By admin | May 13, 2011
By Richard Allen
I work everyday with teenagers as a high school history teacher. From time to time, those youngsters engage in verbal spats in which their still apparent childlike state shows through. Often times, the adults in charge of supervision have to step in and force a resolution to the situation before matters escalate out of control.
However, the school does not sanction a live microphone name calling contest between those involved and invite everyone else to come watch.
In NASCAR it apparently works just a bit differently. When two not fully matured combatants begin a verbal sparring match with each other the sanctioning body very publicly steps and issues penalties in the form of probation and monetary fines to make it seem as if they are getting a handle on the situation to those who may be easily deceived. Then, the next week there is the very well publicized meeting in the NASCAR hauler in which the law is to be laid down.
But after all of the show of force is over, the two are then granted thirty minutes or so, not in the presence of each other, to sit with the media in front of an open microphone and basically say whatever comes to mind about the other person.
Seriously, if NASCAR really wanted to put an end to this nonsense would they allow each of them to stroll to a microphone and take long distance pop shots with a salivating media at the ready?
The so called feud between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch provided some entertainment last Saturday night in Darlington after the two had an on-track incident late in the Southern 500. But this attempt to look ‘tough on crime’ by NASCAR with the very light fines and probation they handed down then turn around and give each a scheduled public forum to provide SportsCenter fodder almost borders on the pathetic.
Perhaps NASCAR feels as though this type of thing will boost ratings and attendance.
As was said in a column on this site earlier in the week, what NASCAR needs to improve its current situation is close competitive racing on a weekly basis. If in the process of that happening drivers have confrontations in which real emotions and actions are involved then so be it. That is good for business in that it provides for added exposure. But it needs to be real, not staged. The press conferences on Friday morning for Harvick and Busch smacked more of staged entertainment and less of real emotion.
If Harvick and Busch want to settle their differences then they need to get together and settle them. If they do not, then so be it. But please, don’t set up the microphones and put on a stage show where the trained acts can come out and perform for the masses.
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