Friday, June 25, 2010

The World’s Most Popular Sport, or Does NASCAR Need the Red Card?

Of course I’m talking about football, as it’s called in the rest of the world.  Here, in America, we call it soccer.  The World Cup is happening in South Africa, and that’s a pretty great thing.  From what I understand, the USA just advanced to a round in the Cup that they haven’t been able to do since 1930 or so.

I don’t really understand soccer.  I played it in high school, during PE.  It turned out that I was a much better goalie than I was a field player, because I could never overcome the instinct to catch the ball with my hands when it came hurtling towards me.  Only goalies can do that in soccer.  I grew up playing with an oblong ball with my friends where the entire idea was to catch the ball with my hands.  I played with a small stitched ball that I caught in a glove.  I played with a rather large orange ball that I bounced off the floor and used my hands to propel it towards a hoop 10 feet high.  In other words, I grew up playing typical American sports as a kid.  Here in the South, at least when I was a kid, hockey was rarely seen or heard about.  Basically, it seems to me that hockey is just like soccer, except it’s played with sticks and much more violence.  The players are on skates.  To me, that makes more sense than kicking a round ball around for 90 or so minutes and ending up with a 1-1 tie.

There is a famous line in some movie that states “There is no crying in baseball!”  Apparently that is not so in soccer.  Teams that lose, or players that make a mistake routinely throw themselves on the ground, put their hands over their faces, and cry.  I suppose that’s acceptable for the world’s most popular sport.  Heck, it sometimes even happens in American sports, but not very often.  Here in America, you’re more likely to see a person cry because they win, rather that being the loser.

But \football, or soccer, as I call it has it’s uses.  Soccer uses a yellow card to denote a foul.  If it’s a really bad foul, the player is shown the red card, which means expulsion from the event.  And supposedly the next event as well.  Should NASCAR use the red card?

Actually, NASCAR does.  It’s called the black flag.  But it’s just to get a guy to pit when he has committed a horrible crime like leaving equipment outside of his pit stall, or for running to slowly on the track.  The black flag can also be used to call in a driver who has committed an egregious foul upon another driver.  NASCAR can park a driver for bad behavior, NASCAR can do pretty much any darn thing they want to.

Think about it.  NASCAR basically can and has done, but rarely, the same thing that football, or soccer does.  They can park a guy for the rest of the race.  Kevin Harvick got parked one time for something he supposedly did in the Busch series, and it cost him a Winston Cup race start.

In effect, NASCAR always has the option of imposing what soccer would call the red card.  Should they?  If a driver is out to wreck another driver, I’d say that NASCAR has that right  Park the guy, sit him out for a week.  Let him know that he needs NASCAR much more than NASCAR needs him.

What do you think? 

1 comment:

  1. Vauxhall is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers and have the third best seller on the market. No wonder their cars are so popular, either through car leasing and purchasing.


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