The NBA, Major League Baseball, and NASCAR know how to run an All-Star show. The NFL and NHL do not.
Since it is common knowledge that the NBA All-Star weekend is one of the biggest events in sports, one had to wonder why NASCAR would bother putting a car race up against it.
But, this is not just any car race, this is THE Car Race—The Daytona 500.
And, as we have been told before, the Daytona 500 is the "Super Bowl" of racing. Or is it?
I actually prefer the Bristol night race in August myself, but we are assured that next to winning the points championship, nothing can equal the Daytona February race as the high point of a season.
The NBA season begins very unlike NASCAR. Early season games seem lifeless. But, make no mistake, after the "All-Star break" (as they like to call it) play gets very serious among the contenders.
By the second round of the playoffs in May, the intensity level of competition is raised beyond anything you will find in pay for play sports. You know the saying, "you make your name in the regular season of the NBA but, you make your fame in the playoffs".
Thoroughly riveting entertainment.
The NASCAR "All-Star Race" is held annually in May. Right up against those same super-intense NBA playoffs.
NASCAR and The NBA present spectacular shows for their All-Star events. The entertainment is first rate. The movie, music, television, and political stars abound at both events. Everyone wants to be seen there.
All-Star Racing ratings do not suffer against NBA playoff games.
The "race" and the "game" do not actually run against each other this Sunday, the race should be over before the game begins. Should be might be the operative phrase there.
But, it is the events of All-Star weekend we want to see anyway. The dunk contest, three point shooting, skills, rookies vs. second year-men, interviews with the greats of the past like Jerry West, Bill Russell, Rick Barry, Ice-Man, and Dr. J. They'll tell us how to really do it.
The game features a beginning and end that is usually competitive, but the in-between has too much soft defense and one-on-one play.
One need only glance at the picture above, from a prior All Star event, to see Kobe Bryant motionlessly watching Ben Wallace throw it down.
But it is in the game itself where we see LeBron go up against Kobe. Who is the greatest? Inquiring minds wish to know.
Similarly, it is in the actual race where we will see Tony Stewart face Jimmie Johnson. Is it finally Stewart's time? AJ Foyt said it just could be Stewart's race to win at last.
So, what will it be? Do we take in the Daytona 500 or do we slide into Phoenix for a view of the entertainment spectacular of who's who?
What if we wanted to be at the Nationwide Race on Saturday, but also check out the live action of the Saturday Night Skills competition? Out of luck? Choose one or the other?
We should be glad most of us don't have to make that decision, even if we wanted to see both live. We can sit back and watch them both on television, TIVO the three point shot and dunk contests—while catching the racing network coverage of practice.
Oh, what a wacky world, when we can have our cake and eat it too.