Monday, December 27, 2010

New Fans for NASCAR

We have all witnessed NASCAR's declining fan base over the last few years. NASCAR tries to blame it on the economy, but why are their TV ratings free falling also? I believe we can all agree that the racing in 2010 particularly in the Chase, was terrific, but fans still tuned out in droves. So, where, and when, is our sport's summer of recovery?

NASCAR missed the whole internet thing when it blew by them about fifteen years ago. The NFL recognized the net as a valuable commodity from which to gather potential fans. The best part? It required zero effort from the NFL.

How did they gain millions of new fans, and TV viewers? By just sitting back and watching the fans compete against themselves, that's how. Fantasy football has gained more fans for the NFL than its on-field product ever did. Twenty million viewers per game is an almost weekly happening for the NFL thanks to the fantasy geeks. And the NFL has nothing invested in it.

How can NASCAR pop TV ratings through fantasy team play, you ask? Unlike the NFL, NASCAR should start its own fantasy league. Control the players, the stats, and the payouts. That's right, payouts. How does $100,000 to the winning player each week sound? That might even get Aunt Sarah to watch a little NASCAR.

Okay, $100,000 per week to the winner. Another $25,000 split up between 2nd through 20th place players. 20th through 500th would receive sponsor's gift certificates, coupons, souvenirs, memorabilia, etc.

This would all lead to the fantasy season championship worth $1,000,000 to the winner! With another million doled out for the 2nd through 50th place finishers. Additional prizes similar to the weekly ones would go out to the next 500 players.

I see this scenario costing NASCAR around ten million bucks, but a lot less when they get sponsors to foot the bill. Make your TV partners hype this, and give updates, and publicize the winners weekly. Build excitement among non-fans through web ads, and TV spots.

Oh, did I mention.... it's free.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Car Numbers of Christmas

What if the Twelve Days of Christmas were the Twelve Car Numbers of Christmas?

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true sport gave to me,

Twelve Brads a flipping,

Eleven Dennys choking,

Ten Terrys slumming,

Nine Aussies joining,

Eight Theresas hoarding,

Seven Robbys suing,

Six Ragans wrecking,


Four Kaseys temping,

Three Dale's in waiting,

Two Kurts a leaving,

And a J Mac in a victory lane!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Turn Out The Lights

Turn out the lights the party's over....

They say that all good things must end.

Willie Nelson wrote the song, Dandy Don Meredith made it famous. Now the lights have gone out for Meredith. He's gone on to that big point after in the sky at age 72.

Monday Night Football was the must watch TV back when we were kids. Back before cable, the internet, and the NFL Package. We got two or three games on Sunday, then the highlight of the week... MNF! The first sportscasters I can remember are Dandy Don, Howard Cosell, and Frank Gifford.

Giff played the straight play-by-play man. Cosell was the overbearing, arrogant, know-it-all, and Dandy Don was the fun loving rascal that kept Cosell's ego in check while partying every Monday night. I'm guessing Roone Arledge was the genius that put Meredith and Cosell in the booth together. Try and imagine listening to Howard without Dandy Don there to keep him slightly in check. Ugh.

I wish I had been a little older because I'm sure some of Don's jokes and references were more adult oriented and just went over my head. I don't remember this, but the story goes that Don's first game in the MNF booth (a tryout during a pre-season game) was a Cleveland Browns game. This was 1970, 1971 or so. Cleveland had a WR named Fair Hooker (no joke) one of the other announcers said "Fair Hooker" Don said, "I've never met one." He was hired on the spot, and the rest is history.