Rumor Mill

MONTE DUTTON: LOST IN THE FRUSTRATION

 

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Can you sense a bit of panic in the air?

Gosh. Life is so distracting. A man (or, I hasten to add, a woman) can’t pay attention to any one thing, so, naturally he (she) doesn’t pay attention to anything.

Take NASCAR. Please.

If it’s a great race, the TV ratings plunge. If it’s a lousy race, they plunge. If it’s modestly interesting, guess what happens? An argument can be made that it doesn’t matter. NASCAR fell into Johnny Cash’s burning ring of fire.

Every possible excuse has been offered. People haven’t gotten used to the exciting new rules. People aren’t used to the exciting new drivers. It costs too much. The big names are stepping aside. It’s too good on TV. It’s too bad on TV. The digital numbers are booming. Of course, we don’t know what they are, precisely.

Maybe it’s Trump. Maybe it’s the violent obsession on all sides with whatever the heck it is that’s going on.

It’s hard to appreciate a sport if it’s not getting a man’s (or a woman’s) full attention.

Trump stinks. The Democrats stink. The media stinks. Congress stinks. Racing stinks. The whole world has become a paper-mill town.

Everyone panics. Even Joe Panik, who plays for the San Francisco Giants, who stink, stinks. And, perhaps, panics.

It doesn’t matter whether they are Trump’s tweets or Brad Keselowski’s quotes. Trump has accused Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Rosie O’Donnell of everything Trump is now doing. Carl Reiner, 95, says he wakes up each morning, reads the obits, and if he isn’t in them, has breakfast. I get up each morning and turn on the TV to see if I still have health care.

NASCAR could be health insurance. It wouldn’t matter. Everything’s a sport. Eating hot dogs is a sport. It’s only fair that health care is.

After last week’s race at Kentucky Speedway, dominated unmercifully by Martin Truex Jr., Keselowski said the current car they are racing is “poorly designed.” Maybe it is. It sure was around a long time before Keselowski broke that story.

Last week Kyle Larson spoke out about the raw deal drivers are getting on their souvenir sales. He broke that 20-year-old story, too.

This country has seen restless natives before, but it’s unusual for sleep to evade everybody.

Maybe NASCAR is declining because the world has too much else to be ticked off about. Passion is as important an element in sports as it is in love. A man loves a wife, and a woman a husband, one way. He or she loves a brother or a sister another, and a cousin another. He may be true to his god, his family, his school, his town, his religion, his ball team and/or his race car.

All he needs is love.

NASCAR may have to wait until the rest of the world settles down.

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