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Category Archives: NASCAR

The Great TV vs. Stadium Debate

For the last century, fans have gone to stadiums all across the country in drones to watching sporting events live, and in person. Families had bonded for years by packing up the van, going to a game, tailgating, and rooting for their favorite team with 40,000 other adoring fans.

But now, for this generation, times are changing.

With the increased comforts of the home, like recliners and comfortable loveseats, and an increase of HDTV’s being sold, many stadiums are losing money on fans that are willing to stay home instead of venturing to the game.

Now, if I could, I would be at every single Red Sox and Broncos game, cheering right along with every fan there. But with the prices of everything today, it is very hard for the average fan to attend a sports game.

Let’s break down the numbers. Say if you are going to sit in the bleachers for a Red Sox games. You have $25 for parking (not including gas, which could easily be another $20), $25 for a ticket, and easily another $25 for food and beverage. Roughly, that is $95 to spend on one night of fun.

So for the average fan, it is too expensive. While the stadiums are still filling up in the high-profile markets, attendance at the lesser teams are less than 10,000 in attendance on an average night.

And along with the increase of technology, are leading more fans to stay home. Now, you can get an HDTV for $300. Sure, in the short term it is more expensive. But in the long term, it is very cost effective. You can watch of every game in the comfort of your own home, not having to worry about the money, and getting more angles and in-depth commentary than you would at the game itself. And with the economy still on the upswing, many fans don’t have the money to spend, and find themselves staying at home.

Many fans are having to make that decision, and choosing to stay home. Many stadium owners are having to rethink their business plans, trying to make stadiums more friendly. And with HDTVs becoming more affordable, it could be a matter of time when stadium attendance will start to drop significantly, choosing to stay at home. What would you do?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

My Guilty Indulgence

The two months between the end of the football season and the beginning are baseball season have usually been a ‘sports black-hole’ for me. Sure, there March Madness, but only for the last half of March.

A couple years ago, my uncle introduced me to a different sport; one that wasn’t part of the four major sports in the country. One sport that starts the weekend after the Super Bowl, and goes until Thanksgiving.

And that sport, was NASCAR.

I started following the sport in 2004, with the switch to the new ‘Race for the Cup’ playoff format, adding excitement to the season. I have been a Jimmie Johnson fan since then, and have been loving the fact he has won the last five championships.

When I first started out watching it, I didn’t appreciate the little nuances that made the sport what it was. I just enjoyed seeing the cars navigate around the track, wishing I could go 200 miles-per-hour around a track.

But as I go older, I started to notice the little details that made the sport so interesting.

NASCAR is a sport of measurements. Each car has to be a specific size, given a plus/minus of thousandths of an inch.

Take a moment to think about that.

A couple thousandths of an inch.

The width of you hair can decide whether a car is too big or small. If your original measurement of the car is off, and the NASCAR officials see this, your car is deemed illegal, and you can’t race until it is fixed. Crew chiefs and drivers are in a constant state of war with the NASCAR officials, pushing the envelope of what is legal. When all the cars are the same, the parity in the sport is there, and you are always looking for that one edge you can get on the rest of the field.

Another exciting part of NASCAR is the exciting finishes. This past weekend, we saw Kevin Harvick make a last-turn pass of Jimmie Johnson to take the lead, and win.

And that wasn’t even the closest finish in NASCAR history.

In 2003, Ricky Craven edged out Kurt Busch by .002 seconds to win the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The photo-finish of the race is below:

(Photo Courtesy of http://rcfca.com/2009/12/31/rickys-darlington-win-in-2003-race-of-the-decade/)

Do you see how close that is? Doesn’t that excite you? These drivers race for 400 miles, but it all comes down the last lap, the last turn, or even the last front-stretch. These finishes are few and far between, but when they happen, you realize that you have just seen something special.

So next time you are flipping through the channels, and stumble upon a race, stop and take a watch. Once you get past the constant lap-after-lap racing, and think about what it takes to drive a race car, how you build a car to exact specifications, and how exciting it is, you will get hooked.

I never thought I would be a NASCAR fan. But now, that’s where I will be on Sundays. On the couch, cheering on my driver.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in NASCAR

 

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Quick Hits

So, it has been a while since I have written here. With having three midterms and a project due the two days before break, and not having internet on Spring Break, it has been hard to find time to write. And boy, has there been a lot of stuff going on in the sports-world that I have wanted to write about.

Instead writing a bunch of full blogs, which would take a day and a half, I figure I would just write about a bunch of short blurbs.

1. There have been two rule-changed in the NFL that will take place this season (hopefully). One change was they would review all scoring plays, taking the stress off of NFL coaches. This is one that was overdue. As a head coach, you have worry about players, plays, a wide variety of other things. They are 30 yards away from scoring plays, having to rely on the big screens and other assistant coaches to tell him to challenge it. With this, it will take more stress off the head coach, and automatically replay every questionable scoring play.

The other rule passed was they moved the kickoff spot forward five-yards, to the 35-yard line. Kick off specialists Devin Hester and Joshua Cribbs have both publically lashed out against the new rule. They have a point. It will severely dimish their skilled position as a kick returner (although both play crucial parts in their teams offenses). But, if you think about it, strategy can come into play. You might be able to catch some teams off-guard who are expecting a touchback.

1a. The NFLPA wants the rookies to boycott the draft. They don’t want the draft class to show up to Radio City Music Hall, not to walk across the stage infront of the entire country, not to hug Roger Goodall and receive the ceremonial jersey, and to not take pictures that will last a lifetime.

Really?

As a kid, you dream about that. Hoping one day you can strut across that stage. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the NFLA want them to miss it. How selfish.

And P.S.- it is the same NFLPA who wants to implement a rookie pay scale. Which means the rookies, who they are asking to boycott, will lose out on millions.

[Insert witty comment here]

1b. Still no word on the labor front. April 6th seems to be the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

2. March Madness! Like everyone else in the country, my bracket was done after the third-round, with both Pittsburgh and Notre Dame losing early. This has been the most exciting tournament in a while. There have been buzzer-beaters, multiple Cinderellas, and controversial endings. All play into an exciting four days of college basketball.

3. But, there is a downside to the tournament. The length. In the first four days, 48 games were played. Then, there was a three-day break, then eight games in two days, and so on and so-forth. It slows down. The pace of the tournament screeches to a halt after the third round, and limps to the finish. Yes, I understand the kids do have school. But between rounds, they don’t go back to school. They hang around the beach, and relax. March Madness could add more excitement by shortening the tournament (It is called March Madness, but ends in April; does anyone else see the problem?)

4. The big thing in the NBA still focuses around the Carmelo Anthony trade, but not the focus the Knicks wanted. They are under .500 since getting ‘Melo, while the Nuggets are 11-4 since they traded away ‘Melo and Billups, getting most of the Knicks. The Knicks have also fallen two spots in the playoff standings, and are looking at a first-round matchup against the Celtics.

Guess the Knicks were better BEFORE they got ‘Melo. Walsh and D’Antoni got this one wrong (so far).

Interesting.

5. Alex Ovechkin is out 7-10 games. He doesn’t elaborate on the injury. The Capitals are saying he ‘needs the rest for a playoff push.’ They have clinched a playoff spot, and look to have one of the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference. If I was on the Capitals, and a player was ‘resting’ 7-10 games, while I was busting-my-butt on the ice every night, I would not be a happy skater.

6. Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway last Sunday. He swept both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races. Week after week, he is the ‘man-to-beat,’ always a favorite to win the race. Jimmie Johnson, on the other hand, never expects to win, but always flies under the radar into the Top-five by the end of the race. JJ is one of the most under-rated drivers in NASCAR. Yet, Jimmie has won five straight series championships, Kyle was won none. Doesn’t sound right.

7. One week until Opening Day. So excited to see Boston’s revamped lineup and rotation. They look good so far. But spring games don’t count towards a World Series. If everyone stays healthy, the Red Sox look like the favorite to win the American League.

A lot has happened in the sports world, with a lot more left to come.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in College Sports, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL

 

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When I Was 20…

When I was 20, I was:

  • Looking forward to my 2nd season at 7th Regiment
  • Looking forward to being a junior in college
  • A lot of other things I can’t remember

When Trevor Bayne was 20 years old (and 1 day)

  • Starting in his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Race
  • Starting the Daytona 500
  • Won the Daytona 500

…I’m jealous…

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in NASCAR

 

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