By admin | February 6, 2012
By Richard Allen
On the latest episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, racing star Carl Edwards made an appearance and it was announced that professional wrestler John Cena would serve as the honorary starter for the Daytona 500. This is an association NASCAR should have never entered into.
In 2007, driver Tony Stewart was chastised by NASCAR when he stated on his own satellite radio show that, “I guess NASCAR thinks ‘Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it’s going to work in racing, too,”’ he asserted. “I can’t understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they’re stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR. I don’t know that they’ve run a fair race all year.”
Now, NASCAR has chosen to associate with the very organization they were “very, very disappointed” to hear Stewart make reference to.
Stewart is certainly not the only person to ever accuse NASCAR of interfering with the results of races. Fans, competitors and media have often insisted that the sanctioning body throws late race cautions for “phony debris” in order to bunch the field and manufacture a dramatic ending. That, by the way, is what Stewart was referring to in his remarks.
Also, it is fact that NASCAR has carried out some of its rulings in secret. In particular, fines they have levied against drivers who too frequently speak their mind or do not otherwise tow the party line. Such a closed door policy further leads to fix accusations. If an organization carries out one policy in the dark why shouldn’t it be believed that they carry out other policies in the dark.
Just last year after qualifying for the Daytona 500, prominent ESPN television host Tony Kornheiser indicated his belief that there might have been a fix involved to bolster ratings for the race itself when popular Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole position for the season opening race.
Just because NASCAR is associating with the WWE does not mean races are fixed. But it offers the possibility of ‘guilt by association’ references by the mainstream media such as Kornheiser and others.
The NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball do not allow franchises to be established in Las Vegas because they do not want to be too closely linked to gambling. Of course, gambling occurs on those sports and to have a team in the city would not mean their sport is controlled by gambling. But, those leagues just choose to avoid the association.
That’s why NASCAR should stay away from the WWE. Such a pairing does not indicate a fix is on. But it opens the door for references to be made, and those are the types of references this sport can do without.
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