Not to be too much of a sentimentalist here, but the commercialization of sports sucks. We’ve got no problem with the astronomical salaries or ubiquitous advertisements - those are nothing new- but it seems like nothing can be done in sports anymore without first gauging the impact on corporate sponsors and TV networks. Nothing’s done just because it’s the right thing to do; things are done because there’s more money to be made.
(The future of NASCAR, unless we speak out)
We’ve uncovered some disturbing details that indicate NASCAR has fundamentally changed the outcome of their races to please a new corporate sponsor - the AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons. As the group representing the most vocal and annoying group of Americans (old people), the AARP has tremendous clout as a lobbying organization. And NASCAR caved to their demands. Evidence after
Matlock the jump.
The SPORTSbyBROOKS investigative news team was alerted to an irregularity several weeks ago, when 81-year old Hershel McGriff qualified for and raced in a regional NASCAR race in Oregon. It was a nice story, but something seemed…off. Maybe it was the obviously made-up old man name? We weren’t sure. But our eyes and ears were open.
Then, this weekend, it’s all come together. Yesterday, 51-year-old Ron Hornaday won his fourth consecutive NASCAR fake-truck race. Preposterous, we said. 51 year olds don’t win four straight anything. BECAUSE THEY ARE OLD, YOU SEE. We had to get to the bottom of this, and time was running out (sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?).
And then, boom, today the hammer dropped like a spoonful of Metamucil in a glass of lukewarm tap water. Old-man racer Mark Martin scored the pole (heh, scored the pole) in Indianapolis for tomorrow’s Brickyard 400. Mark Martin is 50 years old. In other words, that’s unpossible. The fix, as they say, was in.
It’s hardly a secret that NASCAR will do just about anything for a corporate sponsor. We’ve seen Talladega Nights AND Days of Thunder, so we know all about how NASCAR works. We’ve stayed silent up ’til now, as corporate logos spread throughout the cars and tracks. We figured it was just the cost of doing business and growing the sport. But this? NASCAR and AARP should be ashamed.
Why the AARP, you ask? No, there hasn’t been an official partnership announced between the group and NASCAR. But let us ask this: who other than the AARP would be behind such a blatant attempt at promoting the so-called “remaining abilities” of their members? Who else would stand to gain from the old-ization of NASCAR? They’re sneaky, those old timers are. But they didn’t count on one thing - everybody knows that OLD PEOPLE CAN’T DRIVE! You can’t fool us youngsters, AARP, for our cognitive abilities are still intact. And we’re taking you down. We’re waiting to hear your response…as soon as someone turns on your computer for you.