It's a lazy Sunday afternoon, there is an autumn breeze in the air and the turning leaves are falling silently to the ground. The clock ticks slowly as the little hand creeps towards the 1:00 hour. Finally that single chime echoes down the hall and you know that it's time. Time to turn on the TV!
"Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, let's go racing boys" or "Are you ready for some football?"
We as fans can rarely have it both ways, which do you choose?
Game Day or Race Day?
We all know the obvious differences between the two, but what about the similarities?
Both have huge spectator turnout.
The NFL currently holds the top spot for the most spectators in the United States. NFL football stadiums seat between 63,000-80,000 fans each week x an average of 14 teams playing on any given Sunday ultilizing seven stadiums x 20 weeks (including playoffs and The Superbowl) = 10,010,000 spectators watching from the stands provided that all seats are filled.
NASCAR is a close second to the NFL. Sprint Cup tracks seat between 65,000-168,000 fans each week x an average of 43 drivers utilizing one track on any given Sunday x 36 weeks = 8,388,000 spectators watching from the stands. That total does not include the tracks with infield parking which would add thousands to that total. Basically nipping the heels of the NFL.
Both have their "Main Events"
In the NFL it is known as the Superbowl, which celebrates the end of the season and crowns the winner of a final battle played between the champions of the league's two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).
In NASCAR it is known as the Daytona 500. It is the kick-off to the NASACAR season consisting of 43 separate teams vying for that number one spot.
Both have playoffs.
In the NFL they are simply called just that, playoffs. They are made up of the four division champions from each conference which are seeded one through four based on their regular season won-lost-tied record and two wild card qualifiers which are seeded five and six.
In NASCAR it is called "The Chase for the Sprint Cup." The 10 race Chase pits the 12 drivers with the highest "regular season" points against each other, while racing in the standard field of 43 cars.
Both have their mentors.
The NFL has coaches.
NASCAR has crew chiefs.
Both have phenomenal tailgating.
In the NFL the tailgating generally occurs in the parking lot of the stadium where fans grill a variety of meat products over an open flame, consume alcoholic beverages and play games like corn-hole, beer pong, or flip-cup.
In NASCAR the tailgating generally occurs in the parking lot of the track where fans grill a variety of meat products over an open flame, consume alcoholic beverages and play games like corn-hole, beer pong or flip-cup.
Both have fans who are loyal to a fault.
In the NFL fans can be seen wearing the jersey of their favorite player or painting the colors of their team on their near naked beer-bellied bodies.
In NASCAR fans can be seen wearing way too busy t-shirts of their favorite driver or shaving the number of their racer into their back hair.
Both have the zealots who drink a little too much and embarrass the rest of us.
The NFL has the guy with the "D"-less fence as Kevin Paul pointed out brilliantly in his article "Seven Fan Types That Drive Me Crazy." His buddy has bailed on holding up the "D" for whatever reason and this idiot is still raising a giant picket fence above his head.
NASCAR has the girl who flashes her boobs during a caution flag. She is sitting next to her boyfriend who gives a thumbs up and hollars "Can I get a hell yeah?!" just before security escorts her out.
So you see NFL and NASCAR fans aren't so different after all. Now can't we all just get along?