Sitting In The Stands : A Fan's View · S.D. Grady · Tuesday February 5, 2008
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So, you've tucked away the NFL T-Shirts, the football-shaped chip bowl, and your baseball hat with the horns on it.
The Super Bowl is over – it's time to get serious.
NASCAR’s crown jewel, the Daytona 500, is looming just around the corner … are you ready for it? Does your wardrobe have what it takes? Have you taken the time to ensure that people passing you on the street could not mistake you for anything but a NASCAR fan?
Think about that for a minute or two.
Today, while I was moving the camping gear into the new RV, I realized that our tailgating mansion is lacking in some of the basic logos … something that must be rectified before we head out to the track. This, of course, led me to my closet, and I spent a few minutes reviewing my current wardrobe. Of course, I realized I could not host a Daytona 500 party without the requisite hats, shirts, shoelaces, socks, and ponytail holders.
Those are the items we fans truly can’t live without; wearing the bells, whistles, flags, tattoos, and watches that bear our favorite driver's number are as much a part of NASCAR as understanding what loose and tight mean. It helps underline our commitment to the longest season in major league sports, and declares to the world that we've got something super important to attend to on Sunday afternoon. Of course, there are moments when I think about all the cash that I'm throwing into NA$CAR – but that doesn't last long. The smiles that my Jeff Gordon teddy bear keychain bring to my face dismiss any misgivings in seconds, and my chest puffs a bit more when strangers ask, "Are you really a NASCAR fan? Or did somebody give you that Juan Pablo Montoya jacket?"
No, I don't miss the money at all.
Well, what about you? Have you spent those five minutes locating your Kevin Harvick Daytona 500 Winning T-Shirt yet? No? Good grief! What are you waiting for? It's time to head out to the store and locate some Speedweeks swag. You have less than two weeks to rectify any slacking in this department … and the clock is ticking fast. Once you get there, don't feel you have to stop at just the T-shirt and hat, either… let your imagination run a little wild! What's the worst thing that could happen? I can’t think of one.
Now that you’re on your way, here’s some tips for those looking to buy up a storm:
Make sure that you install a set of flags over the big screen TV. This way, you are able to demonstrate to any newbies at the party what it means when the yellow flag is thrown. Perhaps add a couple throws or pillows to the couch with rival drivers stitched on to them, too – the opportunity for a good old-fashioned beat down between friends should never be avoided.
For the eats and drinks, serving up the adult beverages in pint glasses with various tracks etched into their sides is always appropriate. However, for those of us who are looking for something sweet, hot cocoa served up in a checkered flag mug works just as well. The possibilities are endless — and while you’re at it, how about setting up some 1/64th diecasts on the table to execute live replays of the inevitable upcoming scandals? I'm sure the kids would get a kick out of it — both young and old.
As for my RV, at the very least I've got to check out my local NASCAR retailer for an array of bumper stickers and a new flag to fly on the pole. Some might say that this is falling into an excess of exuberance. Could beâ€¦
But isn't that what NASCAR is all about? Being the loudest, longest, biggest, baddest motorsport on the planet? I thought so.
Time to dress accordingly.
S.D. Grady will write her Fan View column every Tuesday throughout the season for the Frontstretch newsletter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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