Presumably, most people who write comments on the various NASCAR message boards love the sport (well, of course, except for Yahoo where commenters appear to jump on NASCAR boards just for the pleasure of telling us what toothless, ignorant rednecks we are but we'll ignore them). Still, we're a negative bunch. What brought this up were the recent articles about Rusty Wallace shutting down his Nationwide team. Most people seemed happy about it, laughing about what a terrible commentator Rusty is or what a terrible driver Steven is. Okay, I get that many NASCAR fans don't like this branch of the Wallace family but are you truly glad they are gone? Who do you think is going to take their place?
And, of course, lots of us called for Kyle's job during the brouhaha he caused at the end of last year. Ditto, for Kurt. (And the same happened to Carl after his run-ins with Brad a couple of years ago). We wrote and e-mailed all those drivers' sponsors insisting that they drop Kyle or Kurt or Carl's sponsorship or we would drop them!
And Danica has a whole crowd who don't think she's fit to even be in NASCAR.
And, by Gosh, we think the start and parkers should be drummed out of the sport.
And Mark Martin should just retire.
And Paul Menard, who'd never get a ride if it wasn't for his family's money.
But what would happen if everyone listened to us? Pretty soon there would be no one in NASCAR, except your driver, of course, and a couple others. That would make for fun races, wouldn't it?
If we take the long view, we see that people like Rusty Wallace who pour their heart and soul and money into NASCAR should be encouraged, not denigrated. The same with Kyle and Junior and Kevin (who has already given his team up). These are the Cup teams of tomorrow and we need all we can get if we want our sport to stay strong.
And Danica. Do we really want her to take mega-million dollar sponsor somewhere else or should we be happy she brought the money and the attention to us?
Do we seriously want to drum any driver who displeases us out of the sport (especially those who bring fans and $$$ and sponsors with them), while criticizing their sponsor for ever hiring such a jerk in the first place? I expect that makes the M&M's of the world really want to continue supporting NASCAR.
Meanwhile the start and parkers are trying to stay viable as best as they can, even if they are sometimes hanging on by their fingernails. They are hoping better days are coming.
And so should we all be. We all know the economy hasn't been good and teams and businesses are struggling. Instead of being glad that so many are willing to invest in NASCAR for our entertainment - people who give of themselves, their money, their time, their heart - we seem ready to boot people out at the drop of a hat. We better think about that a little more if we want to continue to have a sport to enjoy.