Last night before going to bed I happened to pick up the new TV Guide for next week. As I’m browsing through it I notice that Stephen King has a new mini series on ABC. Awesome! I think and then secretly hope that it is at least half as good as the book. Then I reach the end of the TV Guide I hit the rear glossy pages notice that Regis and Kelly are going to be in Niagara Falls for a few days next week, hmmm should I take the day off work and take in the show? I think not! I flip through a few more pages and notice that Scooby Doo On Spooky Island is going to be on next week, Raggy row rbout rome rooby rancks? (Shaggy, how about some Scooby Snacks?) Yumm yum. I then turn the page and what should appear? An article about the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge this weekend. Ohh, I gush. NASCAR in TV Guide, Wow! I feverishly start reading the article by Sam McCaig and I realize it’s not an article about the upcoming "racing spectacular" it’s an article about how race car drivers are not really athletes. I beg to differ with you there Sam, they are athletes pure and simple.
These drivers drive under the most adverse conditions possible, they endure continuous external forces throwing their heads in various directions at more than 2G’s, in temperatures that can exceed over 100 degrees with no breaks between plays to cool off, and must continuously concentrate on what they are doing for hours at a time with consequences more severe than just dropping the ball if they break their concentration even for a moment. These drivers can loose more than 10 pounds in a single race, I don’t see any golf players doing that let me tell you. How about football players? Sure there is the physical component, but lets face it, how much playing time is there really? Let’s say an offence gets at least 15 plays in a quarter and each play lasts on average about 7 seconds. That makes 1 minute and 5 seconds of actual physical activity and mental focus for each quarter and a total of 4 minutes and 20 seconds per game. Even if you double the amount of plays that is still under 10 minutes of actual game time spent playing the game. I’d like to see how long one of those players can last driving a car at Bristol with its high speeds and G’s with a broken power steering pump for 5 hours and with a faster car behind them trying to pass. Not many I would guess.
I would like anyone to try an prove to me that race car drivers are not athletes when you can call John Daley an athlete because he can almost hit a golf ball over the gorge at Niagara falls.