Monday, February 17, 2014
Ah, the sound of car engines running at Daytona, the signal for the new NASCAR season is about to begin. Pictured above is the #3, last piloted at the Daytona 500 in 2001 by the late Dale Earnhardt. This go around it will be piloted by Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, owner for the late Dale Earnhardt. I mention this for several reasons...
Auto racing is an inherently dangerous sport, if you call car racing a sport. Up until the early 80's there was at least one fatality surrounding the Indy 500, and most seasons saw at least one driver killed during a race. This is true of all motor sports. Even today, with all the changes, modern advances in technology, the sport is dangerous. Just ask Dario Franchitti, a fearless driver who spent most of his career in the open wheel series that inhabit most of the world. One devastating accident later, and he is retired, with years left on an otherwise distinguished career.
The most horrific thing is, many of these fatal accidents did not appear to be all that severe. Earnhardt's crash, like Senna's, Weatherly, and others accidents on track did not appear to be severe. As we now know about Earnhardt's and Weatherly's accidents changes were needed. I did not mention Petty's accident because, I do not know of any footage of the accident, and I have heard several versions of what happened.
To put this into scope, we have many problems in the US, and while I love racing cars, I have a major problem. People are more pissed off over the #3 being back on track for this season, than they are about political corruption. They are more upset about a sport, than they are about poverty, or homelessness. I see a major problem.
Sure, some people are upset over it, I was less than impressed by it. Honestly, I think when a driver is killed in a car, that number should be retired, to hell with using just one or two numbers. I don't care if someone drives the 001351. But it all comes down to perspective, while I respect athletes and drivers for their skills, bravery, and abilities, I see that we have prosecutors who cannot get the job done, and I think they really don't care to. See what has been happening in Florida lately? We have corrupt politicians in office. We have people dieing in the streets from exposure. We have an educational system that sees nothing wrong with around 25% of people believing the sun orbits the Earth, and that evolution is a myth. Worse of all, we have religious leaders who can do as they want, when they want with little to no recourse, and a system based on money, which means the more you have, the less likely it is you will go to jail. We have a problem. Lets set the games and races aside, and fix this shit.