Friday, February 10, 2012

Time For NASCAR Fans To Live and Let Live

Earlier this week, Daytona International Speedway announced that WWE star John Cena will serve as Grand Marshall for this month’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500. The track has also enlisted the co-stars of the new movie “The Three Stooges” to take part in pre-race activities at the “Great American Race.”

Lighten up, OR ELSE!!
Those announcements drew howls of disdain from some corners of NASCAR Nation, with fans questioning why the sport’s most prestigious event would associate itself with professional wrestling and Stooge-style slapstick.

“Wrestling and the Three Stooges,” wrote one internet commentator. “Who says you can't stereotype NASCAR?”

“(NASCAR is) sure going out of their way to lend credence to those that say we've morphed into the WWE,” wrote another.

Another writer asked, “How do I defend our sport from people who think it’s rigged, when we’ve got a professional wrestler waving the green flag?”

The answer to that question is simple. You don’t.

There is no need to respond to those who accuse our sport of being fixed. We’ve done quite nicely without them for the last six decades, and we’ll do fine without them in the future. The Grassy Knoll theorists and Black Helicopter pilots aren’t needed here, and attempting to dissuade them from their lunatic views is a waste of our time, and theirs.  

"Why I oughta..."
John Cena was invited to participate in this year’s Daytona 500 because he is one of the most popular and recognizable athletes in sports entertainment today. His invitation, delivered live on WWE's “Monday Night Raw” in front of approximately 4.6 million viewers, gave the Daytona 500 a major media “pop” that is still being talked about today. In return, the WWE will receive valuable cross-promotion for WrestleMania XVIII on April 1 in Miami, when Cena faces “The Rock” for the WWE Championship.

In addition to being one of wrestling’s top stars, Cena is also the No. 1 contributor in the history of the Make-A-Wish program, having granted more than 250 wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. That makes him a pretty good guy in my book, whether or not you’re a fan of professional wrestling.

NASCAR fans defy all attempts at stereotyping. Some of us enjoy classical music and a trip to the art gallery. Others prefer a deftly delivered dropkick off the top rope. Still others revel in a hearty “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk” and a double-digit poke in the eyes. There’s no reason for NASCAR fans to look down their noses at the WWE, or anyone else. There’s also no reason to lose any further sleep over what non-NASCAR fans think of us, or our sport.

We don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea.


  1. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Another writer asked, “How do I defend our sport from people who think it’s rigged, when we’ve got a professional wrestler waving the green flag?”

    Who waves a green flag has no bearing on the outcome of a race.
    35 cars being qualified before they even unload from the transport?
    Can't defend that.

    Robert Y

  2. Anonymous11:32 AM

    OK, we agree to disagree. NASCAR fans AREN'T looking down at the WWE. I made the very first Wrestlemania WAY BACK in 1985 driving my '68 427 Impala wagon into NYC with four of my racing buddies. What is happening here is NASCAR (or whomever is behind this part of the event) has put the target on the back of our sport once again, probably unwittingly. And for the first race of the year and our flagship race, a better selection for starter and flag waver(s) would be appropriate.

    And that's my humble opinion and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the soapbox.

    Doug from NJ

  3. I bet John "The Masked Marble" was thrilled to hear this news! Love your show Moody, and Angie isn't bad herself, haha

  4. Anonymous12:31 PM

    Cena was on that "celebrity nascar" thingy show a few years back. he did a fair job too

  5. Aren't we really there to watch a race anyway? I personally do not care who drops the green flag. Unless of course they literally drop the green flag.

  6. Anonymous1:05 PM

    You are right about the cup of tea..but we should be our cup of tea.And no I do not agree with the Wwe and the Stooges.Why not stay with NASCAR and have Hall of Famers present the big race...Why give the black helicopters fuel to fly.

  7. Well said, Dave. I often why fans put themselves through such horror that seems to come with following "their" sport?

    Each of has entered into a realm of how we are involved in "our" sport. Some as crew members, others as media and PR, others as FANatics and others on a casual basis.

    This was all done by THEIR choice to follow the No. 2 spectator sport in North America and second in following to only the NFL in America.

    NASCAR provides the longest season with more coverage than any other sport. They are offered not two teams to follow on "gameday" each weekend, but 43. If they don't like one level of NASCAR, they have two others to follow.

    NASCAR formed a Fan Council to hear from their supporters. Are any of you out there on the NFL, NBA, NHL or WWE Fan Councils? Didn't think so.

    I often feel these same folks that bitch about the most meaningless of things such as Grand Marshals and Honorary Starters really have to question why they even follow "their" sport?

    Do they buy a ticket to the circus and bitch because the elephant was too wrinkly, the clown's nose not red enough or the trapeze artists weren't high enough in the air?

    Folks, do yourselves a favor to lower your blood pressure and prattling about BS - sit back, relax, enjoy your sport and the season that lies ahead.

    You don't know what's going to happen around every turn - literally.

  8. Dave, I really and truely HATED wrestling. HOWEVER, after reading your very informative note about Cena, I might just have to pull back the HATE card. Thank you!

  9. Dave, thank you for the information about Cena! I hate Wrestling and Hockey due to the "fights" and ridiculous "stunts". HOWEVER, after reading your information of Cena I am going to make a concerted effort to at least defend him in my mind cuz anyone that is so charitable cannot be a bad person. Thanks again

  10. Cena comes across as a genuine race fan so thats all that matters. Isn't it ironic The Goodys 500 is the same day as Wrestlemania? We might get that at Martinsville.

  11. I have waited years for the Stooges movie. The tie in with NASCAR is great.
    Some people just need something to complain about. If you do not like it, tune in after the green flag.

  12. Anonymous1:43 PM

    I am totally over the wrestler and the Stooges thing.
    I just have one question.....What is a Lenny Krivitz??

  13. We shouldn't be upset with who's waving the green flag, we should be upset that the racing on the track has sucked since 2004. It's going to suck in 2012, but we have a "new" car coming in 2013. Will the new car fix the last 8 years of boring racing?

  14. Anonymous3:38 AM

    NASCAR and WWE are both entertainment and each are run by one man and his family who then decides the rules. Parallels you decide.. Are they sports or just entertainment with athletic actors. Time for my close up so my sponsor has advertising campaign covered.
    The jaundiced eye

  15. Anonymous1:41 PM

    What the main problem is that FOX/SPEED has been treating NASCAR like the WWE for years. With the GOOFY Waltrip brothers with their stooge acts, nyuck, nyucking it up,sickening sponsor schilling,and constant self promotion. When these guys are on I won't watch, period!!