Hello race fans and Frontstretch readers, especially those who are both! As reported, I'm one of the new kids in town. New to the Frontstretch, that is, but not new to racing "journalism". If the name looks familiar, it's because for the last year and a half or so, yours truly has been supplying blog fodder at the esteemed website "That's Racin'". That was a lot of fun and there were some perks, and I have no beef whatever with the fine folks there. But circumstances and slightly greener grass has brought me here, and I'm definitely excited about working with this group.
And that's enough gratuitous biography. As anyone who has ever read my tirades knows, my position in a nutshell is this: I still love NASCAR and stock car racing, but I have a low opinion of how the sport is currently being run. In other words, I fit in fairly well with a large portion of NASCAR fans today. I'm not crazy about the new car (although if they fixed the air dam so it didn't look and drive like a miniature snow plow, it would be a lot better), the broadcasts need a lot of work, and I vehemently oppose the Chase on moral grounds. The Chase is a deeply flawed and ugly perversion of what was an adequate if not perfect point system. But more on that another time…
As someone who makes a sincere attempt to represent Joe (and Jane) Fan, and as someone who has made a commitment to comment for the Frontstretch through 2008, I thought it would be a good idea to have a title that would hopefully increase the impact of fan sentiment. So I am going to go out on a wing here, and nominate myself as the "Official Columnist of NASCAR".
As the Official Columnist of NASCAR, it will be my responsibility (and privilege, of course) to provide both a reasoned and thoughtful assessment on most all things NASCAR—be it the races, the aftermaths or the controversial issues of the day. In doing so, I hope to provide a voice for the influential, and sometimes disgruntled, fan.
I will sing the praises of the sport when a great race, like last year's Daytona 500, is held. I will celebrate the rich history of NASCAR. I will commend drivers and team members not just for excellence on the track, but also for exemplary behavior off of it. And most importantly, I will kick NASCAR in their metaphorical balls for the dismal broadcasts and ill-considered changes that drive devoted fans away. (And I promise not to use male anatomy terms too often, Mom.)
And just for the record, I will make no exclusivity demands of NASCAR. This is because a) I have far too much concern for other writers out there; and b) I have no chance of ponying up the millions of dollars that NASCAR will demand to kick the other writers out.
Besides, it won't be necessary. I'm not the best at NASCAR observation by any stretch, but like Tylenol, which has no obvious pain-killing edge over Advil to my knowledge, I need only be adequate enough to live up to an "official" title. Certainly, if Anheuser-Busch can do it, I can. NASCAR may safely call me "official" without worrying about messy, expensive and embarrassing lawsuits.
So I humbly ask you for your support as the 2008 Official Columnist of NASCAR. We fans need an official voice just as much as we need an official tire. And I'm willing to be it.
I hope you all enjoy "Happy Hour" on Fridays. Now God Bless Our Troops and let's go racin'!
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