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motor sports
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
I've never been a huge purveyor of televised or live sport, so I find it somewhat unsettling, what I perceive to be an undue amount of national grief over a sports icon. People crying over someone they watched on TV every weekend. Sure it's a tragedy, but the man willingly took control of a vehicle and pushed the very limitations of Newton's three laws for most of his adult life, and was still doing it at an age when most men are driving ten miles under the speed limit with a forgotten blinker still flashing. All truth told, he probably wouldn't have wanted to die any other way: the thrill of blazing the final lap of the Daytona 500, holding off a pack of challengers from his fellow team mate and son, that "oh shit" feeling of the car losing control, the split-second responses where man becomes an extension of the machine... and then nothing. He probably never knew what hit him.

Frankly I think it's rather sickening that so much grief is displayed. The very nature of stock car racing is one where the mechanical variables are so precisely balanced and the window for perceptible human triumph is so miniscule that the only truly spectacular moments occur when man or machine, or some combination thereof really fucks up. When they show racing highlights on the news, they show the crashes, the winner crossing the finish line, and drinking his milk in the winner's circle.

Of course, maybe I just don't understand the sport. My brother would argue that nothing is a sport unless there's a motor involved. He assures me that hockey counts because of the zamboni. So does golf, even if it is just an electric motor.

Then again, every summer he drives a car at county fairs where the object of the sport IS to crash, and to have the last car running. Go figure.

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Do you have a PROBLEM with demolition derbies?

you're devious... and cute

Why? Because I comment on really old posts?

no. you're just devious and cute ;-)

That's the best part about being me.

Funny. I do not see the thrill of NASCAAR. I know people who are into it and they seem like reasonably intelligent beings but maybe I'm wrong? hahaha. Now hockey isn't fun cuz of the zamboni(sp?) it's the fights. Doncha know that? Although last week's Red sox /tampa Bay game was resembling hockey with fists flying. ahahaha.
The rerun thing is fun. I'm in. Thanks for thinking of it. I'm fairly new to LJ on a regular basis and learning more about friends is a good thing!

Car racing was just something I could never get into. My dad and brother both are both huge fans. I've tried watching it with them and it's just mind-numbing to me.

You mean loud noise and excessive levels of testosterone is not your cup of tea?

I wouldn't say that, but I get the enjoyment from it when I'm directly involved with it. When I'm driving a performance vehicle, or my big rig, or whatever. I guess I don't understand that draw people have to watch it from the sidelines and treat it like a religion.

With my dad and brother, at least, I can understand it a little. My dad did some amateur drag racing in the 60s and my brother has been doing demolition derby as a hobby for years; it's an extension of their interests.

I used to go with my dad when I was a little girl to the stock car races. there is a dirt track not too far from here. My dad had the little guy syndrome and loved fast cars, sports like boxing, etc. So there is a sentimental sort of thing associated with that. But to watch it on TV just makes no sense. I suppose everyone has their thing. Yeah, you get your testosterone fix by having the big truck! hahahahah!

I disagree with your analysis about the spectacular moments. I followed NASCAR pretty closely for a few years back in the day and, if you watch it quite a bit, you understand how it works(like any sport, most of which I find hopelessly boring) and you'd see that it is indeed because of the fact that the mechanical aspects are balanced(more or less) that the human aspect is so important. It really does take a lot of skill and teamwork to win a race and, when your heart is in it, every lap can be exciting.

I don't think there's a problem with people being so sad about Dale Earnhardt. To many he was a hero and there's no doubt he was incredible at what he did. I might not understand the sorrow, same as I might not understand it for an actor or some other famous person, but to many people he was an important part of their lives, so there's no reason they shouldn't be able to grieve over him.

Oh I'm sure there are much more minute aspects which can be appreciated, it's just not the sport for me. I imagine it's much in the same way that I can sit and watch a professional tennis match, but a lot of people find that completely boring. And you're right, it is like that with any sport. I've never forgotten some radio interview I heard of some kid who played on a college football team. He was in one of the non-sexy positions like linebacker or noseguard or something. But he was talking about his football heroes and they were all guys you'd never heard-of because they played his position in the pros, and he went on and on about these guys and why they were so important to him, because of the way one used his hands and another because of his footwork.

On the one hand, I don't really have a problem with people being sad about the death of their heroes... whatever floats your boat. I wrote this at the time that it occurred when it was just EVERYWHERE all the time, people talking about it ALL the time. You'd think the fucking president got shot or something. I'm sure there are a lot of people who remember where they were when Earnhardt died.

Dude, you're supposed to use your reruns for LJ Idol entries...do that, kiss up to the people in charge, and refuse to take shit from people who claim everyone is out to get them...that's the path to the top 5.

I don't watch racing, really, but don't so much agree with your opinion...I mean, it's not like he was Anna Nicole Smith or something...

It's kind of ridiculous to think it for most of us, but these people do inspire some people in a positive way at time...I always think Michael Irvin is a complete idiot, but I heard some hick call into his radio show and break down crying the other day saying that he'd overcome his own drug problem in the 90s because he'd seen Michael do it...kind of hard to believe the guy didn't have better influences in his real life, but, whatever...

1) Actually... this, this, and this were originally posted (at least in-part) here, here, and here.

2) I already sent welfy the season before to win the mother fucker. She was like my John the Baptist. You can't kiss-up better than that.

I don't deny the role model aspect that sports celebrities have, both negatively and positively in American life. I don't really understand it in a lot of cases, but I won't deny it. Sure there are Ali's and Jordan's who have a genuine influence on people because of their character and ethic, but sometimes I just don't see the connection, as was the case with Earnhardt other than the fact that he was immensely popular.

Well, technically, your known association with welfy might have been a strike against you with Management...

I think it's probably about a bringing joy thing...like they just love the sport so much and the way the person plays it...as you may know, some people around here live and breathe Cowboys...so it makes sense that even a white, country guy could be really inspired by a reformed ghetto thug from Miami who loved crack, hookers, and catching footballs.

It's not that much different with musicians...I mean, people will talk about Bob Dylan or someone like he's a genius and say he changed their lives...but it's not like he cured polio or invented cold fusion or something. And then there's Princess Diana. It's just about where people find their pleasure, I guess. Personally, no celebrity could impact me that much...but I'm a cold, hard motherfucker.

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