BRISTOL, CT — Despite the majority of Americans feeling a general opposition to the notion, ESPN is still trying to convince everyone that NASCAR is a sport.
The network, which has dominated sports coverage in America for several decades, has launched a new ad campaign to help convince viewers and critics who are still unconvinced that NASCAR is really a sport. New slogans to help recruit fans and boost viewership include, “Yes, We’re Still Showing It on SportsCenter”, “It’s Really a Sport… Seriously, We Mean It”, and “NASCAR – Give It Another Chance… Pretty Please?”
Below: One of ESPN’s new photo ads to help convince people
that NASCAR is a really sport and should be taken seriously
“I think these new commercials are great. People need to know that NASCAR really is a sport,” said ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett. “I mean, sure it seems like we’re just driving around in circles really fast, and yeah, that is most of it, but that’s really hard.” Jarrett continued, “Really, really hard. Like bricklaying. I also think bricklaying is a sport because it’s also hard.”
Tim Cowlishaw, another ESPN NASCAR analyst, also insists that it is a sport. “Sure, there’s no ball, and there’s no tournament or postseason, and there’s not a major college system of racing, or really anything else that matches the characteristics of most American sports,” Cowlishaw went on, “but that doesn’t mean it’s not a sport.”
“NASCAR is America’s fastest growing sport, which, by definition of that sentence, makes it a sport,” explained Terry Blount, one of ESPN’s NASCAR reporters and frequent contributor to ESPN.com’s NASCAR page. “I mean, if it wasn’t a sport, then how could it be the fastest growing sport, huh smart guy? Plus,” Blount continued, “lots of people think it’s a sport, and if history has taught us anything, it’s that large groups of people cannot possibly be wrong about any widely held belief they have.”
Despite ESPN’s staunch supporters and efforts, NASCAR continues to be criticized by some for not being a sport at all. Critics point out that the vehicles used in races are not stock cars at all, thereby defying the very name of NASCAR (which stands for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing), which would be akin to the NBA using a volleyball in its games. Others point to NASCAR’s confusing and contrived scoring system, which is overly difficult to follow during a race. These critics also claim that the scoring system arbitrarily gives higher scores for end-of-season races, ensuring that no driver gains an insurmountable lead and causes fans to lose interest; though such a brash claim is highly suspect as most sports would consider this both highly unorthodox and completely unfair. Still others point to NASCAR’s negative environmental effects, and that it is just plain boring. Beyond that, critics point out that NASCAR is not even the highest level or most difficult form of auto racing.
When asked what he thought of such criticisms, Dale Jarrett responded angrily that “It’s a bunch of crap! Crap crap crap crap crap!” Jarrett became visibly upset and said that he had something in his eyes, and excused himself to the bathroom while sobbing.