s to say which is better?

Me. Running is better. Here’s why:

1. In NASCAR, “rubbing is racing”. In running, it’s a subtle form of time passing, socially acceptable groping. Think Japanese men on a subway.

2. Midriffs.



3. Distance runners like to throw in a right turn every now and then to break up the monotony.

4. If there is a collision between runners, the rest of the field doesn’t bunch back together and restart once the blood and skin has been cleaned up. I didn’t realize this while watching the 2011 NYC Marathon. As Meb drifted further behind, I was cheering for a collision between a few runners on the course that would collapse the leader’s lead back down to one second…because that’s the fair way to do it, right NASCAR, RIGHT??

5. Race bib numbers are not shaved into back hair.

6. Enlarged, healthy hearts, hamstrings and lung capacity vs. enlarged livers. You choose.

7. Celebrating a win:



8. Bumper stickers:

9. What’s the worst that could happen?


Okay, so maybe this is a draw.

10. Sport origins:

Ol' bootleggers

Heroic, albeit mythical, messengers

Despite that fact that we enjoy this sport in relative media anonymity, rest assured that running is indeed better than NASCAR. Just as it was Charlie Sheen before that. So continue to enjoy those right turns, continue to run free of gas fires, continue to swig a post-race non-Budweiser refreshment! Just watch out for this guy and his pick-up at the next intersection.

Happy trails.

Don’t forget to enter the random drawing for the free YakTrax. You have until noon ET tomorrow. As I mentioned, you may enter as often as you would like. It seems that Deb is the only one who has taken me up on this. I don’t want to hear any crying if she wins. You all had your chance. And, as of now, Xenia is the runway winner of the ‘screw a charity’ hand picked winner…unless someone has any other ideas. C’mon, Sarah McLachlan and those sad face puppies on TV? Who wouldn’t want to screw them over?


Sun Runner said...

As a former obsessed devotee of NASCAR, I can say it is possible to have the best of both worlds. :)

But yeah, mostly I agree with you that running is better than NASCAR, mostly because I can actually participate in running events. I'll never get to drive a stock car.

OH WAIT...I WILL! Sometime this year I'm going to be doing one of those one-day racing experience things. I got a half-off deal for an event at MIS. I am very excited.

The Sean said...

We can hope that Danica might start wearing a running uniform... beyond that there is not comparison.

Elizabeth said...

So funny...your posts, no matter how base, ALWAYS crack me up. I think I agree with you on Point #9...it's definitely a close one: die or possibly become horribly disfigured in a fiery automobile accident or suffer a lifetime of humiliation from pictures of my "accident" being made a permanent fixture on the internet (and I probably still wouldn't even win the damn race). I hope I am never faced with such an awful choice.

B. Kramer said...

Huzzah! Maybe running needs more rubbing in its racing to make it more marketable to a larger audience. Marathon groping? Maybe only suitable for Cinemax, but certainly more exciting to the casual viewer. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if I could blow smoke out my ass after winning a race or even an age group - it's on.

C said...

I'm still not sure if I should be proud or horrified that I'm the frontrunner in the 'screw a charity' challenge. Eh, I'll be a little of both.

Deb said...

That is NOT a draw. I would WAAAAY rather be burnt alive then have such a public assplotion.

Lindsay said...

hilarious. though i'm honestly not sure which i'd prefer, burning or crapping my pants.

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

Maybe they won't cut the coverage short if the running coverage mostly involved following the lead women runners by six feet, for best observing their, er, performance.

Char said...

Hysterical! Running is also much more environmentally friendly - mind you, smelling the exhaust of some of my fellow runners could put that theory in dispute. But exhaust aside, we don't have to change our tyres every couple of laps or if the weather changes

Stuart said...

Anything that involves going round in circles beyond 10,000m is madness pure madness!

Al's CL Reviews said...

NASCAR Fans and Monster Truck Rally Fans (at least in Atlanta)...one in the same.

Jess said...

LOL LOL totally love this post! So sooooo true!