Hey, it’s a start. Upon Jeff Gordon’s victory in Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Talladega, a multitude of spectators began littering the track with beer cans, coolers and other projectiles. And, as a result 14 of them were arrested and have been banned from the NASCAR facility for LIFE.
For those sports fans who’ve had their heads in the sand over the past 10 years, NASCAR has climbed the ladder of prime time sports, and is currently ranked #2 (tv share & revenue), behind the NFL. I know …. it’s not for everyone. However, this sport is no longer exposing it’s rooted existence in the “good ‘ole boy” network.
We all know that NASCAR came to life with the end of prohibition and moonshining. Those guys needed to do something with their fast cars. But, it’s been a long time since those days. NASCAR has gone to Park Avenue ….. and they’re not gonna let a pack of “hucklebucks”, with a basket of beer cans and a twisted envy of Jeff Gordon to ruin a good thing.
Here’s the deal …. NASCAR is the last major sport that allows fans to bring coolers of beer into the track/arena. This is done for a few reasons. Primarily, NASCAR races usually draw over 100,000 people and the demand for beer and other refreshments cannot be obliged by concession outlets. A mitigating factor is beer sponsorship is prevalent in NASCAR and Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller want to see their cans in fans hands, while on television.
Regardless of sponsorship packages, NASCAR has some difficult decisions to make, if the disorderly conduct continues to exist. This knack of covering the track with beer cans upon Jeff Gordon’s victories started at Talladega, but it’s becoming a learned behavior throughout the country. It’s truly humiliating for NASCAR and anyone trying to serve as an ambassador of the sport.
The argument regarding “a few bad apples” seems logical at this point. However, I remain certain NASCAR will not allow this to continue. My suggestion is to really embarrass these violators. If NASCAR wants to send a message, they need to humiliate them, just as they’ve done to us. They can start by taking out ads in the USA TODAY and publishing mugshots of those arrested during the previous race.
Hey, it’s all public record and 100% legal. Let their employers and co-workers see what they’ve been doing over the weekend. The bottom line is this is embarrassing for NASCAR and it’s fans. It’s time to share the embarrassment …. with the offenders.