MONTE DUTTON - QUE, SERA, SERA (WHATEVER WILL BE WILL BE)
No, I don’t know what to make of it. The Reuters report that NASCAR is up for sale doesn’t surprise me, but I didn’t see it coming, at least not in close range.
One of the principles ingrained in me over many years of trial and error is:
When a rumor spreads widely, and no one will deny it, it’s usually true.
NASCAR has nothing to say. It could say, “It’s a lie!”
It may be a trial balloon. It may be a plant. It may be an economical way to gauge interest.
This country is growing angrier. Most people seem to agree that something is wrong. One side wants to go radically in one way. The other is just as adamant at going radically the other. Everything isn’t worth a damn. The country. The Congress. Music. Movies. TV. Every sport.
The decision is based on whether to embrace the devil you know or the devil you don’t.
Perhaps the France Dynasty – two Bills and a Brian, not a bunch of Louies with the occasional Napoleon or de Gaulle thrown in – will be unable to find a deal that meets its fiscal requirements.
The Frances may turn to a group of investors composed of others who have profited handsomely from the sport over the years. The safest course to the future may be the involvement of names synonymous with the sport, whether race-track tycoons or team owners or longtime sponsors.
Many businesses are prosperous these days. This one, the stock car racing empire, is not. NASCAR may draw the interest of highly successful speculators who see a sport at or near rock bottom. What could Jeff Bezos do with NASCAR when he links it in far greater ways with Amazon? What could he do for NASCAR, and what could NASCAR do for him?
Let the record note that I have no even fifth-hand knowledge of any interest by Mr. Bezos, and it would surprise me if any exists, at least not until someone takes this out of context.
One of the reasons for NASCAR’s precipitous fall is that its leaders have based everything on pure money, where once the founders based only, oh, 80 percent of it.
Perhaps the sport needs a fresh start. Perhaps it is too wed to its past, too unwilling to admit its leaders have been unwise.
The graphs measuring every form of interest, other than the ones that did not previously exist, have been falling at an increasingly severe arc for well over a decade now.
No one who concocted all the provably disastrous changes has ever acknowledged that any of them – with exception of a few, like, for instance, Car of Tomorrow, and then after the passage of several years –was anything shy of a stroke of genius.
What did NASCAR do to encourage continued growth?
Oh, they invented the Chase, the newer and improved Chase, the thrown together on the fly Chase, the playoffs, phases, stages, points, bonus points, free passes, wave-arounds, encumbered victories, loose lug nuts, uncontrollable tires, green initiatives, and Michael Waltrip.
Only a few fans are brain surgeons. Rocket scientists plant themselves in grandstands in numbers no greater. There may be a smattering of brain scientists and rocket surgeons.
Most fans just want to watch an exciting race without discussions of legal precedent and whether a point is just a point, or a bonus point, or a playoff point. The races have too many multiple-choice and not enough essay questions.
Have no worries. For better or worse, it will work itself out. No one who writes this, and few who read it, will have any say in the matter.