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BUTLER REDSFAN
02-24-2006, 11:32 PM
i know there is a lot of craftsmenship involved with mechanics,the car makers etc....i just cant get into watching cars drive in circles for hours and then watch these guys in jump suits with 500 decals on their outfits walk around like they are somebody because they can drive a car in circles real fast???

OldRightHander
02-25-2006, 12:02 AM
I don't really hate it, but I can't say that I'm a fan either. I don't care for the racing on large oval tracks because for the most part it bores me to tears, but I caught a Formula 1 race on tv one day and it looked somewhat interesting for no other reason than there was some variety to the track. If Nascar ran on those kind of tracks, maybe I could get into watching it, but watching cars go around an oval doesn't do much for me either.

Dom Heffner
02-25-2006, 01:00 AM
Cannot stand any type of auto racing. It's not a sport. Kids don't go into their backyards to play NASCAR.

When I interned at 700 WLW a very long ime ago, Seg Dennison was the first man I ever met to even remotely like racing. There were so many racing posters in the office that I had to have him explain the fascination with it to me.

Seg was a wonderful guy, but his explanation didn't make me like it any better.

I've watched more episodes of General Hospital than I've seen auto racing events on t.v.

Just a boring, boring, thing.....

919191
02-25-2006, 01:30 AM
I've watched more episodes of General Hospital than I've seen auto racing events on t.v.




Robert Scorpio's been back, you know......:rolleyes:

Dom Heffner
02-25-2006, 04:58 AM
So has Rick Springfield and now Emma Samms...oh the days of the ice princess. :)

creek14
02-25-2006, 06:18 AM
Some people are bored to tears by baseball. To each his own, I guess.

As for racing, I love it.

There is a lot strategy involved. When to pit, how many tires to take, who to draft with, when to make your move.

It's so much more than driving in circles.

And the athlete part. I think anyone who can sit in a car that can reach temps in excess of 120 degrees for 3 - 4 hours while driving with 42 other cars going 150mph are more athletic than David Wells or Danny Graves.

JMHO. :)

alex trevino
02-25-2006, 08:52 AM
It ranks up there with Professional wrestling to me. I would rather attend a week long symposium on" Plate Techtonics" than watch 10 minutes of auto racing.

Could the "sport" (using the term loosely) be any more comericalize? Can they possible get any more ads on their car or uniforms?

Dom Heffner
02-25-2006, 09:06 AM
I think anyone who can sit in a car that can reach temps in excess of 120 degrees for 3 - 4 hours while driving with 42 other cars going 150mph are more athletic than David Wells or Danny Graves.


Just let me know the next time a gym class goes and plays NASCAR. ;)

Forget politics, we have our first topic of debate for June, creek. :)

westofyou
02-25-2006, 10:27 AM
And the athlete part. I think anyone who can sit in a car that can reach temps in excess of 120 degrees for 3 - 4 hours while driving with 42 other cars going 150mph are more athletic than David Wells or Danny Graves.Richard Petty says that driving today is easy... back in his day before power steering... blah, blah, blah....

I grew up in the car crazy 60's and 70's.. I know whats under the hood, I driven 120 miles an hour on the highway.

But racing to me makes the NBA look like MLB and I haven't watched an NBA game for longer than 10 minutes in 15 years.

Red in Chicago
02-25-2006, 10:36 AM
i don't think i've ever watched more than 2 minutes of racing in my life...funny thing, there is a professional track less than a half hour from my house...people come from all over the country just to watch that crap in person...amazing...i just don't get it at all

acredsfan
02-25-2006, 11:09 AM
Auto racing is a funny thing, people can't often relate to it like they can sports like baseball, football, or things like that because the majority of people who say they don't like it have never actually participated in the sport. people play baseball growing up and can appreciate the skills it takes to be a good player, while in racing you have no idea what it is really like. I've had the chance to take an inside look at NASCAR, and i have to say, it is a very complex and interesting sport to me, but i'm a mechanical engineering student. The excitement of driving 180 miles an hour and having to make split second decisions that could mean the difference between crashing and winning excites me. If you don't like complex sports then auto racing isn't for you, if you like the strategy and technical skills that go into the sport, than it is for you. I can tell you this, the drivers are every bit an athlete as anybody from any other sport. Take Mark Martin for example. The veteran of NASCAR works every day to get stronger and improve his hand-eye cordination. From personally talking with him, it's amazing how hard he has worked to stay on the top of the sport. I'm not trying to convert anybody, if you don't like the sport you don't like it and that's fine, but the criticism of drivers and saying it is a wimp sport when you have never tried it to me is pretty unfair.

Matt700wlw
02-25-2006, 01:44 PM
I actually found some of the Daytona 500 interesting.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me last Sunday.

:eek:

SunDeck
02-25-2006, 02:13 PM
I think it's probably fun to go on a Friday night dirt track date, but sitting in the southern heat and humidity for four hours of noise, cheap beer, and tons of fat and skin that belongs covered up is not my idea of a good time.

macro
02-25-2006, 02:44 PM
It ranks up there with Professional wrestling to me. I would rather attend a week long symposium on" Plate Techtonics" than watch 10 minutes of auto racing.

Could the "sport" (using the term loosely) be any more comericalize? Can they possible get any more ads on their car or uniforms?

It's either that or charge $300 per ticket to the races. Each race costs thousands upon thousands of dollars per team to put on, and that cost goes up for any given team that gets a $100,000 race car demolished.


i don't think i've ever watched more than 2 minutes of racing in my life...funny thing, there is a professional track less than a half hour from my house...people come from all over the country just to watch that crap in person...amazing...i just don't get it at all

And how would you expect to get it by observing it for less than two minutes in your life? Did your first drink of beer taste good?

I think the vast majority of people who bash racing have never been around the sport or have never taken the time to understand it. Their minds are closed and that is that. It's kind of an attitude of "If I looked at it for fifteen minutes one time and didn't find it interesting, then it must be mind-numbing and pointless." But you've gotta figure, there's something that brings 160,000 to 200,000 people to some race tracks at $40-$150 per ticket just to watch a single event, and many of them drive six or eight hours to do it. Are these people just too ignorant to realize how pointless and boring racing is, or could it be that they might have some insight into what is going on in the pits and on the track that the casual observer does not?

IslandRed
02-25-2006, 02:58 PM
Kids don't go into their backyards to play NASCAR.

Only because we don't put real race cars in their toyboxes. :p:

SunDeck
02-25-2006, 03:04 PM
But you've gotta figure, there's something that brings 160,000 to 200,000 people to some race tracks at $40-$150 per ticket just to watch a single event, and many of them drive six or eight hours to do it. Are these people just too ignorant to realize how pointless and boring racing is, or could it be that they might have some insight into what is going on in the pits and on the track that the casual observer does not?

You mean these people?

http://www.geocities.com/photo_88/dover999/fans1.jpg

:evil:

alex trevino
02-25-2006, 05:03 PM
You mean these people?

http://www.geocities.com/photo_88/dover999/fans1.jpg

:evil:

Some people should always wear a shirt :laugh:

TeamMorris
02-25-2006, 11:14 PM
No. I love it!! Many family members have done it for generations. Keep an eye out of the last name of Smith! It will be well known one of these days:)

RedsFan75
02-25-2006, 11:22 PM
I've got several relatives who love Nascar. I never got into it. I do enjoy a Formula 1 race and some of the Ralley events, some of the other types of racing, but never really got into Nascar.

WMR
02-26-2006, 12:29 AM
Driving is a skill NOT a sport.

jmcclain19
02-26-2006, 03:19 AM
Kids don't go into their backyards to play NASCAR.

uh - I beg to differ with this one. Give a 6 year old a set of matchbox cars and they can entertain themselves for hours.

Take a 12 year old to a go kart track and take a wild guess what happen


Driving is a skill NOT a sport.

To play a little devil's advocate here. Racing isn't a sport but hitting a little white ball is?

I'm not the biggest Nascar fan in the world. Mostly due the last couple of years to the monsterious price hikes for tickets to get in. $80-100 a ticket to sit in the grandstands for an event just doesn't float my boat anymore.

But racing is quite the sport - and it takes a huge amount of athleticism and skill. One of my friends at work and I were talking about Rally Racing, which I've started watching on Speed Channel, and he told me to watch the Dakar Rally, which was just crazy as far as a sporting event goes. I once heard a driver for Indy racing tell an inquiring reporter that he didn't need to "go" in his suit during a several race because drivers dehydrated so badly over the course of the race that he never had any fluids in his body to release.

redsfanmia
02-26-2006, 09:14 AM
I love it when racing is on sunday afternoons, i put it on then am asleep within 3 minutes. I just cant see the point of watching a bunch of guys going straight and turning left, a giant bore if you ask me.

Dom Heffner
02-26-2006, 02:30 PM
uh - I beg to differ with this one. Give a 6 year old a set of matchbox cars and they can entertain themselves for hours.


Kids can also go in their backyard and play Strat-o-matic baseball, but that's not the same as playing baseball is it?


But racing is quite the sport - and it takes a huge amount of athleticism and skill.

Skill, yes- athleticism, no.

Tell me- what sort of physical training does one do for NASCAR? Jog? Lift weights? Kickbox?

Do they do leg presses so that they can hit the gas pedal harder?

It would seem that it would be a waste of time to physically train for a race in which the automobile does all the heavy leg work.


To play a little devil's advocate here. Racing isn't a sport but hitting a little white ball is?

If baseball were reduced to only hitting a little white ball then you might have a point, but there are many athletic abilites required to play the game other than just hitting.

There are different types of sports. Some require more skill- like golf, archery, and NASCAR, while others also demand that the participants be physically gifted.

NACAR is obviously a sport, but there is little to no athleticism involved.

WMR
02-26-2006, 05:49 PM
It isn't a sport if there's no athleticism involved.

A test/contest of who can perform the skill the best? Yes. But I don't consider such "challenges/contests" to be sports.

The requisite hand-eye coordination needed? Does that make playing videogames a sport? Of course not.

Driving a car? Catching a fish? Not sports.

kyred14
02-26-2006, 09:20 PM
Anyone who thinks NASCAR doesn't have any athleticism involved has obviously not seen a pit stop.

KronoRed
02-26-2006, 09:21 PM
To me the real skill in Nascar is the teams, the drivers seem to be all about the same, but it's teams and owners that make the real difference.

macro
02-27-2006, 12:41 AM
I love it when racing is on sunday afternoons, i put it on then am asleep within 3 minutes. I just cant see the point of watching a bunch of guys going straight and turning left, a giant bore if you ask me.
I'll repeat this from post #14 in this thread...


I think the vast majority of people who bash racing have never been around the sport or have never taken the time to understand it. Their minds are closed and that is that. It's kind of an attitude of "If I looked at it for fifteen minutes one time and didn't find it interesting, then it must be mind-numbing and pointless." But you've gotta figure, there's something that brings 160,000 to 200,000 people to some race tracks at $40-$150 per ticket just to watch a single event, and many of them drive six or eight hours to do it. Are these people just too ignorant to realize how pointless and boring racing is, or could it be that they might have some insight into what is going on in the pits and on the track that the casual observer does not?

By the way, I'm not about to enter the sport / not-a-sport argument. Trying to convince anyone on this one is about as easy as converting someone in a religious or political discussion. If someone feels that drivers and pit crew members are not athletes, I can respect that opinion. If they feel that, as a result, that auto racing is not a sport, I can respect that, too. If they have made the effort to understand the aspects of the event and, after developing that understanding, still feel that racing is just not something they could ever enjoy or appreciate, I can respect that. What I have a difficult time respecting is the opinion that racing is boring and pointless coming from folks who have admittedly never tried to learn what is taking place on, inside, and above that oval.

Let me finish by admitting, and this may come as a surprise, that auto racing is absolutely not one of my favorite things to watch on television. I haven't been to a race since 1999 and don't know when I will ever go back. I was involved with the sport to some extent for a few years, and still like to keep up with what is going on with certain people, but I don't have so much interest in who wins or loses these days. I'll also admit that I find it very difficult to sit through an entire race without flipping channels.

The point of my posts in this thread really isn't to sell anyone on how awesome, interesting, or entertaining auto racing is, but rather to discourage people from prejudging anything without first trying to understand it and maybe even appreciate it. :)

IslandRed
02-27-2006, 09:39 AM
The point of my posts in this thread really isn't to sell anyone on how awesome, interesting, or entertaining auto racing is, but rather to discourage people from prejudging anything without first trying to understand it and maybe even appreciate it. :)

I'll go along with that, but I also think auto racing fans are like soccer fans or baseball fans or any other fans... people who love a sport tend to fall back on the "if you don't love it too, it's because you don't understand it" argument. Which is hogwash. I understand soccer plenty well enough, and the only time I'll watch it on TV is if the USA is playing in the World Cup. (I enjoy coaching my kid's team, but that's not because it's soccer, it's because it's my kid's team.) I understand car racing well enough, and I like NASCAR okay but other forms of it may not thrill me. I understand baseball well enough, and I love it. Vive le difference.

Chip R
02-27-2006, 09:50 AM
Keep an eye out of the last name of Smith! It will be well known one of these days:)
Yeah, like we've never heard of that name before. :p:

Dom Heffner
02-27-2006, 10:38 AM
The point of my posts in this thread really isn't to sell anyone on how awesome, interesting, or entertaining auto racing is, but rather to discourage people from prejudging anything without first trying to understand it and maybe even appreciate it.

I, too, see what you are saying and there is some truth here, but this also reminds me of peopole who have tried to talk me into liking the taste of beer.

I know what i like, and an understanding of something doesn't make me like it more most of the time, though it has happened before- I used to put down American Idol without having watched it and now I don't miss it.

Tennis and boxing became much more interesting once I understood the rules and scoring, but there has to be at least some interest there to begin with to get to that point. I've tried to watch NASCAR, and I'm not sure an understanding of it would make it better for me. I've tried watching it and it bores me to tears.

TeamCasey
02-27-2006, 10:53 AM
Catching a fish? Not sports.

Now wait just a minute! :duel:

westofyou
02-27-2006, 10:55 AM
Not wait just a minute! :duel:
Any activity that can be accomplished with a beer in your hand isn't a sport in my opinion.

westofyou
02-27-2006, 10:56 AM
Guys who think fishing is a sport invented this, I bet.

http://brooksideflorist.org/lawnmower-racing/photos/070905/12.jpg

gonelong
02-27-2006, 11:22 AM
sport (spôrt, spōrt)
1. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
3. An active pastime; recreation.

Pretty much anything makes the #3 definition, including fishing. :)

If you are saying something isn't a sport ... then you might be known as a ... [wait for it] ... poor sport. :p:

" There are only three sports - bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games." - Hemingway

GL

CrackerJack
02-27-2006, 11:24 AM
On this note seeing some sort of Fishing bizarro world on ESPN this weekend made me think of Nascar. They were wheeling out professional Fisherman into this arena with thousands of fans cheering them like kings - then they pulled out their fish. Strange world we live in today.

And Nascar/auto racing is just a huge waste of fossil fuel IMO, totally irresponsible and unnecessary, but that's just me.

I have good friends who are obsessed with racing - and I just don't and never will get it.

I stopped being impressed by the fact a car can go 200 mph when I was 6 or 7 years old I think.

westofyou
02-27-2006, 11:25 AM
" There are only three sports - bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games." - Hemingway

Most overrated writer in US history.

Also a poor sport. ;)

BRM
02-27-2006, 11:27 AM
Any activity that can be accomplished with a beer in your hand isn't a sport in my opinion.

What? Slow-pitch softball and bowling aren't sports? :p:

Dom Heffner
02-27-2006, 11:28 AM
Most overrated writer in US history.

I tell ya, though- he's made many a high schooler happy when he made The Old Man and the Sea just 150 pages long. You can get through that thing in a few hours.

Hawthorne, on the other hand. Wow, dude- it's just a tree- no need to give me a 6 page explanation about it.

flyer85
02-27-2006, 12:23 PM
Plus with NASCAR there is the whole WWF on wheels kind of theme,with the good guys, the villians and those that switch back and forth.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2006, 12:24 PM
and those that switch back and forth.

That could also be a theme of Elton John's. :)

flyer85
02-27-2006, 12:44 PM
That could also be a theme of Elton John's. :)... a true switch hitter? I wonder what he bats from each side of the plate?

Danny Serafini
02-27-2006, 01:20 PM
I was going to stay out of this one, since it's one of those topics that will get me wound up, but I just couldn't resist. A little background: I first started racing when I was 10 years old (yes, there are kids playing the equivalent of sandlot ball in racing dreaming of becoming pro drivers, they start out as young as 4) and have spent the past 20 years racing cars of one sort or another. I'm not going to try and convert those who don't like it, doesn't bother me at all, it's just a personal preference. But those of you trying to say there's no athleticism involved or that it's not a sport, quite frankly you have no clue what you're talking about.

It's much more physically challenging to drive a racecar on the edge than it appears. I always have to stress this point when talking to people who don't understand - it's not like driving a street car. Repeat - it's not like driving a street car. You're not driving a street car anywhere near its limits (even when you think you are) so physically it takes little effort. You are approaching the limits of the car on a track, and it takes much more physical effort because the car is on the verge of breaking away from you, you have to muscle it to keep it in line. It's not so much in the legs, though you do have to have a lot of coordination, especially on a road course where you're bouncing between pedals much more than an oval. It's more in the arms, shoulders and neck that you get a workout. In addition to the physical effort of steering, you've also got g-forces working against you, that's where the neck takes its beating. The heat can drain you. It's not so bad for me because I'm in an open cockpit car, but even so put on a three layer fireproof suit and helmet and it gets warm, especially on those 95 degree cloudless days when everyone runs for the air conditioner. Add on top of that the track surface itself. Most tracks aren't perfectly smooth, there's always some bumpiness, and some of the older, less cared for tracks are extremely rough. A racecar is sprung much stiffer than a street car to improve the handling. When you go over a bump in a street car, the shocks and springs absorb the bump so you ride in comfort. In a racecar, the driver absorbs that bump. A really rough track can just beat you down. Combine all of these factors and you absolutely have to be in good shape if you're going to be successful. Trust me, I can tell when I'm fat and out of shape because I get worn down much quicker, and it shows in my lap times. It really is a lot of work.


Auto racing is a funny thing, people can't often relate to it like they can sports like baseball, football, or things like that because the majority of people who say they don't like it have never actually participated in the sport. people play baseball growing up and can appreciate the skills it takes to be a good player, while in racing you have no idea what it is really like.

Acredsfan really hit on something here. It is a very tough thing to relate, and it gets a little frustrating at times. There's nothing really close. The go-kart track next to the mini golf course doesn't simulate what's happening on a racetrack. Neither does going 100 mph down the highway (though it's amazing how many people think they're racers because they do that - another bug of mine). Unless you've done it or spent a lot of time around the sport it really is difficult to get a good feel for what's really involved.

One last thing, I know the marketing geniuses at NASCAR have pretty much made NASCAR synonymous with racing, but it really isn't. There's a whole lot more out there than just NASCAR. The U. S. is sort of strange when it comes to racing because we have this uniquely American version called oval racing. For the most part it's just considered an oddity outside the U. S. Formula 1 for instance is like soccer here, huge throughout the rest of the world but not very popular in the U. S. NASCAR is the anti-soccer, huge in the U. S., but for the most part the rest of the world doesn't care.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 01:38 PM
Auto racing is a recreation, the lack of atheliticism does not qualify it as a sport in my book. Horse racing is a good comparison--I don't consider horse jockeys athletes, the grunt work is performed by the horse. It's why the horses are typically more well-known than the jockeys. I've no doubt that auto racing takes great skill and practice. No doubt at all. But many, many things require skill, practice--and perhaps even a little sweat--and don't qualify, to me, as sports. I place NASCAR up there with bowling and fishing. Golf only counts as a sport if you're walking the course yourself. None of this "golf cart riding" nonsense.

As for racing itself, I find it dreadfully boring. There's nothing at all exciting to me about it. Most of the people who show up to the races just want to drink some beer, see some boobs, and maybe a crash, and they're happy. And, yes, I HAVE watched NASCAR races in the past. I've just never driven a race car, but that's insignificant. I don't have to have drunken urine to know that it tastes bad, either.

macro
02-27-2006, 02:44 PM
Plus with NASCAR there is the whole WWF on wheels kind of theme,with the good guys, the villians and those that switch back and forth.

Now that I will agree with, which is part of the reason why my interest has waned over the years. In the old days, when you saw the Allisons and Cale Yarborough duking it out (literally) at the Daytona 500, you knew it wasn't some made-for-TV pseudo feud. These days it is all-too-apparent that drivers get "mad" at one another and spout some choice words for the camera, and then go boating or go-cart racing together the next day. And you're right, flyer, it does remind me of the old traveling wrestling shows, where they'd go at it for the crowd, then load onto the same bus and travel to the next city.

Part of the genious of Dale Earnhardt was that he recognized that the sport needed a man in black, a "bad" guy, so he filled that role. Today drivers like Tony Stewart try their best to be the next Earnhardt, but they end up looking like spoiled brats instead.

The more discriminating fans know it for what it is, but unfortunately many are suckered into believing that it is real. NASCAR encourages this, and the best evidence of this showmanship can be seen at short tracks like Bristol and Richmond. There are tantrums aplenty, which generates water cooler talk the next Monday morning, which NASCAR loves.

flyer85
02-27-2006, 02:50 PM
The more discriminating fans know it for what it is, but unfortunately many are suckered into believing that it is real. NASCAR encourages this, and the best evidence of this showmanship can be seen at short tracks like Bristol and Richmond. There are tantrums aplenty, which generates water cooler talk the next Monday morning, which NASCAR loves.... afterall, the main reason they are there is to put on a good show. The fans swallow the "feud of the week" theme lock, stock and barrel.

SeeinRed
02-27-2006, 03:21 PM
If baseball were reduced to only hitting a little white ball then you might have a point, but there are many athletic abilites required to play the game other than just hitting.

There are different types of sports. Some require more skill- like golf, archery, and NASCAR, while others also demand that the participants be physically gifted.

NACAR is obviously a sport, but there is little to no athleticism involved.


Here is what I don't understand. People can say that racing is nothing but cars driving in circles, and see no problem with that description of racing. However, if I say that baseball is simply hitting a ball, or basketball is simply putting a ball through an iron ring, then I have over simplified the sport and don't understand what makes it a sport. For the most part, everyone who doesn't like racing, has done just that to the sport. If you don't like the sport, fine. Just give some better reasons than you don't see the point in driving in circles.

Another thing I don't understand is how you overlook reaction time that would make any athelete jealous. The drivers in Nascar have some of the quickest reaction times in professional sports, that right SPORTS. You try to avoid an accident at 200 MPH. Not only that, these guys train harder than most atheletes. Yes, most lift weights. For reference, did anyone see Carl Edwards on the cover of ESPN the Magazine. He isn't the only racer in great shape.

Last point, if the olympics consider curling a sport, how can you not consider racing a sport. I appreciate the strategy in curling, but if you base the term sport purely on atheletic ability, how do you explain curling.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 03:51 PM
Last point, if the olympics consider curling a sport, how can you not consider racing a sport. I appreciate the strategy in curling, but if you base the term sport purely on atheletic ability, how do you explain curling.

I don't think anyone here is comparing auto racing to curling. That's certainly not a sport I would choose to compare my sport to if I was attempting to qualify it as an athletic competition.

I'm certain some bowling afficionado could also put forth a defense of why IT should be considered a sport as well--and for evidence present some bowlers on the WBA who work out and do weight training, and the skill and coordination you must have to bowl a 300 game, etc. The fact remains that in auto racing the cars, not the humans, perform the bulk of the work. Quick reaction times and hot cars notwithstanding, it just doesn't qualify as a sport to me.

Danny Serafini
02-27-2006, 03:59 PM
The fact remains that in auto racing the cars, not the humans, perform the bulk of the work.

The cars don't drive themselves. Saying the cars are doing all the work for a driver is like saying the shoes are doing all the work for a runner.

RedsBaron
02-27-2006, 04:14 PM
This debate reminds me of the comment John Kruk made when a woman referred to him as an athlete--"I'm not an athlete lady, I'm a ballplayer."
I regard elite race car drivers to be athletes just as I regard elite baseball players to be athletes. Each have specialized athletic skills; neither are always the "all around" athletes that elite competitors in a decathalon are.
The younger versions of Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds, or the current version of Alex Rodriguez, were/is great athletes, but there have also been successful baseball players such as Kruk and David Wells who have very specialized skills while not being particularly great all around athletes.

TeamBoone
02-27-2006, 04:19 PM
Regarding curling... it's called the Olympic "Games", not the Olympic Sports.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 04:24 PM
The cars don't drive themselves. Saying the cars are doing all the work for a driver is like saying the shoes are doing all the work for a runner.

No, it's not. There's nothing mechanized in the shoes, and the shoes aren't the focal point of the event. It's like my earlier horse racing analogy--we recognize that the horses do the majority of the work in horse racing, which is why they are more famous than the jockeys who ride them. The same thing applies to auto racing.

Danny Serafini
02-27-2006, 04:40 PM
No, it's not. There's nothing mechanized in the shoes, and the shoes aren't the focal point of the event. It's like my earlier horse racing analogy--we recognize that the horses do the majority of the work in horse racing, which is why they are more famous than the jockeys who ride them. The same thing applies to auto racing.

The horse racing analogy doesn't fly. A horse is a living, breathing creature that can decide on its own what it is going to do. The horse is doing the physcial work, the jockey is there to guide it along and serve as ballast. A racecar without a driver is just going to sit there and do nothing. The driver does all of the work in getting that car around the track.

A racecar can be thought of as a piece of equipment, no different than in any other sport. Carrying the shoe analogy a little further, during all of the ski races the past couple of weeks in the Olympics the announcers kept going on and on about how important the wax on the skis was. All sorts of different waxes, and how vitally important they were, how they could make all of the difference in a race, you'd think the ski wax was the most important thing in the race. But without the skier the skis go nowhere. The skier is doing the work, not the skis. Likewise without a driver the car goes nowhere. The driver is doing all the work, not the car.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2006, 04:45 PM
Here is what I don't understand. People can say that racing is nothing but cars driving in circles, and see no problem with that description of racing. However, if I say that baseball is simply hitting a ball, or basketball is simply putting a ball through an iron ring, then I have over simplified the sport and don't understand what makes it a sport. For the most part, everyone who doesn't like racing, has done just that to the sport. If you don't like the sport, fine. Just give some better reasons than you don't see the point in driving in circles.

Just point out what is so athletic about racing cars and we'll stop making the point.

Sure, it is tough on the body- g-forces, bouncing around, the wear on the mind and body- no one is denying that. But if these things are elements of athleticism, then astronauts are athletes.

I'm not saying that it is easy. I'm not saying that it isn't a skill. I think for many people, we just find it hard to qualify something as a sport in which no athletic training is necessary.

There aren't many sports that I can think of where say, running fast or having cardiovascular endurance or strength is of some benefit. None of these things help NASCAR drivers to any real extent.

Maybe NASCAR fits the definition of a sport- I'm only saying that it is more skill related than anything else. I don't know that that is a bad thing, I'm just saying don't start telling me about what athletes these guys are. If these guys are athletes, so is Bob Crippen.

Dom Heffner
02-27-2006, 04:47 PM
The horse racing analogy doesn't fly.

It takes more athletic ability to ride a horse than drive a car. A jockey does a little more than guide a horse. He has to stay on the thing, which he does with his body.

Not many race car drivers fall out of their cars.

westofyou
02-27-2006, 04:50 PM
He has to stay on the thing, which he does with his body.

He's regulating the speed of it as well.

IslandRed
02-27-2006, 05:05 PM
Jockeys are, pound for pound, some of the strongest people I've ever seen.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 05:30 PM
The horse racing analogy doesn't fly. A horse is a living, breathing creature that can decide on its own what it is going to do. The horse is doing the physcial work, the jockey is there to guide it along and serve as ballast. A racecar without a driver is just going to sit there and do nothing. The driver does all of the work in getting that car around the track.

Except for the little thing called an engine, which actually makes the car MOVE. And the thousands of other parts that make the car function properly. The act of pressing down the gas pedal is merely the catalyst for making the car move--the act by itself accomplishes nothing.


A racecar can be thought of as a piece of equipment, no different than in any other sport. Carrying the shoe analogy a little further, during all of the ski races the past couple of weeks in the Olympics the announcers kept going on and on about how important the wax on the skis was. All sorts of different waxes, and how vitally important they were, how they could make all of the difference in a race, you'd think the ski wax was the most important thing in the race. But without the skier the skis go nowhere. The skier is doing the work, not the skis. Likewise without a driver the car goes nowhere. The driver is doing all the work, not the car.

...and without the jockey, the horse goes nowhere (or off in some random direction--he certainly wouldn't win any races.) The biggest difference--which I'm sure you realize, but just merely neglect to point out--is that shoes, skis, baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc. all function and move as they do because of the human power behind it. There's no electrical mechanism making them move, and the fitness of the athlete wearing the skis/shoes or swinging the bat is directly proportional to how fast/hard the object will move. The same cannot be said for auto racing, where anyone regardless of the shape they are in cause the car to move. You might be able to make the argument that strength conditioning and weight training help race car drivers win races by helping his endurance, but I would require more than supposition to support that statement.

Likening a race car to equipment in the same sense that skis are equipment is akin to equating a baseball pitcher with the guy who turns on the switch of the pitching machine.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 05:32 PM
It takes more athletic ability to ride a horse than drive a car. A jockey does a little more than guide a horse. He has to stay on the thing, which he does with his body.

Not many race car drivers fall out of their cars.

I agree, and didn't mean to disparage horse jockeys. I was only pointing out that the horse does the predominate amount of the work in a race.

Jockeys are TINY people, man. I don't think I've seen one over 110 lbs.

redsfanmia
02-27-2006, 05:39 PM
Why do race fans get bent out of shape when a non-racefan says they dont like it? I have watched racing, i have raced go-carts I understand racing and I still dont like it. Does that make me a freak? I just dont think that watching people drive a car is entertainment or halfway enjoyable. I know that millions of people do its just not my bag.

RFS62
02-27-2006, 05:48 PM
What a strange pissing match this has turned into.

I'm no fan at all of Nascar, but I believe they're athletes. Highly trained, highly skilled, world class athletes.

Reminds me of the arguments against golfers as athletes, just because it's not aerobic. Some people just love to dog things they don't understand from the participants perspective.

RedsBaron
02-27-2006, 07:05 PM
What a strange pissing match this has turned into.

I'm no fan at all of Nascar, but I believe they're athletes. Highly trained, highly skilled, world class athletes.

Reminds me of the arguments against golfers as athletes, just because it's not aerobic. Some people just love to dog things they don't understand from the participants perspective.
I was just thinking about comparing racers to golfers. Nothing against golf, but I regard elite race car drivers to be more athletic than I do elite golfers.

RFS62
02-27-2006, 07:22 PM
I was just thinking about comparing racers to golfers. Nothing against golf, but I regard elite race car drivers to be more athletic than I do elite golfers.


If you're talking about physical exertion, I'd agree. But not skill or coordination.

If physical exertion is the standard, wouldn't distance runners or iron man participants trump all others?

I guess all sports are a combination of skill, coordination, athletic prowess, touch, guile, strength, and many other factors.

IslandRed
02-27-2006, 07:22 PM
What a strange pissing match this has turned into.

Mostly, it's just a semantic deal, something to argue over. People have been racing on foot since they knew how to run, racing horses since they were able to domesticate them, racing cars since they were invented. Whether or not drivers or jockeys are "athletes" has little to do with the enjoyment of racing, from the participants' perspective or the spectators'.


Some people just love to dog things they don't understand from the participants perspective.

See my post previously in the thread... I'm not a fan of the "if you don't like it it must be that you don't understand it" line of reasoning, but then, I'm not into dogging people either.

macro
02-27-2006, 10:40 PM
Why do race fans get bent out of shape when a non-racefan says they dont like it? I have watched racing, i have raced go-carts I understand racing and I still dont like it. Does that make me a freak? I just dont think that watching people drive a car is entertainment or halfway enjoyable. I know that millions of people do its just not my bag.

I don't think anyone has a problem with someone saying they don't like it. I know I have no problem with that, regardless of whether one has ever watched a race or not. What I take issue with (whether it be racing or something entirely different) is people who say they have never experienced something, yet feel qualified to comment on its worth or lack thereof. If someone really knows nothing about any particular thing, they are only qualifed to say that they don't like it. Any other judgements they might make are speculative and uniformed. (And no, I'm not saying that if someone doesn't like racing, it's because they don't know enough about it.)

Danny Serafini
02-28-2006, 10:01 AM
Just point out what is so athletic about racing cars and we'll stop making the point.

It's been pointed out a number of times already. It's as if you choose not to see it so you don't have to change your preconceived view.


I'm not saying that it is easy. I'm not saying that it isn't a skill. I think for many people, we just find it hard to qualify something as a sport in which no athletic training is necessary. There aren't many sports that I can think of where say, running fast or having cardiovascular endurance or strength is of some benefit. None of these things help NASCAR drivers to any real extent.

You couldn't possibly be more wrong if you tried. Yes, strength is a benefit. Yes, cardiovascular endurance is a benefit. Driving a racecar is a lot of physical work, especially at the top levels where you're doing it for several hours. It's not like a street car where you can just twirl the steering wheel around with one finger, it takes actual effort to drive. You don't have to be ripped and musclebound, but you've got to be in good shape to be worth anything.

Chip R
02-28-2006, 10:22 AM
I'm not really a racing fan but I don't begrudge others for liking it.

But I have a question for NASCAR people. How do you determine the greatness of a driver? I know a lot of it is subjective but there are people out there who believe that if you haven't won a championship in a sport (Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA) you haven't achieved greatness. Or you were great but there was always something missing. Then there are athletes like Peyton Manning who have done well during the regular season but have never played in the ultimate game. Doesn't make him any less of a QB but there's always that thing that is missing.

As I understand it, there are two big prizes for a NASCAR driver, The Nextel (Winston) Cup championship which is decided by how well you do throughout the season in the various races, and the "Super Bowl of Racing" the Daytona 500. Can a driver be considered great if he has won one but not the other? If the 500 is considered the Super Bowl, why is it the first race of the year? Shouldn't that be the last race of the season that has a lot to do who the Cup champ is? It looks like to me that the Cup championship is a lot like the money title in golf and tennis. Theoretically you can win the money title and not win a single tournament. Or you can win several not so important tournaments and not win a major championship and still win the money title. I'm sure there are incentives and extra points for winning races but if a driver doesn't win Daytona or Talledega or one of the other big name races, and ends up winning the Cup, can he still be called great?

As I said, I know a lot of this is subjective. From what I understand you may have some problems getting Dale, Sr. fans to admit Jeff Gordon is a great driver and vice versa. But deep down I think they would have to admit the other is/was a great driver.

Danny Serafini
02-28-2006, 10:23 AM
Except for the little thing called an engine, which actually makes the car MOVE. And the thousands of other parts that make the car function properly. The act of pressing down the gas pedal is merely the catalyst for making the car move--the act by itself accomplishes nothing.

You are way, way too hung up on the fact that the car has an engine. Seriously, it's totally irrelevant to the debate. The point is that it takes physical effort to steer and control the car. It isn't that the car is moving, it's that the driver is physically controlling it.


The biggest difference--which I'm sure you realize, but just merely neglect to point out--is that shoes, skis, baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc. all function and move as they do because of the human power behind it.

And the car moves where it does because of the human power behind the wheel. The car doesn't steer itself.


There's no electrical mechanism making them move, and the fitness of the athlete wearing the skis/shoes or swinging the bat is directly proportional to how fast/hard the object will move.

And the fitness of the driver has an effect on where the car is going to go. If you don't have the strength and endurance to place the car where it needs to be each turn of each lap you're going to go slower.


The same cannot be said for auto racing, where anyone regardless of the shape they are in cause the car to move.

Anyone regardless of the shape they are in can swing a baseball bat. Anyone regardless of the shape they are in can pick up a ball and toss it forward. Does that mean baseball isn't athletic? No, because if you're in bad shape you'll do those things poorly. Just like if you're in bad shape you'll drive a racecar poorly.


You might be able to make the argument that strength conditioning and weight training help race car drivers win races by helping his endurance, but I would require more than supposition to support that statement.

What exactly do you require? Seriously. It's as if you can't believe it, so the only way to convince you is to drop you into a car and let you take some laps. Sorry, but I don't have the power to do that.

Danny Serafini
02-28-2006, 10:27 AM
Why do race fans get bent out of shape when a non-racefan says they dont like it? I have watched racing, i have raced go-carts I understand racing and I still dont like it. Does that make me a freak? I just dont think that watching people drive a car is entertainment or halfway enjoyable. I know that millions of people do its just not my bag.

Doesn't bother me at all if people don't like it. People enjoy what they enjoy, I'm not going to complain if someone finds it boring because there's stuff I find boring. It's just when people who obviously don't know what they're talking about try and tell me that what I do takes no effort that I get a tad cranky.

IslandRed
02-28-2006, 10:50 AM
Chip, those are all pretty subjective questions, as is typical when the word "great" is tossed around.

The one that's easiest to dispose of, IMO: I don't think the failure to win the Daytona 500 disqualifies someone from being great, nor is greatness bestowed by a single victory. It's the most prestigious race and the one most drivers want to win the most, but on a purely analytical level, it's an arbitrary distinction -- there's nothing about Daytona or the 500 that demands or rewards greatness any more or less than most any other track on the circuit. Restrictor-plate racing is an animal all to itself. Some guys excel at it and some don't. If one believes that Daytona is the ultimate test of a driver, it leads to the conclusion that Michael Waltrip was a better driver than Rusty Wallace or Mark Martin. Obviously, that's not right.

The points championship is more definitive but even that's not perfect, as lots of people never liked the old system because it didn't reward winning enough.

All that said, I think that if you asked enough people connected with NASCAR, you'd get a pretty strong consensus about who the all-time great drivers were.

registerthis
02-28-2006, 11:03 AM
It isn't that the car is moving, it's that the driver is physically controlling it.

I suppose I just have a different litmus test for considering someone an "athlete" than you do--power steering or not. Which is fine. We're obviously not going to come to an agreement on this.

Then again, I'm sure there are people who could put forth compelling arguments for the athletic worthiness of events like bowling, poker and spelling bee as well.

flyer85
02-28-2006, 11:43 AM
But I have a question for NASCAR people. How do you determine the greatness of a driver?.... whose t-shirts that are being worn the most in the stands.

registerthis
02-28-2006, 11:58 AM
... whose t-shirts that are being worn the most in the stands.

Worn? Don't you mean "taken off"?

creek14
02-28-2006, 12:12 PM
Why do race fans get bent out of shape when a non-racefan says they dont like it?
Well it might be because of some of the things stated in this thread, like it's just a bunch of fat people sitting around drinking beer, hoping to catch a glimpse of someones breasts, and a wreck.

Nice.

macro
02-28-2006, 12:15 PM
I'm not really a racing fan but I don't begrudge others for liking it.

But I have a question for NASCAR people. How do you determine the greatness of a driver? I know a lot of it is subjective but there are people out there who believe that if you haven't won a championship in a sport (Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA) you haven't achieved greatness. Or you were great but there was always something missing. Then there are athletes like Peyton Manning who have done well during the regular season but have never played in the ultimate game. Doesn't make him any less of a QB but there's always that thing that is missing.

As I understand it, there are two big prizes for a NASCAR driver, The Nextel (Winston) Cup championship which is decided by how well you do throughout the season in the various races, and the "Super Bowl of Racing" the Daytona 500. Can a driver be considered great if he has won one but not the other? If the 500 is considered the Super Bowl, why is it the first race of the year? Shouldn't that be the last race of the season that has a lot to do who the Cup champ is? It looks like to me that the Cup championship is a lot like the money title in golf and tennis. Theoretically you can win the money title and not win a single tournament. Or you can win several not so important tournaments and not win a major championship and still win the money title. I'm sure there are incentives and extra points for winning races but if a driver doesn't win Daytona or Talledega or one of the other big name races, and ends up winning the Cup, can he still be called great?

As I said, I know a lot of this is subjective. From what I understand you may have some problems getting Dale, Sr. fans to admit Jeff Gordon is a great driver and vice versa. But deep down I think they would have to admit the other is/was a great driver.

I think two things can ensure greatness: racking up lots of career race wins or winning a championship.

Winning or not winning Daytona, even multiple times, doesn't make one great or not-great. Michael Waltrip and Sterling Marlin have each done it twice and I don't think they'll go down in history as great drivers. Derrick Cope and Ward Burton each won the Daytona 500, as well, and they definitely won't go down as greats. Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, on the other hand, have never won the 500, but they'll long be remebered as greats in NASCAR history.

Winning the NEXTEL Cup (formerly known as the Winston Cup) seems to ensure the "great" status. As I look back at the list of champions, they all have made their mark in the sport. I will say that the jury is still out on two recent winners, though: Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Some would dispute two-time champion Terry Labonte's greatness, because he's kinda like the Florida Marlins of racing. He had two really great years in a career made up of non-spectacular seasons. Even in his championship season of 1996, he wasn't regarded as the best driver on his own team. Teammate Jeff Gordon won 10 races compared to Labonte's 2, but Labonte squeeked out the points championship. NASCAR has since given extra points for winning races, but I don't think they went far enough.

As for Daytona being the "Super Bowl" of Nextel Cup, as so many refer to it, I think that's not a correct analogy. I would compare it to, say, the Bengals and Steelers or Cowboys and Redskins playing each other in the season opener each year. A lot of emphasis is placed on that game, and there are bragging rights that go with it, but it still counts no more in determining the champion than the other games. Why is Daytona first on the schedule instead of last? Tradition, I guess. I don't know.

RedsBaron
02-28-2006, 12:26 PM
I have never cared for NASCAR's points system, which does not sufficiently reward winning a race and gives out points simply for finishing a race, even if dead last. I prefer the points systems used in other series, including Formula One, the IRL and Champ Car, all of which give a premuim for winning a race and all of which do not give out any points for a finish in a race beyond a certain level. Only in NASCAR do you see wrecks going slowly around a track, with no hope of winning, but still being driven so the driver can finish 38th rather than 43rd and pick up a few points.
To me , the greatest drivers have been those who have demonstrated the ability to win on several different circuits. Mario Andretti won the world driving championship in Formula One and 12 Formula One races, won the Daytona 500 in NASCAR, won the Indianapolis 500, won 52 Indy car races, and won four Indy car season titles. A.J. Foyt won LeMans, won the Indianapolis 500 4 times, won 67 Indy car races, and won the Daytona 500. Jim Clark, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell and Graham Hill all won the Indianapolis 500 and at least one Formula One season championship.
Among current drivers, Tony Stewart has probably shown the most versatility, winning two NASCAR season titles and an IRL season title.

macro
12-21-2009, 07:27 PM
What a fitting excuse to dust off a four-year-old thread... :D


NASCAR's Johnson wins male athlete of the year

By JENNA FRYER (AP) – 2 hours ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was little recognition outside the racing world when Jimmie Johnson won his first NASCAR championship.

Same with his second, and again with his third.

But four straight championships? That's a different story.

Johnson, the first driver in NASCAR history to win four consecutive titles, earned mainstream recognition Monday when he was honored as the Male Athlete of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

Johnson received 42 votes from editors at U.S. newspapers which are members of the AP. Tennis star Roger Federer (30 votes) and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt (29) were the only other athletes with totals in the double- digits.

Although Tiger Woods was named Athlete of the Decade, the golfer received only nine votes for Athlete of the Year. He was tied with NBA star Kobe Bryant and slugger Albert Pujols in fourth place. Woods, who was ranked No. 1 in his sport but failed to win one of golf's majors this season, was never a top contender — even before the sex scandal that unraveled his personal life following a Nov. 27 traffic accident.

For Johnson, the first race car driver to be named the AP's Athlete of the Year in its 78-year history, the award is the validation he's been waiting for since he began his historic run in 2006.

"We'd been wondering the last few years, 'When is this going to hit?'" he said. "It seems like the answer is now. The wave is finally peaking, and we don't know where it's going to take us. The fourth straight title takes it out of our sport and makes it a point of discussion — like, 'Wow, a race car driver won this thing.'"

The 34-year-old Californian again schooled the competition, winning four of his seven races this season when the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship began in September. Two-time champion Tony Stewart dominated the "regular season," but it was Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team that turned it up when the stakes were highest.

In the 10 Chase races, Johnson finished outside the top-10 only once: when he wrecked at Texas with Sam Hornish Jr. three laps into the eighth race. The crash proved Johnson's mettle, as he sat inside his car, helmet on, for more than an hour as crew chief Chad Knaus led a total rebuild of his Chevrolet so that Johnson could return to the track.

Although the 38th-place finish decimated his cozy lead in the standings, he shrugged off any potential challenge by rolling into Phoenix the next week and leading 238 of the 312 laps en route to a victory that turned the season finale into a low-key Sunday drive for Johnson.

"I'm pretty sure that dude's Superman," said teammate Mark Martin, who finished second in the standings, 141 points behind Johnson.

The march into the record books has attracted attention for Johnson far beyond NASCAR's insulated garage. HBO Sports' award-winning "24/7" program has tabbed Johnson for a four-episode series that will chronicle his preparation for the 2010 season-opening Daytona 500.

And he received widespread attention earlier this month when he donated $922,000 in educational grants to 26 schools in California, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Now comes the AP honor, which Johnson said reinforces what he's always believed — that even though he's a race car driver, he's "100 percent" an athlete.

"I've looked at other sports, particularly baseball, and I've seen plenty of out-of-shape, fat players," said Johnson, who counts among his close friends former NFL player Jason Sehorn, and MLB players Brian and Marcus Giles.

"So to anyone who wants to go head-to-head with me in athletic ability, let's go. I talked a lot with Jason Sehorn about this, and I don't know how exactly you measure athletic ability, but I know my 5-mile run time will destroy most NFL players."

As Johnson boasted of his personal best — 34 minutes, 55 seconds — his wife, Chandra, yelled "Overachiever!" in the background. It's a bit of a joke between the two since Johnson gave a two-year commitment to a New York City-based trainer he calls "the Chad Knaus of the body."

His focus can be fanatical, but Johnson still finds time to maintain his work hard/play hard attitude — and proved it with a raucous South Beach celebration after the season-finale. The bash left him admittedly weary during the next few days, during a round of media appearances. And when the New York City mayor's office designated a "Jimmie Johnson Day" earlier this month, the champion suggested "everyone should have the day off and go have margaritas."

It's a balance between play and work that he's mastered, and firmly believes he can ride to a fifth title. Johnson recently signed a five-year deal to drive for Hendrick through 2015, and Knaus has predicted the team can keep up its rate of success over the next several years.

"The cool thing," Johnson said, "is we're not done yet."

redsfan1966
12-21-2009, 07:39 PM
Congrats to Jimmie--he has become a legend..

TeamSelig
12-21-2009, 08:08 PM
Athlete... :lol:

LoganBuck
12-22-2009, 07:04 AM
I really don't like NASCAR.

What a boring waste of resources.

Roy Tucker
12-22-2009, 10:36 AM
A very US-centric award. And at that, a very NASCAR-centric award.

I'd like to see Johnson do a Mario Andretti and race in some single-seat Formula 1/Indy cars to see what his racing chops are really like. Won't happen though. He makes entirely too much money and fame in NASCAR.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 12:10 PM
A very US-centric award. And at that, a very NASCAR-centric award.

I'd like to see Johnson do a Mario Andretti and race in some single-seat Formula 1/Indy cars to see what his racing chops are really like. Won't happen though. He makes entirely too much money and fame in NASCAR.

Unfortunately, race drivers today tend not to switch between NASCAR and Indy Car and Formula 1, and those few that try to do so have had very limited success. For every Tony Stewart there seems to be multiple drivers whose success in one form of auto racing does not translate into success elsewhere. As I posted on this thread 3+ years ago, I admire drivers such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney and Jim Clark who could win in a variety of racing series.
The Associated Press Athlete of the year has always been "US-centric." Since 1931, only five non-Americans have won the award.
The award is largely silly anyway. There is almost certainly no fair way to declare one athlete, competing in only one sport, to be the athlete of the year.
Roger Federer finished second in this year's AP ballot. Yes, he may be the greatest tennis player of all time, but was he truly the second greatest athlete in the world in 2009?
If we were actually selecting the best athlete in the world, someone in track & field, probably a decathlon champion, should usually win the award.
Decathlon champions Bob Mathias and Bruce Jenner have won the award, but the total number of track & field athletes to be chosen AP Athlete of the year, nine, is a total matched by pro golfers on the PGA tour.
All of the pro football players in history have only won the award five times, slightly more than the four awards that golfer Tiger Woods or cyclist Lance Armstrong each won.
Jimmie Johnson isn't the first athlete to win AP Athlete of the Year through his use of horsepower, as jockey Steve Cauthen took home the award in 1977.
Major league baseball players have been given the award, 19 times, more than athletes in any other sport.

RANDY IN INDY
12-22-2009, 12:16 PM
Have never been a fan of NASCAR but, yesterday, I was taken on a tour of Ganassi racing just up the road in Concord, NC. Wife has an employee whose husband is on the crew. I'll have to say that I was fascinated by the whole thing. So much precision going on with those cars and drivers. After the tour, I would have to say that I classify those drivers as world class athletes. What they do may not be aerobic, but it is truly specialized and so much of what they do takes such precision and total concentration.

cumberlandreds
12-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Driving a race car takes a great amount of skill. But athleticism? No.

Razor Shines
12-22-2009, 12:45 PM
Driving a race car takes a great amount of skill. But athleticism? No.


Main Entry: ath·lete
Pronunciation: \ˈath-ˌlēt, ÷ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest
Date: 15th century

: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina

Driving a Nascar at that level for the amount of time it takes to finish a race takes a great deal of stamina.

macro
12-22-2009, 12:48 PM
I'm no Johnson fan, but I will defend his selection with a disclaimer: I think his selection would be easier for people to accept if it had been called "Sports Figure of the Year". Setting aside the athlete/non-athlete issue, he did do something that no one has ever done, and that's win four straight Cup titles. Earnhardt never did it, nor did Petty, Pearson, Gordon, Yarborough, Waltrip...

Not to take anything away from the other nominees, but none of them did anything as historic as what Johnson accomplished. Only Earnhardt, Petty, and Gordon have won as many as four titles TOTAL, and Johnson has won four in a row.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 01:10 PM
If the AP Athlete of the Year award was not so "US-centric" (to use Roy's wording), then Formula 1's Michael Schumacher should have been considered sometime this decade. Schumacher won five straight World Driving titles in Formula 1 from 2000 through 2004. While I don't like it when Formula 1 fans act as if American drivers "can't drive a nail" (to use Bobby Rahal's phrase), American NASCAR fans shouldn't ignore what goes on elsewhere in the world of motor sport either. I didn't care that much for Schumacher but his talent was undeniable.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 01:13 PM
Driving a race car takes a great amount of skill. But athleticism? No.

You could make the same argument for golf or cycling.

Chip R
12-22-2009, 01:15 PM
You could make the same argument for golf or cycling.


Golf, yes, cycling, no.

Roy Tucker
12-22-2009, 01:19 PM
I personally think Usain Bolt's Beamon-esque setting of world records in the 100 and 200 meters is more worthy.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 01:29 PM
I personally think Usain Bolt's Beamon-esque setting of world records in the 100 and 200 meters is more worthy.

It is certainly more "athletic."

acredsfan
12-22-2009, 01:34 PM
I love how people who have never raced are so fast to laugh at the drivers being called athletes. Not only does it take stamina, but along with golf, it takes a great deal of hand eye coordination. There is a reason that very few people can be great at it. As far as being a waste of resources, can't all sports be construed that way? We spend millions of dollars to build stadiums to watch teams play sports. We even pay taxes to make it happen. Many innovations from NASCAR have made it into modern day cars that we drive.

I understand not everyone likes auto racing, but I'm amused at how quickly people are to say it's not a sport just because they don't understand what goes into it.

As far as the athlete of the year, I'd have to agree that Usain Bolt would have been a better choice as far as what he accomplished. It's really no more than a popularity contest though.

Captain Hook
12-22-2009, 01:43 PM
I just can't justify watching a race for 3-4 hours over the weekend when I already waste 2-3 hours of my life watching the Reds every Sat. and Sun.My wife doesn't like racing and she doesn't like baseball so it's either one or the other.Easy decision for me.

Eric_the_Red
12-22-2009, 02:51 PM
Many types of surgery require stamina and hand/eye coordination. Not a sport.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 02:53 PM
Many types of surgery require stamina and hand/eye coordination. Not a sport.
Was else does golf require?

Eric_the_Red
12-22-2009, 03:02 PM
Was else does golf require?

I never called golf a sport either.

I tend to categorize things as mostly team sports or individual athletic activities. Not saying it's right...just sayin'.

RedsBaron
12-22-2009, 03:10 PM
I never called golf a sport either.

I tend to categorize things as mostly team sports or individual athletic activities. Not saying it's right...just sayin'.

At least you are consistent then. AP named Tiger Woods as Athlete of the Decade.

Roy Tucker
12-22-2009, 03:10 PM
There are events that good athletes will do better than your ordinary schmoe.

Like years ago, I watched Turk Schonert do the ring toss at Kings Island and he kicked its butt and won about 12 big stuffed animals. Does that make ring toss a sport? I daresay that good athletes would kick my butt at video games. Does that make video games a sport?

Captain Hook
12-22-2009, 04:08 PM
I think that games and the people that play those games establish their classification of the people being athletes and and the games being sports simply by the judgment of those who watch.It's too hard imo to accurately define the two in words alone.If the majority of people feel that golf is a sport and golfers are athletes then they are in both cases.Same goes for racing.I for one don't think race car drivers are athletes but it seems I fall in the minority so I accept them as what the majority claims they are.I'll still be able to sleep at night.

westofyou
12-22-2009, 04:42 PM
What else does golf require?

Lot's of money.

will5979
12-23-2009, 02:20 PM
Lot's of money.

Same with NASCAR.

If you don't have cold hard cash, you can forget about ever going pro. Of course the older generation of drivers didn't have that problem...they mortgaged their homes, destroyed marriages, and decided to make it or break it.

If one if interested in the evolution of auto racing and just how commericalized it became watch the ESPN movie "3." Plenty of historical accuracies.