Should NASCAR Really Be Considered a Sport?

Lee B.Correspondent IJuly 23, 2008

Sport is defined as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." If a group of people were asked why people watch NASCAR, most would probably say that they watched for the spectacular crashes. Few, if any, would say that they watch NASCAR for the "physical prowess on display.”

Right away, this takes away from the credibility of NASCAR as a "sport,” and pushes it towards the domain of "entertainment." To the casual observer, there is little reason to even watch NASCAR until the final lap or two of a major race, where most of the real excitement of NASCAR happens.

Driving around for hours at insanely high speeds takes guts, but really, anyone with a driver's license can hold their foot on the pedal for hours at a time and steer, without much physical training. These cars are very hot and stuffy, but the drivers stay well hydrated throughout the race.

Anybody who is in a hot environment for a long time will get hot, even if they aren't moving around much, as is the case in NASCAR, where the driver only has to keep their foot on the pedal and hands on the wheel. Realistically, anyone staying adequately hydrated can withstand the heat for a long period.

In addition, when most "real athletes" hydrate after the game, they drink water or Gatorade; but popular post-race drinks include whatever soda sponsors a driver. Other than soccer and rugby (and apparently volleyball), real sports don't provide advertisement space on their players during the game.

NASCAR drivers are glorified entertainers, and anyone who can manage to sit watch a full NASCAR race must be either really bored or a truly devoted fan. Any event in which the fans sit for as long as the competitors, should not be considered a sport at all.