Sunday, February 8, 2009

NASCAR at the crossroads (and every other major sport too)

Now that the first big event of the 2009 season is out of the way, it is time for the corporate fat cats to do some serious re-evaluation of their greed mongering ways. With the vast majority of the seats empty, NASCAR can only hope that lots of fans enjoyed the race on TV...

Track owners are totally out of touch with reality. Bruton Smith has certainly done some wonderful things for the sport, but he has also blacktopped his own wallet several times over. His comments suggesting that the driver's are to blame for slumping attendance show just how far out of touch the owners and promoters have become. I'm glad to hear that Dale Jr. fired back a very direct and to the point response. He (Jr.) is absolutely right, fans don't come to the race track to get autographs, they come to watch races and the autograph is just a perk. But if the fan can't afford to even walk through the gates, they will not get to watch the race or get an autograph...and they certainly won't be chowing down on $5 hotdogs.

The world of sports has gotten out of control. Somewhere along the line, people have lost touch with reality. Suddenly we are paying people 100 or even 1000 times more a year than we pay the people that protect us from crime, the people that fight the fires that threaten to destroy our homes and property, the people that make us well when we are sick or injured and most importantly, the people that educate our future generations of thinkers and workers. School teachers making $30,000 a year while a baseball or football player gets $30 million to play a game? Folks, you call that what you want, but I call it an obscenity. Fans around the world need to wake up. Sports are just games, simple diversions to give us something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have no problem with sports figures being well paid for what they do, because unlike the vast majority of jobs, athletes only have a limited career span. Even so, there is no way that a basketball player is worth more over the life of their employment years than a teacher. Throw in the fact that these people are supposedly college educated and therefore able to find alternative employment after their game playing days have ended, their already absurd salaries become even more insane.

Seems that the fans have been gouged, raped and pillaged for years. It really is a shame that folks in the world of sports have such a dim view of the people that pay their wages. And it is equally as sad that the fans have become such sheep that they continue to accept outrageous ticket prices, insane parking rates, bizarre concession fees and the host of other exorbitant fees that go along with watching a live sporting event. Perhaps our sick economy will finally generate enough of a shock wave to stimulate the fans to revolt against the out of control spending and greed they have been subjected to.

On a lighter note, did anyone notice I picked two of the top 3 finishers last night? I suspect I might have been 3 for 3 had Jeff Burton not been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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