Why NASCAR Needs The NFL And NBA To Have A Lockout

By Brody Jones

All right, loyal NASCAR fans. Your once-healthy sport is now in dire straights and has suffered badly in the wake of unwelcome changes and questionable decision-making. And your CEO seems to be completely oblivious to the real issues of the sport as he made clear to Jenna Fryer in his “State Of The Union”. Die-hard fans are departing in droves and the sport lacks the the dynamic personalities that once made the sport so endearing. But fret not, loyal NASCAR supporters, for there may be relief in sight! You see, NASCAR does have one advantage in the fact that there are no unions in NASCAR as the drivers are independent contractors. Some of you are likely going “Big whoop! NASCAR doesn’t have a union. So what?” So they are not plagued with the irritating meddling of union representatives that have the NFL & the NBA on the cusp of a lock-out.
If Brian Z. France is a religious man, it might be best for him to start praying to whatever god he worships for a lock-out by the NBA & NFL because if both have a lock-out, that leaves NASCAR sitting pretty in a position where they can be just about the only ball-game in town, besides Major League Baseball. And seeing as how sports fans generally suffer from ADD, they will tune into any, and I mean any sport that can hold their attention for any relatively short period of time. The third-generation France has to be glad that his grandfather “Big” Bill France had the strong-arm tactics to quash the union efforts of Curtis Turner and his effort to have the drivers join the Teamsters in 1961 and again in 1969 when Richard Petty and many other drivers joined the Professional Drivers Association because, say what you will about the France family, but had they not had the presence of mind to keep unions out of NASCAR, it could very well have been NASCAR in the same boat as the NBA, the NFL, MLB, and the NHL, all of whom have had rather lengthy lock-outs at intermittent points in the history of their sport.
But as much as the past generations of the France family can be credited for keeping unions out of NASCAR, the current generation of the France family, namely Brian and his cohort in crime Mike Helton, deserve just as much scorn for the decisions that have put NASCAR in the shape it’s in. Many long-time fans will never forgive Brian France over bringing in the Chase. Other fans still hold it against NASCAR for bringing in the COT. Still others blame the lack of personality for the alarming demise of NASCAR ratings. But if you ask Brian France or Mike Helton, nothing is wrong with NASCAR. Under this generation of the France family, it seems like for every step forward the sport takes, it goes two steps in reverse, negating any progress that is made. Basically, in stock market terms, NASCAR is currently on a downward trend.
But there has been some progress in the past season. Removing the goofy abomination that was the wing on the back of the cars was a step in the right direction to actually make the cars look more like race cars. The “Have at it, boys!” approach once again got people talking around the water-cooler on Monday, whether it was the slap-fight of Jeff Gordon Vs. Jeff Burton or whether it was Carl Edwards attempting vehicular manslaughter on Brad Keselowski, those antics certainly had NASCAR fans buzzing once again. And, whether you love him or loathe him, Kyle Busch’s antics certainly had the attention of NASCAR, whether he was sweeping NASCAR weekends or throwing conniption fits worthy of a toddler when he didn’t get his way. Kyle Busch just might be the dynamic personality NASCAR needs to draw the fans back to the sport again. So all is not lost, NASCAR brethren.
But what it boils down to at the end of the day is what “Big” Bill France did to preserve his company 50 years ago just might have paid huge dividends for his grandson in 2011. But then again, this is only if the NFL and NBA have a lock-out because if both unions can work out a collective bargaining agreement, the ratings slide of NASCAR will continue and at that point, Brian Z. France and Mike Helton will have no other choice to push the red button lettered “P-A-N-I-C” because they won’t be able to just ignore the issues the mainstream media has brought up anymore and will be forced to go back to the basics that made fans fall in love with NASCAR. Hopefully, France and Helton do not fall into the category of the old saying “Those who fail to learn from history’s past are doomed to repeat it.”