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Friday, February 16, 2007

Boogity Boogity Boogity
Can you smell the GAS?

Note: The following piece was dictated to me by The Battleship. The Battleship's internet has not been working for the past two weeks or so. You may be thinking "Stupid Comcast! Why do they always take so long?", but the truth is that The Battleship is so lazy entertained by tv and books that he just hasn't gotten around to calling them. I yelled at him about this again today. I guess The Battleship clearly has some adequate print pornography. Enjoy this fine piece of work.

Those of you who regularly watch Sportscenter, read the sports page, visit sports related web sites, and tune into sports talk radio are about to encounter an unprecedented wave of racism. I'm not talking about black quarterbacks being described as "athletic", and white quarterbacks being described as "cerebral", or Michael Irvin interviews on the Dan Patrick show. Football is over and a new season is upon us. I'm talking about the return of the new Great American Sport (GAS), NASCAR.

Like most Americans, I grew up blithely ignorant about the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. To the extent that I acknowledged NASCAR's existence I dismissed it as an activity for hillbillies. It wasn't until I got a new roommate a few years ago that I had any exposure to the new GAS. At first I refused to watch NASCAR, permitting him only to flip to the race during commercials on NFL Sundays. I initially spent most of my time watching the racing action mocking everything. I'd ask him questions about what was going on to increase my knowledge so that I could refine my comments condemning the new GAS. At some point along the way, I got hooked.

I'm relaying this story as a cautionary tale for all of you who resent the new GAS like I used to. ESPN is televising some of the races this year, and because of ESPN's affiliation with NASCAR they are ramping up coverage of the new GAS. ESPN has created NASCAR NOW, a show that will air on weekdays at 6:30 PM. All this week, NASCAR NOW is preempting PTI, something no doubt peeving racer haters to no end. Like it or not, with an assist from ESPN, NASCAR is busting into mainstream sports media this year like never before. Those of you who pride yourselves on resenting the new GAS should simply do your best to ignore it over the next nine months or risk conversion.

Why NASCAR Doesn't Completely Suck

Many NASCAR detractors ask plaintively, "What is so exciting about a bunch of cars driving in circles?" Well, what is so exciting about watching people toss a ball through a hoop or watching people avance a ball across a line? In that context, none of these activities sound particularly intriguing. Fans of football and basketball understand that there is more to these sports than those simplistic descriptions imply.

The same is true of NASCAR. Over the course of a race, each driver and his pit crew make hundreds of decisions and affect the outcome of the race. When to drive the car hard and when to hold back. When to come into the pits, and once there, deciding what adjustments need to be made to the car. Drivers determining the best line to run on turns. Drivers using different strategies on restarts to either block the cars behind them or pass the cars in front.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of NASCAR is that it is the only sport where amassing an early lead is utterly meaningless. A car could be running the entire race out front, but if they blow a tire or an engine or just run out of gas on the last lap, they'll end up finishing near the bottom of the pack. This keeps the entire race interesting. It creates a crescendo of anticipation as the final laps approach.

Rebel in the Low Brow

Just because you are a fan of the new GAS doesn't mean that you can't still mock some of its most outlandish aspects. At the beginning of all of the races televised on FOX, Darryl Waltrip (pronounced D Dubya) shrieks "Boogity boogity boogity boys, let's go racing!" The heavy southern accents and coloquialisms are always entertaining and the way that everyone, including the announcers, shamelessly whore for the sponsors is quite amusing.

At the top of this blog is a sentence, "The sound is better than any piece of ass you'll ever have." Someone actually said that to me at the Pepsi 400 last year when I asked about how loud the engines would be and whether I needed to wear earplugs. If you can't simply enjoy that statement, I feel genuinely sorry for you.

-The Battleship

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  • At 3:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Books? Battleship can't read.


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