By admin | October 23, 2013
By Richard Allen
This past weekend, I missed the Sprint Cup race from Talladega…on purpose. As a matter of fact, I didn’t watch last Saturday’s event from Charlotte either. And these weren’t the first instances this year in which I had failed to watch a NASCAR race.
Had someone suggested ten or twenty years ago that I would miss a NASCAR race of any kind, I would have called them crazy. It would have taken some sort of major catastrophe to cause me to go AWOL from a television on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon when cars were tearing around a track somewhere.
But over time, the things we consider important change. This most recent weekend was one of the greatest I’ve ever had, with or without the sport I have dedicated so much time to over my 46 years on this planet.
Instead of watching NASCAR, I spent each day with my sons attending football games. It proved to be a time I’ll never forget, and I hope it proves to be the same for each of them as well.
On Saturday, my youngest son and I attended the SEC contest between Tennessee and South Carolina. It was Austin’s first trip to Neyland Stadium on a game day, his first time seeing the Pride of the Southland Band march down the street as they serenade onlookers with ‘Rocky Top’, his first time seeing the Vols run through the T formed by the band as the team rushes onto the field, and it was the first time he had ever seen all of that orange packed into one place at one time.
These are things I had come to take for granted over the years, having seen them so many times previously. However, getting to experience all of this with my son made it seem new again. And when Tennessee kicked the winning field goal as time expired, it made the day absolutely perfect.
The next day, it was my oldest son’s turn to spend the day watching football with dad. At 11 years old, Cody has decided that that his two favorite NFL teams are the Tennessee Titans and the San Francisco 49ers. As luck would have it, the two played each other on Sunday in Nashville so we made our way to LP Field to watch.
While the competition wasn’t as exciting or dramatic as the college game from the day before, it was a great day nonetheless. The 49ers pretty much dominated the game and basically cruised to the win, but that didn’t really seem to matter. The day had been made before the game had even begun when we saw the 49ers team buses come in to the stadium and my son spotted coach Jim Harbaugh sitting on the front seat.
As I said before, the idea of me spending a day without NASCAR on a race day would have seemed so foreign to me a decade or two ago that I would have never considered it. To some degree, my change in attitude is simply a reflection of the natural course of life.
Our priorities change over time.
But from another point of view, I have come to realize that NASCAR doesn’t quite hold the same interest level for me. I still love watching cars and drivers perform at a high level, but ‘the show’ has become a little too much of a show. And it seems as if there is a great deal of sameness in the sport. The drivers, the tracks and the the style of racing lead to the mindset that if you miss it one week, you can see the same show the next week.
So in the grand scheme of things, taking a weekend off to go to football games with my sons doesn’t seem so out of place. Or, covering a dirt race that happens to be scheduled on the same day as NASCAR for my other website has become less and less of a difficult choice over the last couple of years.
Again, I still love racing, and NASCAR was my first love in the sport. I’ll be watching the action in Martinsville this Sunday. But at the same time, it has become easier to make the decision to miss out from time to time as well.
Topics: Articles |